Fine jewelry is just that, “FINE”, and should be treated with respect. Well cared for jewelry can last several lifetimes and become family heirlooms to be enjoyed for generations. Never store your jewelry loose in a tray or drawer where pieces can knock against one another. This can scratch or chip gemstones and pearls. If you have any questions on caring for an item, see the specific hints below or please consult your Cedar Chest sales consultant.
Care should be taken when wearing fine jewelry. It is not recommended to wear jewelry while swimming, showering, gardening, etc. Your jewelry can be prone to “sports injuries” as much as your body. Tennis and golf are two examples where your jewelry is subjected to concussive type shock that can cause stones to be jarred loose, and can even cause some softer or more brittle gems to crack or break. Swimming pools are for people, not for Fine Jewelry. The chemicals used to treat and maintain swimming pools and spas (hot tubs) are generally corrosive to the alloys in jewelry metals such as gold and silver.
Domestic activities can also be detrimental to your fine jewelry. Dishwashing is an example: you can easily knock you rings or bracelets against pots, pans, and even the sides of the sink, possibly causing damage. Common household items such as make-up, suntan lotion, and perfumes as well as cleaning solvents and even some medications can react with the metal alloys in karat gold and silver jewelry, often causing discoloration. This is generally a surface only issue and can be removed by cleaning. In some instances the item may need to be professionally buffed and polished to remove all the discoloration. Repetitive or prolonged exposure can sometimes cause permanent deterioration.
Never clean your coin or artifact jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner. Gently clean with a polishing cloth to remove any surface tarnish on the coin and to clean the mounting.
Prolonged immersion in water can loosen mounted pearls and cause the silk to stretch in strung pearls. Acids and abrasives in cleaners, pools spas,and even some cosmetics, lotions and perfumes can adversely affect the surface of Pearls and natural Shells.
Many popular gemstones can be easily damaged by carelessness or lack of knowledge. Emeralds, Opals and Tanzanite* especially, are subject to thermal shock and should not be exposed to rapid changes in temperature, such as going outdoors during cold weather from a warm house or car; reaching into a hot oven; washing in cold water on a hot day, etc. Ultrasonic cleaning is not recommended for Emeralds, Opals and Tanzanite. Emeralds are often treated with oil that can be removed by aggressive cleaning.
*This applies to many gemstones, but these three especially.
For general cleaning use warm mild soapy water and a soft bristled brush to clean as necessary. Avoid ammonia, commercial jewelry cleaning solutions and ultrasonic machines. Occasional use of a chemically treated silver polishing cloth will generally bring back the "luster" that could possibly diminish over an extended period of time. to maintain the finish, avoid skin creams, lotions, oils, etc. where the jewelry is worn.