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General Care Information
Fine jewelry 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 come in contact with 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 consult your Cedar Chest sales person.
Household chores expose your jewelry to damage. Dish washing brings rings and bracelets in contact with pots, pans, and the sink. 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 discoloration 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 to chemically-based ingrediants can sometimes cause permanent deterioration.
Coin and Artifact Jewelry
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.
Pearls and Shell (Mother of Pearl) Jewelry
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.
Emeralds, Opals & Tanzanite and Other Gemstones
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 may diminish over a period of time. To maintain the finish, avoid skin creams, lotions, oils, etc. where the jewelry is worn.