Caring For Your Jewellery
If you take good care of your jewellery it will last many years. There are a variety of different metals and gemstones used to create jewellery, each one with its own chemical elements and molecular structure; as a result there are many different ways to care for and clean your jewellery. The following information should be used as a general guide. For further information regarding jewellery care please contact us and we'll be happy to assist you further.
Caring for Gold & Silver
To bring a shine back to your gold and silver jewellery you should use a soft, clean cloth. Gently rub the metal in a circular motion, and if you come across some stubborn dirt gently press your fingernail into the cloth whilst applying slightly more pressure. At QP Jewellers we use 9ct gold which is a fantastic balance of beauty and strength. Gold is classified as a soft metal so be extra careful when trying to remove stains.
The chemical structure of gold and silver is different and therefore they must be cared for separately. Using a silver dip for your silver jewellery is fine as long as you rinse the silver thoroughly with warm water and dry afterwards. Do not use silver dip on gold items as this can damage the gold and weaken its structure.
We recommend that you store your jewellery pieces separately so they do not scratch each other. Velvet cloths make an excellent storage solution. When jewellery is rolled up within the cloth, the items are held apart as well as being cushioned.
Caring for Pearls
When storing necklaces we suggest that you always fasten the clasp. This will help to prevent the chain from becoming tangled and knotted.
Our natural freshwater pearls were formed inside molluscs (or oysters), which by their very nature makes them delicate and susceptible to damage, albeit stunning. The organic properties of pearls require you to use a great deal of care when cleaning and storing.
When getting ready for a night out make sure all cosmetics such as hairspray and makeup are applied before you put on your pearl jewellery. This reduces the possibility of damaging the pearl's skin (known as nacre) with harmful chemicals.
When the time comes to clean your pearls we suggest that you use warm water and only a tiny amount (one or two droplets) of detergent. It is very important to store your pearls away from any chemicals and abrasive surfaces.
Caring for Diamonds
Diamond jewellery should be soaked in warm water mixed with a small amount of detergent. After letting your jewellery soak for a short while, remove the item from the solution and disturb any dirt with a soft brush. Although diamond is the hardest thing known to man, the gold which supports the gem is one of the softest metals so take care when removing stubborn dirt. You should now rinse the jewellery and dry with a soft cloth.
It's a good idea to plug sink holes and secure the area around where you clean just in case you drop the jewellery.
Another smart way to clean diamond and gemstone jewellery is to use dental instruments such as power flossers, also known as Water Piks. These handy devices blast concentrated jets of water which are easy to direct and free any dirt hidden in between crevasses. The jets of water are not powerful enough to damage the jewellery.
For many years ultrasound has been used to clean specialist items such as surgical equipment and jewellery. Until just recently the ultrasound cleaning equipment has been used almost exclusively in industry, but you can now purchase a small ultrasound cleaning machine for home use. They are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased on the high street from many jewellers and department stores. The cleaners use sound which travels at certain frequencies to shake off any dirt which may be present on the item of jewellery. The sound passes through warm water which in some cases may contain a cleaning solution. Although ultrasound cleaning baths are relatively new, they are by no means a straight replacement for good old soap, water, and a bit of light elbow grease. Please note that opal jewellery must not be cleaned using ultrasound.
Caring for Opals
Opals require special care when cleaning. They are one of the softest gemstones and can be easily scratched. It may seem hard to believe but opal stones contain the highest traces of water (typically between 5 and 6%) which contributes to their fragile nature. As a result, if opals are kept in low humidity environments cracks may occur on the surface of the stone.
Opals should be cleaned with a very soft brush using warm water with a small amount of detergent, keeping chemicals and other cleaning solutions away from the stone. Due to the fragile nature of opals you should not clean them in an ultrasonic bath; the vibrations (which ordinarily clean gemstones) can be very harmful to the molecular structure of an opal.
If you are going to store your opal jewellery for prolonged periods of time then we suggest you place the opal jewellery into an airtight container with a piece of damp cotton wool to ensure the humidity levels don't get too low.