Jewellery care 101: it should adorn and it should be worn!
But who wants to wear jewellery that has lost its sheen? And you’d hate for your precious piece to be stolen, so you put it in a draw for safekeeping … right? Which, unfortunately, defeats the purpose of having it.
Dorotheum specialist Astrid Fialka-Herics shares a few tips on proper jewellery care!
Jewellery care for gold
Depending on the gold’s alloy, there are two main groups of processed jewellery: 14 karat and 18 karat gold. For 14 karat gold, the pure fine-gold content of the alloy is 1g in 585/000 and for 18 karat gold, 1g in 750/000. Higher grade fine-gold increases the material value of the jewellery piece, but it also makes it softer and more susceptible to damages.
To maintain the piece’s shine for as long as possible, you should consider a few of the following tips:
- When storing your gold pieces, make sure they are kept separately from your other jewellery. Otherwise, they may be scratched or dented through contact.
- Wearing coarse synthetic materials can scratch your gold jewellery.
→ Only a reputable workshop can help you in this case! Professional polishing will make it shine like new!
- Make sure it is stored in natural materials such as silk or leather. Due to its alloy content, silver can also change the colour of gold!
→ Dry leather cloths or special gold cleaning cloths can remove ugly discolouration.
- Gold jewellery that comes into direct contact with the skin, especially earrings, may develop impurities more rapidly.
→ These are best removed with lukewarm water and a soft, dry cloth.
If stones are set into the jewellery piece, further precautions should be taken!
Cut stones are both sensitive to cleaning detergents and high water temperatures. Their surface structures can be easily damaged or they may even shatter. That being said, if the gem is not professionally cleaned, it can be released from its fastening.
- Jewellery care for diamonds is different. Only diamonds can be carefully cleaned in a container with lukewarm water and a soft toothbrush.
→ All other precious stones should be cleaned by a professional!
CORALS AND PEARLS
Corals and pearls require great attention to care and cleaning. These popular organic materials are often worn on chains or strings, directly in contact with the skin –here, already lurking, are the first “attacks” on their splendour.
- In order to preserve their shine and structure, wearing products such as creams and lotions should be avoided. Even perfumes will damage their surface!
→ Some corals can be polished by a specialist, but pearls which have lost their shine because of corrosion are irreversibly damaged.
- Untreated water will not harm pearls and corals, but the strings on which they are threaded may become brittle and tear.
→ Pearls and corals should be taken off before a bath!