Hello Fellow Jewelry Aficionados! In this particular article, we will identify Jewelry’s Top 3 Must Do List. This List’s focus is to inform you of the numerous ways to keep your personal jewelry properly maintained and looking good for the many years to come.
First on the List, we will start with tips on ways, where and typical cost to clean your personal jewelry.
Second on the List, we will highlight where and cost to repair your personal jewelry. Third on the List, we will briefly discuss the proper way to store your jewelry.
Ways to Clean Your Personal Jewelry
First and foremost, let me tell you that there is a wild array of cleaning techniques that can be performed right in your own household. Likewise, the particular home jewelry cleaning techniques that I will describe do actually work (some better than others), because I have personally applied them to mine own jewelry.
Let’s consider the age-old toothpaste myth: Can you clean jewelry with just simple toothpaste and a toothbrush? The answer is mostly ‘yes’, but partly ‘no’ as well. You see, standard toothpaste is a highly abrasive substance that contains hydrogen fluoride or HF.
HF has both the highest ionization energy and electron affinity of all the halogens in the periodic table, making it an excellent cleaner for heavier silver jewelry and most hard gemstones, but destructive to gold and pearls.
Let’s consider ketchup as a cleaner: Submerge your jewelry for about 10 minutes in ketchup, scrub with a toothbrush delicately, rinse with warm water and then dry. Provides an excellent cleaning method for your silver and gold jewelry. However do not leave your jewelry too long. The weak acid in the tomatoes and vinegar will destroy it.
Let’s consider beer as a cleaner: Pour an ale, lager, IPA or stout beer (nothing dark) on a cloth and gently rub it on your jewelry with a final rinse.
Provides an excellent and quick cleaning method for gold jewelry, excluding gemstones.
Let’s consider dish detergent as a cleaner: Squeeze a few drops of dish detergent into a bowl of hot water and submerge your jewelry for a few minutes, scrub with a clean toothbrush and rinse with cold water. Provides an exemplary and quick cleaning method for all jewelry.
AMMONIA + DETERGENT
Let’s consider ammonia and dish detergent as a cleaner: Squeeze a few drops of dish detergent and a cap full of ammonia into a bowl of hot water, let sit for a few minutes. Then scrub with a clean toothbrush for hard gemstones and soft q-tip for softer ones and rinse. Cool method, but a bit much for jewelry cleaning purposes.
Let’s consider alka-seltzer as a cleaner: Put a tablet of alka-seltzer in a cup of water then submerge your jewelry until tablet dissolves or a little longer. Provides a truly effective method for all your gemstones.
Let’s consider vodka as a cleaner: Pour an ounce of vodka into a cup with your jewelry and swish it around for a minute then apply a quick water rinse ( I personally suggest a triple rinse).
Provides an adequate method for jewelry cleaning, less the fact that you wasted good drinking alcohol on it!!!
Now, lets consider traditional store or on-line purchased jewelry cleaners as a cleaner: These units are typically 8 to 12 oz plastic receptacles with factory made solutions with advanced polymers and etchants that require you to submerge your jewelry for a set time, applying a soft brush to clean them, then rinse.
Some are specific to all metals, gold or silver jewelry. And the average cost of these units range from $5 to $25.
Nevertheless, I will advise that if you forget for any reason to take your personal jewelry out of the solution after a given time as suggested by the jewelry cleaner’s manufacturer, you risk severe damage to your personal jewelry!
These solutions with etch the metal that may cause deterioration of your jewelry’s shape, loosening prongs, weakening gemstone settings, or complete destruction of the gemstone itself.
ULTRASONIC JEWELRY CLEANERS
Finally, lets consider using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners as a cleaner: These are units with motors that produce ultrasonic vibrations through a cleaning solution to remove dirt and other contaminants from jewelry.
The cost of these particular units range from $40 to $200, excluding the cost of the cleaning solutions themselves. The cleaning solutions are usually sold as packages with the individual units separately, and typically range from $5 to $50. The large industrial ultrasonic cleaners can be as much as $5,000.
On the whole, ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are great, provided that you have a vast or significant amount personal jewelry. Some will even clean coins, glasses and other items. If not, I would highly consider using any of the home jewelry cleaning techniques described above.
The last option would be to have your local jeweler clean your personal jewelry. Many choose this option. Typical jeweler cleaning costs range from $25 to $50, which include the cost of equipment use, time and materials.
JEWELERS OF AMERICA
If you do not necessarily have a jeweler and wish to find a reputable jeweler in your local area, I highly recommend use the Jewelers of America website as a reputable resource to locate one.
Within this site you will find the link entitled, Find a JA Jeweler, in which I have already provided for you. With over 8,000 jewelers across the country, Jewelers of America is a non-profit organization founded in 1906 by jewelers for jewelers with the mission of advancing the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.
How to Repair Your Personal Jewelry
All people who possess fine jewelry know that it is susceptible to wear and tear over a period. These wear and tear can or may include metal deterioration, lack of luster, loosened or broken prongs, channels, and links, etc.
Thus, your personal jewelry will need to be serviced or repaired on a regular basis and you will need the expertise of a trusted and reputable jeweler to provide you with this service. As previously mentioned, if you do not have a personal jeweler, I would highly recommend the link entitled Find a Jeweler, located on the Jewelers of America website
How to Properly Store Your Personal Jewelry
Hang or place your personal jewelry in fine fabric lined cases in an organized fashion as to not only protect them from damage, but be able to locate them also. And finally, store your jewelry in a clean and dry place.
I truly hope Jewelry’s Top 3 Must Do List has helped and provided you with some answers on personal jewelry care. Feel free to contact us anytime with any comments, concerns or questions regarding this particular article or personal jewelry care in general.