Fine Jewellery Care & When Not To Wear
With proper care, you can guarantee your jewellery stays in tip top shape for future generations. The best step you can take in caring for your fine jewellery is taking it off in any situation that may damage it.
Fine jewellery is vulnerable to damage if exposed to extreme hot or cold, impact, or pressure. Precious metals are vulnerable to bending if squeezed between or caught on other metals. Precious stones can be scratched, chipped, or made loose if banged on a hard surface. Chemicals, cosmetics, and treated water can cause unseen damage that isn’t immediately visible.
Some of the times when you should take your jewellery off include:
Any form of exercise at any intensity level. This means rock climbing, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, ice skating, mountain or road biking, pilates, contact sports, practicing yoga, etc.
Showering or bathing. Hot temperatures and knocking on metal fixtures are both risky.
Sleeping and anything else that can put pressure on jewellery for hours.
Applying any topicals like lotion, SPF, oils, makeup, hair products, and perfumes.
Cooking or baking. Hitting your jewellery against pots and pans is a recipe for disaster.
Washing the dishes, washing the car, or washing the dog, etc.
Cleaning, especially with harsh cleaning agents and chemicals.
Swimming, hot tubbing, steaming, or saunas.
Crafting of any type: painting, ceramics, gardening and other equally messy hobbies.
Certain 9-5’s. If you use your hands a lot for your work or are constantly washing your hands, it may be best to leave your jewellery at home. Examples include UPS delivery drivers, nurses, doctors, surgeons, chefs, etc.
The Beach. Cold water = shrinkage-induced roominess around your ring. The middle of the ocean is definitely not the place to lose your ring. You also risk sand scratching your metal and sunscreen clouding up your stones.
No Scuba diving either. The temperature and pressure changes can cause the ring to slip off your finger and the temperature changes can damage softer stones.
High Elevation. High elevation levels cause our fingers to swell and with a certain degree of swelling, the risk of nerve damage exists. Better to take your ring off and slip it on the chain of a necklace you’re already wearing when you’re at high levels of elevation. Once you’re back to normal levels, pop your ring back on your finger.
How To Clean and Care
Most jewellery is best cleaned using a soft cloth or very soft toothbrush, anti-grease dish soap, and warm water. We also do not recommend the use of harsh brushes, solvents, or any other abrasive cleaning methods. There's also special solutions for cleaning different types of fine jewellery and gems, such as Hagerty Jewel Clean which you can find on Amazon or sold by other retailers. After cleaning, dry your jewellery with an old 100% cotton tee shirt, and use a polish cloth on the stones and metals to give your jewellery some shine. Do not use a polishing cloth on matte jewellery, as it will ruin the finish.
Ultrasonic cleaning should be left to the professionals, as it can damage certain gemstones and loosen jewellery prongs (putting you at risk of losing a stone) if not used appropriately.
Opal Jewellery. Opals are very soft stones, and because of this we highly recommend that you take extra care with all opal jewellery. Keep in mind, opals have the possibility of cracking when they are exposed to rapid changes in temperature, pressure, or in when in contact with chemicals. It is also important to not store your opal in a dry place, as opals can crack if they don’t have enough moisture. They are best stored wrapped in a soft cloth with a few drops of water in it. Some opals may need to be oiled yearly, especially in dry climates. We do not recommend that opals be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners.
Emerald Jewellery. We recommend taking extra care with all emerald jewellery. Though they’re harder than opals, emeralds are not as tough as diamonds, sapphires, or rubies. If not cared for properly, your emerald can be scratched, dented, cracked, or damaged by changes in temperature or pressure, or when in contact with harsh chemicals. Some emeralds need to be oiled yearly, especially in dry climates. We do not recommend that emeralds be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners.