How to take care of your jewellery

The jewellery we wear is more than just an accessory - it’s part of who we are. But often we forget about how our jewellery can gradually wear and get damaged as time goes by. What is the best way to clean your jewellery? What can you do to prevent damage? Making sure your jewellery lives forever is not as easy as it seems. That's why with the help of our in-house jewellery expert with years of experience as a jeweller, Natasha Mulder, we’ve put together some top tips for taking care of your jewellery.

1. Avoid chemicals and soaps

It’s sometimes easy to forget that soap products are a disaster for anything with a natural shine. When coming in contact with solvents, your jewellery can become dull and dirty in no time. Even washing your hands or taking a shower with your jewellery on can be harmful. Natasha’s advice? Be prepared and take your jewellery off before washing your hands or yourself. The same goes for doing housework. Even water containing a certain amount of minerals is already enough to have a negative effect on your jewellery in the long run.

2. Keep away from sunlight

Just like the effect the sun can have on our skin, the sun can affect our jewellery as well. With gemstones, the sun can fade their colour and durability. Pearls can even become bleached after extreme exposure to sunlight. The best way to avoid the negative effects of the sun is to always store your jewellery in a closed box when not wearing it.

3. Polish, polish and polish

Regular cleaning helps your jewellery stay looking its finest. While household products can work, a professional cloth is the best option. Products like tissues or paper towels will only damage your jewellery so Natasha advises avoiding these. She adds that rubbing your jewellery with alcohol works like a charm, but stay away from bleach! As for sterling silver, these objects can develop what is known as ‘patina’, a dark glow around the edges. The same goes for platinum. So keep them polished and well maintained. This can be done at home, or you can ask your local jeweller for help as many times they will clean jewellery for free.

4. Watch out for the critical spots

Jewellery has weaknesses. For diamond rings or other gems, be sure to inspect the claws and the setting of the stone. If the claws feel loose, it can be the first sign of weakening. This means they  will eventually break and the gemstone could then fall out and be lost. Therefore paying for these claws to be fixed is money well spent. Our in-house jewellery experts recommend you have your expensive jewellery professionally checked out at least twice a year to ensure it it not damaged or in need or repair.

Have your expensive jewellery professionally checked at least twice a year to ensure it it not damaged or in need or repair

Is a piece of your jewellery already damaged? Then avoid any of the cleaning tips above to avoid risking further damage. Don’t wear the damaged jewellery, but instead keep it somewhere safe until you get it fixed by a professional jeweller. Never wrap your jewellery in plastic as it can scratch or the setting can loosen. Instead, place your jewellery in a small jewellery box or a soft pouch for safe transport.

With the help of these tips, you can keep your precious jewellery shining, strong and special for many years to come. And now that you know how to take care of your jewellery, perhaps you’d like to add some extra sparkle to your collection? We have a wide selection including antique jewellery and modern gold jewellery in our weekly auctions. Anyone can participate in Catawiki’s online auctions; you only need one account to bid, buy and sell. Create your free account today and explore our weekly auctions curated by our team of in-house experts.

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