Caring for jewellery

Caring for Jewellery

Take care of your jewellery to get the most out of it. Your piece of jewellery is individual, but as a general guide:

  • Gently rub gold and silver jewellery with a soft, clean cloth to maximise the shine.
  • Jewellery set with gems can be brought to life by careful cleaning with a soft brush and soapy water, or with a proprietary jewellery cleaning solution. Try not to get threaded pearl or bead jewellery wet and only wet antique jewellery after specialist advice - you could ruin it.
  • Wipe pearls with a soft damp cloth after wearing to remove perfume, hairspray and anything else likely to damage them. Don't use abrasive cleaners on jewellery.
  • You can use silver 'dip' type cleaners on most silver jewellery - but rinse and dry them thoroughly. Don't use silver 'dip' type cleaning solutions on gold jewellery, only special jewellery cleaners.
  • Keep jewellery carefully stored and separated - not jumbled together in a draw. Keep chains fastened so that they don't get tangled up.

A professional should check jewellery for damage or wear on a regular basis. Make sure you have a detailed insurance valuation for your jewellery. As a rough guide, the description in a professional jewellery valuation will be detailed enough that a jeweller could use it to draw a pretty accurate sketch of the item. The NAJ have registered valuers located within the UK.

If in any doubt about the care, repair or valuation of your jewellery then seek the advice of an NAJ member. For the sign of a professional jeweller look for the National Association of Jewellers' Grant-of-Arms which identifies retail jewellery shops around the UK that have been vetted by the NAJ.

Care and Repair

If you have any concerns about the condition of your jewellery, take it to your local member of the NAJ. They will take great pride in helping you keep yours looking as good as the day it was bought. Here are a few tips on some of the things you can do to keep it in great shape:

General care

Jewellery is delicate so it’s important to take care with it:

  • Take your jewellery off if you’re involved in any activity which could knock or damage it
  • Take it off when you go to bed
  • Keep it well away from chemicals, especially chlorine. If it does come into contact with chemicals, rinse it in water immediately
  • Bathe and apply any lotions or perfumes before you put your jewellery on which can particularly damage stones like pearls or opals
  • Store it separately, ideally in a soft-lined box or case, so that your favourite pieces don’t tangle, rub or scratch one another

Your jewellery MOT

The best news of all is that your jewellery will very rarely be beyond repair or restoration. If you need advice or help, simply pop into an NAJ jeweller for a quick check-up.

Here’s a quick checklist of some of the things to look out for:

  • Worn, damaged or missing claws on settings risk losing stones
  • Stones loose in their setting
  • Loose catches and clasps or rough links on chains or bracelets
  • Any fractures in metals
  • Pearls that are loose on their thread or where the thread is frayed
  • Too much movement in jointed hinges
  • The plating wearing off-white gold
  • A dive watch needs to be pressure tested annually
  • Finally, if a ring is too tight or too lose it can generally be re-sized to fit.