CARING FOR YOUR JEWELLERY
JEWELLERY CARE GUIDE
Your fine jewellery is precious for personal and sentimental reasons. With a little care and maintenance it will last the test of time ensuring you can hand it down with love through the generations. It’s also important to note, the value of your fine jewellery can increase or decrease depending on how you care for it.
Discover our Offe recommendations on how you can care for your jewellery to retain its value and ensure it stays as beautiful as when you first received it.
KNOW THE QUALITY OF YOUR JEWELLERY
The minerals used to create your fine jewellery - gemstones, silver, gold, platinum – all react in various ways to wear and tear. The best way to determine how resistant your fine jewellery is to understand how your jewellery is classified for hardness and scratch resistance.
Developed in the 19th Century, an industry used scale to determine scratch resistance is Mohs scale. You can use this scale to learn about the hardness and scratch resistance of your jewellery. The numbers on the scale are based on the ease or difficulty with which one mineral can be scratched by another.
The minerals with a higher rating are classified as the hardest. Materials below 7 can be scratched or chipped easily if not worn and stored with care.
Here are the ratings of a few common jewellery materials:
Diamonds have the highest rating which is why they are considered the most valuable. Gold and silver have a very low hardness rating which is why they easily scratch and dent. It’s important to treat all your jewellery with special care and remember to clean and store appropriately.
When storing your fine jewellery, follow our simple storage steps to extend the life and beauty of each piece. A good quality jewellery box will keep your jewellery safe and organised, or keep your piece in the Offe Jewellers pouch or box it originally came in.
- Choose a jewellery box large enough to hold all your pieces.
- Make sure each piece doesn’t touch or rub on any other piece.
- Make sure the box is lined with a soft fabric.
- If you keep many valuable pieces, consider a jewellery safe.
- Store your jewellery in an acid free environment. Many plastics, glues and wood contain acid which can tarnish and sometimes erode certain metals.
Offe Tip: Plastic zip-lock bags are a cheap and easy way to keep earring sets together and for individual storage of necklaces so your pieces stay separate and don’t tangle.
Travel Storage Tips:
- Store your jewellery in a fabric travel roll to keep your jewellery separate and free from tangles and scratches.
- For safety reasons, carry your jewellery travel roll in your hand luggage, not your checked luggage.
Discover the range of jewellery boxes and travel rolls at Offe Jewellers.
CLEANING & MAINTAINING YOUR JEWELLERY
The best way to keep your jewellery beautiful is to keep it clean. Here’s the Offe Tips for cleaning and maintaining your jewellery:
General Jewellery Maintenance
- Have your jeweller regularly check your jewellery for wear and tear. Ask your jeweller to clean and polish your jewellery at least once a year.
- Ensure you use the right cleaning equipment for each piece.
- Only rub silver with a soft polishing cloth or piece of felt so that it maintains its appearance.
- Make sure your polishing cloth doesn’t have metal based grit in it. Use cloths that are made specifically for jewellery.
- Use only cleaners recommended or sold by your jeweller and cleaners specifically designed for your metal and stones.
Visit one of our three locations, and our in-house jewellers will happily check your jewellery for wear and tear. If your pieces require repair we can support you through our service centre.
OFFE TIP: Don’t clean your jewellery in the sink in case you lose a stone or your entire piece down the drain. Use a bowl or put the plug in. Before tipping out the water, check it to see if any stones became loose and fell out.
Diamond and Gemstone Care
- Clean your diamonds with a mild liquid detergent and a soft brush or a specially designed jewellery cleaner sold by Offe Jewellers or other reputable jewellers.
- Ask your jeweller to check your diamond and gemstone jewellery every year. Settings or claws can become worn and need particular attention. Early detection of worn pieces can prevent you from losing expensive stones.
Caring for Pearls & Opals
- Have your pearls re-strung by your jeweller every year. The string on your pearl strand can become stretched or worn over time, especially if they have been in contact with chemicals like perfume, hairspray and cosmetics. Ask your jeweller to knot between each pearl so if the strand is broken you won’t lose any pearls.
