Now You've Got It, Look After It!
Jewellery is a very important purchase and is often invested with many special memories. Jewellery is frequently given as a gift to commemorate signicant occasions. Many a lucky young woman has received a piece of jewellery, such as a pearl necklace, for their 18th or 21st birthdays and, although fashions and tastes change over the years, with care their jewellery could be handed down for their own daughter's coming-of-age. And as that young woman becomes engaged and then married, she is gifted very special diamond jewellery from her husband on both of these occasions, not to mention the prospect of jewellery, for example a diamond bracelet or pendant, given for wedding anniversaries and to remember the birth of a child.
Of course, not all jewellery is received as a gift. More and more women are buying jewellery for themselves, such as a fabulous pair of diamond stud earrings, often to mark a promotion in their career, or to celebrate a milestone birthday, or even just because we want to.
So, now we've got it, how do we take care of it? First and foremost - get it insured with a good, all-risks policy giving world-wide cover. Then, at least if the worst happens you won't lose out financially and will be able to replace your jewellery. Of course, no-one can replace the sentimental value.
Gold and Silver Jewellery
Rub with a soft, dry cloth to maintain shine and wipe away grease accumulated during daily wear. Gem Claw-Set Jewellery This can be cleaned with a very soft toothbrush - an old baby's toothbrush is ideal - dipped it mild soapy water. Take care to brush gently and avoid catching the bristles under the claws of settings. Be careful with emeralds and opals as they are very fragile. As far as turquoise, coral and pearls are concerned, trying wiping with a soft, dry cloth. Avoid this "toothbrush and soapy water" method if the gems have been "glued" into the settings.
With pearls it's definitely a case of prevention is better than cure, so apply your perfume and hairspray and make sure they have dried before putting on your pearl jewellery. Wipe your pearls with a soft, very slightly damp cloth after wearing, taking care not to get the string wet. Your pearls should be stored separately in your jewellery box, perhaps in a cloth bag, as they can be scratched by the rest of your jewellery. How often pearls will need re-threading will depend on several factors but once a year would be adviseable.
Silver is a beautiful metal and a perfect foil for brunettes and darker skin tones. It does, however have a drawback: it tarnishes. For day-to-day care wipe silver jewellery with a silver polishing cloth. If it has become quite tarnished then a proprietory silver cleaner can be used. Don't leave your silver jewellery in the solution, there's a reason it's called "silver dip", as it can turn black. Remember to rinse well in clean water and dry thoroughly. Tip: when rinsing your jewellery remember to put the plug in the sink; there's many a diamond that's gone down the U bend!
Necklaces and especially fine chains have an awful habit of becoming all knotted and it really does try the patience of a saint (not to mention your local jeweller!) to separate them. To avoid losing your temper, or to continue to be welcomed by your jeweller, keep each chain in a separate pouch. So, insure your jewellery, wear it and care for it and to enjoy it for some time.