Jewellery cleaning

Jewellery cleaning is the practice of removing dirt from jewellery to improve its appearance.

Methods and risks

Maintaining a clean diamond can sometimes be difficult, as jewellery settings can obstruct cleaning efforts, and oils, grease, and other hydrophobic materials adhere well to a diamond's surface. Some jewellers provide their customers with sudsy ammonia cleaning kits. Many jewellers use steam cleaners. Some other jewellers sell small ultrasonic cleaners. Home-based cleaning methods include immersing the diamond in ammonia-based or ethyl alcohol-based solutions, or even a solution of mild grease dissolving detergent and warm water. Silver jewellery can be cleaned using aluminium foil, baking soda, and hot water. However, this practice is not recommended by most jewellers.

Certain types of cleaning can damage some jewellery. For example, some class rings are coated with a dark pigment to reduce their shininess. Some gemstones, such as white topaz, have an overlay to produce certain colours. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this coating, if it is not a quality piece. Ultrasonic cleaning is also contraindicated for opals, pearls and amber, and any other gemstone that is porous. Gemstones that are glued in (a common practice with semiprecious stones in non-precious methods, and in class rings) should not be placed into an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner can cause stones that are loose in their settings to come out. Jewellery should always be examined for overlays and loose stones prior to cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner.

Jewellery Care

There are a number of things you can do to prevent build up of dirt and prevent jewellery becoming tarnished. Namely;Store jewellery carefully in its original packaging or a jewellery box. Clean jewellery using warm water, mild soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Use a non abrasive silver cloth or soft lint free cloth to polish jewellery and remove tarnishing. Don't expose jewellery to harsh chemicals or perfumes as this could cause damage and discolouration. Don't wear jewellery when doing anything heavy duty and avoid unnecessary knocks and scratches.

Beauty of gems

Although it is not one of the 4 C's, cleanliness affects a diamond's beauty as much as any of the 4 C's (cut, carat, colour, clarity).

A clean diamond is more brilliant and fiery than the same diamond when it is "dirty". Dirt or grease on the top of a diamond reduces its lustre. Water, dirt, or grease on the bottom of a diamond interferes with the diamond's brilliance and fire. [http://www.diamondtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10178 Even a thin film absorbs some light] that could have been reflected to the person looking at the diamond.

Coloured dye or smudges can affect the perceived colour of a gem. Historically, some jewellers' diamonds were misgraded due to smudges on the girdle, or dye on the culet. Current practice is to thoroughly clean a gem before grading its colour as well as clarity.

Cleanliness does not affect the jewellery's market value, as jewellers routinely clean jewellery before offering it for sale. However, cleanliness might reflect the jewellery's sentimental value: some jewellers have noted a [http://www.diamondcuttersintl.com/diamond_education/articles/customers/getting_in_shape.html correlation between ring cleanliness and marriage quality] .

ee also

*Jewellery
*Gemstones discussed in this article:
**Amber
**Diamond
**Emerald
**Opal
**Pearl

References

* [http://www.rockokojewellery.com/home.php?page_id=11 "Designer Jewellery Care"] How to care for jewellery. Text taken from rockokojewellery.com
* Cuellar, Fred. [http://www.diamondcuttersintl.com/diamond_education/articles/customers/getting_in_shape.html "Diamonds - Getting Into Shape"] . Diamond Cutters International. Retrieved April 10, 2005.
* Various authors (2001). [http://web.archive.org/web/20011124201732/www.diamondtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=10178 "Dirty Diamonds"] thread on DiamondTalk, as archived by the Wayback Machine on November 12, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
* [http://www.simayof.com/education.do?p=eduDiamond&cat=education&st=care&av=y Caring for your diamond] Home-based methods for cleaning and preserving diamonds.
* [http://www.canadiantrinkets.com/articles/how_to_clean_silver_with_common_kitchen_items.html How To Clean Silver With Common Kitchen Items] article.
* [http://www.nationaljewelerssupplies.com National Jewelers Supplies] Information on how to clean diamonds and jewellery also wholesale supplies for jewellers, craftsman, pawnshops, hobbyist and antique shops.


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