What are the best ways to care for fine jewelry like sterling silver, gold, and platinum, as well as diamonds, pearls, and other gemstones? In the past we’ve talked a lot about jewelry, including jewelry storage, how to start a jewelry collection for work, and how to buy pearls — but we haven’t looked at jewelry care in detail. Kate talked to some experts and did some research — enjoy! Also possibly of interest: Nordstrom has a ton of fine jewelry marked 30-60% off today.
In general, it’s smart to follow these tips for all of your fine jewelry:
- After wearing your jewelry, gently wipe it off with a 100%-cotton cloth.
- Remove jewelry before gardening, cleaning, doing home repairs or other physical work, playing sports, getting into a hot tub or pool, showering/bathing, or swimming in salt water.
- Put on makeup, lotion, perfume, and hair products before putting on your jewelry. Avoid letting jewelry come into contact with soap or sweat.
- Protect your jewelry by storing it in individual boxes or soft bags, and don’t keep it in your car, near windows or heat vents, or in direct sunlight. In general, keep jewelry out of extreme temperatures.
- Don’t use a polishing cloth on a piece of jewelry with a matte or oxidized finish.
- If you clean your jewelry near a sink, close the drain!
- Ask your insurance agency what’s covered in your homeowner’s or renter’s policy — you may want to buy additional insurance coverage. (Here’s a great NYT article on point as well.)
Here are some tips that are specific to certain kinds of jewelry: