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Now that the gifts have all been unwrapped and you’ve eased into the new year, it’s time to pamper your newly acquired treasures. According to CensusWide, diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. Nearly half of the women surveyed in the U.S. said they wanted jewelry for Christmas, with a paid vacation coming in a close second at 46%.

Whether you fancy bling or adore something more demure than diamonds, jewelry is certainly a sentimental gift that can retain its value if cleaned and stored properly. So how do you take extra special care of your prized baubles or delicate string of pearls? If you were fortunate enough to receive jewels this holiday season, you’ll need to know how to keep them polished and gleaming into 2021.

How to Properly Clean Your Jewelry

Don’t be afraid to wear expensive jewelry on a daily basis. Your prized pieces aren’t much fun if they are trapped in a jewelry box. While you don’t want to wear your Sunday’s best while gardening or playing a contact sport, take those diamonds out for a spin when you go to grab dinner. Here are some helpful tips to keep your jewelry looking like new year after year.

HOW TO CLEAN GOLD & DIAMONDS - The traditional pairing of gold and diamonds is always a welcomed gift. You may be surprised to find out that you can easily clean your gold and diamonds with household items. Dilute 1-2 drops of mild dish soap in warm water. Place your jewelry into the sudsy solution and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, take an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any grime. Rinse in warm water again to get off any excess dish soap and dry it thoroughly with a soft polishing cloth. Keep in mind that 14k gold can tarnish a bit and you may want to purchase an actual jewelry polishing kit if the dish soap isn’t cutting it. A polishing kit may give it that extra shine you’re seeking. A final option is to take your diamond rings, bracelet or pendant to a trusted jeweler and have them clean it professionally.

HOW TO PROPERLY POLISH SILVER JEWELRY - Sterling silver is extremely popular because of its affordability and pliancy. The only downside is that it tarnishes rather quickly. Believe it or not, the best way to keep your silver jewelry from tarnishing is to wear it. Depending on your body’s chemistry, the natural oils from your skin prevent silver jewelry from losing its luster. A helpful tip for storing your silver when you’re not wearing it is to seal it in an airtight Ziploc bag, and if you can, put a piece of chalk in there with the jewelry to discourage tarnishing. The best way to brighten up your silver pieces is to use a polishing cloth. Remember that silver is a very soft metal. If you are to use a toothbrush to clean in those hard to reach places, make sure you use a baby toothbrush with soft bristles.

CARING FOR BRASS JEWELRY - While bronze and brass jewelry is making a comeback, in some circles it is still regarded as the red-headed stepchild of the jewelry world. People can be allergic to brass and wearing it for long periods of time can often leave that green ring around your finger when you take it off. Even still, brass is an affordable alternative to pricier metals. And if you like that antiqued patina look, then brass is a great choice. To clean your brass jewelry you can go for an over-the-counter cleaner called ‘JAX’. You can find this product online or on Amazon. If you don’t feel like hassling with a chemical cleaner, you can soak your brass in coca-cola for two minutes and then polish with a cloth.

HOW TO CARE FOR OPALS - Opals are far rarer than diamonds, which has made them a hot commodity. Known for their natural ‘mood ring’ array of colors, each opal is unique and should be handled with great care. Opals, because of their delicate nature, need to be cleaned gingerly. On the Mohs hardness scale, they rank between 5.5 - 6.5, with diamonds being the toughest stone at 10. They are also extremely porous and are high in water content. This makes opals highly sensitive to temperature changes and humidity. Instead of trying to clean your opal, it’s best to just take good care of it. Avoid wearing your opal in extreme climates, try not to submerge it in salt water or pool water, and do not let it come in contact with household cleaners. The best rule in caring for opals is to pamper them so you can enjoy them for years to come.

KEEP YOUR PEARLS PEARLY WHITE - Pearls are a timeless ornament that has dazzled women and men for centuries. As most of you know, a pearl is created inside the soft tissue of shelled sea creatures like mollusks. Because pearls are so delicate they need to be stored properly. Pearls are especially vulnerable to chemicals. Even your makeup and perfume can damage your strand. So when you’re getting ready for a night out on the town, it is best to put your pearls on last after you apply your cosmetics and fragrance. Also, chlorine is not their friend. Under no circumstances should you wear your pearls in the pool or when taking a shower. To clean them, you can use a dab of Ivory soap and water, then quickly buff and dry immediately.

No matter what precious metal or gemstone you so graciously received this holiday season, remember to handle your jewelry collection with care. Jewelry is the gift that keeps on giving and, if handled properly, can be passed down from generation to generation.

Start new traditions with Jeweler’s Touch. We specialize in both traditional and non-traditional holiday jewelry. For the highest quality gemstones and conflict-free diamonds, call Jeweler’s Touch: (714) 868-7556

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