Collecting, owning, and caring for items of jewellery can be rewarding for many people – whether watch enthusiasts collecting bespoke timepieces, or ladies looking to expand their vintage necklace collection in order to have something to wear for every occasion.
But keeping your jewellery in good condition can be difficult, and a number of factors – including the elements – can have negative impacts on the quality and value of your collection. How should you properly care for precious jewellery?
Keep it Dry
First and foremost, whether handling, wearing or simply storing your jewellery, you need to ensure it remains dry and moisture-free. Exposure to humidity in the long-term can cause oxidation and corrosion over time, while short-term exposure to water can lead to water marks and dullness. In some cases, water can also lead to cracking.
Silica packets can be used to control humidity in your jewellery boxes or storage cupboards, and regular buffs with a cloth or towel can ensure their surfaces remain free of moisture or condensation.
Keep it Shaded
You should also endeavour to keep your jewellery out of the sun wherever possible. This may prove impossible when wearing your jewellery, but short stints in the sunshine will not pose any dangers. Rather, it is long-term exposure to sunlight that can have a deleterious impact on the condition of your jewellery – and potentially impact its future sale value as a result.
The reason for this lies in the same reason we are encouraged to wear sunscreen: UV rays. UV rays can quicken the decline of your jewellery, by bleaching alloyed golds and also increasing their susceptibility to water damage or salt corrosion.
The temptation can often be to store your jewellery in the same place, for ease of storage and access. However, doing so increases the risk of items of jewellery rubbing up against, and ultimately scratching, one another.
Jewellery should be kept in separate compartments entirely, or, failing that, individually in felt bags. This way, they can be kept cool, dark, dry and in the same receptacle without risking damaging or entangling one another.
Your jewellery will need regular cleaning to stay looking its absolute best, and to remove accumulations that could cause damage and disrepair. However, you should be careful about your manner of cleaning, as – inert as gold and silver can be – some methods are much less risky than others.
Often, the simplest cleaning solutions are the best. Try using dish soap, diluted with warm water and applied with a microfibre or chamois cloth.
Put It On Last
Lastly, damage can occur to your jewellery when you least expect it. Vigilance is key, and keeping to a regimen of sorts when wearing and storing jewellery can help greatly. For example, you should always put your jewellery on last, so as to prevent clothing snagging on it.
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