A majority of the precious metals used in the assembling of fine jewelry are noble lessening the possibility to oxidize when in contact with damp air. Silver is still prone to developing a patina over time. While gold, platinum and other precious metal don’t tarnish the way silver does, they may dull over time from prolonged contact with cosmetics or other foreign materials.
It’s important to be aware of the nature of your metal before cleaning it. If the piece is decorated with mille grains, complex engraving or has a number of prongs; there is a greater tendency for dirt to lodge within these areas.
A soft artist brush combined with warm water and mild soap is effective at removing dirt from the crevices of metalwork. Polish and other commercial abrasives potentially may damage the jewelry and it’s surface. It is always wise to consult your jeweler for the best cleaning method for your precious metal.
Precautions: A few do’s and don’ts
- Water – Do not change the temperature of the water you are using. If you are cleaning a piece of jewelry with warm water, rinse with warm water.
- Toothbrush – Although quite strong and easily available, in the end, it’s use may cause more harm than good. The bristles are quite strong and if any of them get caught between a prong and the pavilion of a gemstone, it is the prongs which could bend resulting in a loose gemstone.
- Toothpaste – In general a thin film of residue is left after repeated rinsing on the gemstone and the jewelry. Once it dries, the residue could be visible on the prongs and potentially harm the inherent nature of the gemstone.
- Boiling – I definitely do not recommend that you put your jewelry in boiling water. Leave it to the professionals.
- Do not be surprised if some of your gemstones become loose during the cleaning process. If dirt was stuck between the stone and the metal, by removing the dirt the stone will become loose.
- Do not be surprised if some stones fall off during the cleaning process. In all probability, they were already loose.
- Contact us with any questions or schedule an appointment and we will be happy to clean your jewelry for you.