- Wipe your pearls between each wear with a soft cloth and wrap them in tissue paper to keep them separate to your other jewellery. Remember they rate only 2.5 on Moh’s scale.
- Make sure any chemicals, heat or ultrasonic baths are right for your pearl or opal jewellery. These processes can damage more delicate stones like opals or pearls.
Visit our friendly staff at Berri, Mt Barker or Murray Bridge for an in-house assessment of your fine jewellery.
USING ULTRASONIC MACHINES
Many jewellery pieces are small and intricate, making them difficult to clean properly by hand. In this case an ultrasonic machine can be used with the vibrations, heat and solvent working quickly together to remove dirt and grime. Ultrasonic machines are common in the jewellery workshop. They use sound waves in combination with water and solvent to clean jewellery. Ultrasonics are also readily available in the domestic market for you to use in your home.
Is it safe to use ultrasonic machines on all jewellery?
It’s important to know that not all jewellery is safe to clean with an ultrasonic machine. Organic and porous gems, as well as gems with cracks or inclusions on the surface and those susceptible to changes in temperature, should never be put into an ultrasonic. It’s a good idea to talk with a jeweller before going ahead. If in doubt, come into Offe Jewellers and we can clean your precious pieces for you.
WHEN NOT TO WEAR YOUR JEWELLERY
It’s tempting to wear your favourite piece of jewellery all the time. Failing to remove your jewellery when you wash the dishes, bathe or sleep can shorten the life of your precious possessions. There’s also other reasons to leave your jewellery safe and sound in your jewellery box. Here’s our Offe Tips on when it best NOT to wear your pieces:
When not to wear your fine jewellery:
- Remove jewellery while doing heavy manual work. Diamonds are the hardest on Moh’s scale but even they can chip. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Never wear rings that are too big for your fingers or earrings without proper clasps. You don't always notice you've lost a piece before it's too late.
- Never wear your jewellery in the pool, spa or sauna as chlorine can tarnish your jewellery.
- Never expose your gemstones to saltwater as it can dull and erode your gems.
- Never wear your jewellery whilst using household cleaners. Many chemicals can be harmful to your precious jewellery, especially chlorine bleach as it can pit gold alloys.
- Never shower or bathe in your jewellery.
- Put on your jewellery after you’ve finished your hair and applying make-up to avoid exposing it unnecessarily to product and sprays which can cause your jewellery to develop a soapy, greasy film and dull the appearance.
- Never sleep in your jewellery or wear it whilst playing sport or at the gym as it can cause kinking, snagging or breakage.
OFFE TIP: Saltwater can dull and erode your gems. Remember to remove your jewellery before taking a dip in the ocean.
ORGANISE AND DECLUTTER YOUR JEWELLERY BOX
We all know how important it is to clean our homes and office spaces. Have you ever thought, even your jewellery box needs a spring clean sometimes. Here’s our Offe Tips to help you get organised.
- Get started by purchasing a jewellery box or developing a system that keeps your jewellery easy to access, safe and organised. If you have a lot of jewellery you could buy a jewellery armoire which is a larger than usual storage boxes. Other storage systems include jewellery storage mirrors, drawer organisers and necklace trees.
- Go through all of your old jewellery making a list as you go. It might also be worth taking a picture of each piece which can be vital information in the event of loss due to fire, flood or theft. Now is also the time to check that your jewellery is adequately protected by your house and contents insurance.
- Check your jewellery for wear and tear. Like any other consumable product, jewellery requires maintenance. Things to look closely at are clasps and fasteners on bracelets and necklaces, backs and posts on earrings, and kinks or broken and worn links on chains. Set aside any jewellery in need of repair. You can bring it into Offe Jewellers where our experts can help you with repair and restoration advice.
- If you’ve uncovered jewellery you no longer wear or pieces with sentimental value but you don’t use them, bring them to Offe Jewellers to see if the gemstones, diamonds or settings can be used to create a new and exciting piece.
- Look through your collection and see if you are missing pieces that might complete your collection like a new bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings.
Remember, at Offe Jewellers, we’re here to offer you advice and always happy to assist you with cleaning and inspecting your fine jewellery.