Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Jewelry

Simple Steps to Keep Your Treasures Sparkling and Secure

Are you wondering how to take care of your jewelry to keep it looking as dazzling as the day you bought it? 

Proper jewelry care is essential not only for maintaining its beauty but also for preserving its value and longevity. 

Whether you own a collection of fine jewelry or cherished family heirlooms, understanding the best practices for cleaning, storing, and handling your pieces can make a significant difference. 

In this guide, we will explore expert tips and practical advice on how to ensure your jewelry remains in pristine condition for years to come.

General Jewelry Care Tips

Know When to Remove Your Jewelry

Jewelry, while beautiful, can be quite delicate and susceptible to damage if not handled properly. 

Here are some activities during which you should always remove your jewelry:

  1. Swimming in Chlorinated Pools: Chlorine can damage and discolor metals such as gold and platinum and can also cause irreparable damage to delicate gemstones like pearls and turquoise​​.
  2. Household Cleaning: Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can tarnish or scratch your jewelry​.
  3. Gardening or Physical Activities: Physical activities, especially those involving dirt or abrasives, can scratch metals and loosen stones​.

Regular Cleaning Practices

Keeping your jewelry clean is fundamental to maintaining its shine and brilliance. 

Here are some safe cleaning methods for different types of jewelry:

  • Gold and Platinum Jewelry: Use a mild soap and warm water solution with a soft brush to gently clean the surface. Avoid harsh chemicals which can dull the finish.
  • Silver Jewelry: Prevent tarnish by regularly polishing with a silver cloth and using anti-tarnish strips in storage containers.
  • Gemstone Jewelry: Clean with warm water and a mild detergent, but avoid soaking porous stones like pearls and opals. Use a soft brush to reach under settings and rinse thoroughly​​.

For delicate items like pearls, use a new, clean makeup brush dipped in warm, soapy water to clean each pearl individually. 

Lay them flat to dry on a soft towel to prevent the silk thread from stretching​​.

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Storing Your Jewelry

Proper Storage Techniques

Proper storage is crucial to prevent damage and ensure that your jewelry maintains its luster. 

Here are some key tips:

Separate Storage: Store each piece of jewelry separately to avoid scratches and tangling. Using soft pouches, individual compartments in a jewelry box, or anti-tarnish bags for silver pieces can help maintain their condition.

Use Original Packaging: The boxes or pouches that come with your jewelry are often ideal for storage. They are designed to protect your pieces from environmental factors and physical damage.

Avoid Humidity: Humidity can cause tarnish and damage certain types of jewelry. Store your pieces in a dry place, and consider using silica gel packets to absorb excess moisture​.

Travel Storage Tips

Traveling with jewelry requires special precautions to prevent loss and damage:

Jewelry Cases: Invest in a good travel jewelry case with padded compartments and secure closures. This will keep your pieces organized and protected.

Avoid Packing with Other Items: Do not pack jewelry loosely with other items in your luggage. Use jewelry rolls or small zippered pouches to keep pieces from tangling and scratching​.

Carry-On Bag: Always carry valuable jewelry in your carry-on bag to avoid loss or theft from checked luggage.

Specific Care for Different Types of Jewelry

Gold and Platinum Jewelry

Gold and platinum are durable metals but still require proper care:

  1. Cleaning: Clean gold and platinum jewelry with a solution of mild soap and warm water. Use a soft brush to remove dirt and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with a soft cloth.
  2. Avoiding Scratches: These metals can scratch easily, so avoid wearing them during rigorous activities and store them properly when not in use​​.

Silver Jewelry

Silver jewelry is prone to tarnish but can be kept shiny with regular care:

  1. Preventing Tarnish: Store silver jewelry in anti-tarnish bags or cloths. Regularly polish with a silver cloth to maintain its shine.
  2. Cleaning Methods: Use a silver cleaner or a homemade solution of baking soda and water. Gently rub the jewelry with a soft cloth and rinse well​.

Gemstone Jewelry

Different gemstones require different care methods:

  1. Diamonds: Clean diamonds with a soft brush and a solution of ammonia and water. Avoid touching the diamond with your fingers to prevent oils from dulling its sparkle.
  2. Soft Stones: Stones like pearls, opals, and turquoise should be cleaned with mild soap and water, avoiding harsh chemicals. Store these stones separately to prevent scratches.

Advanced Care Tips

Professional Cleaning and Maintenance

While routine cleaning at home is essential for maintaining the appearance of your jewelry, certain situations call for professional assistance to ensure your pieces remain in pristine condition. 

Professional jewelers possess the expertise, tools, and techniques to handle these situations effectively.

Loose Stones

One of the most common issues with jewelry is loose stones. 

Over time, the prongs or settings holding your gemstones can become loose, making the stones wobbly and at risk of falling out. 

Here’s why professional help is crucial:

  1. Expert Assessment: A professional jeweler can assess the integrity of the prongs and settings, ensuring they are secure and capable of holding the stones firmly in place.
  2. Precision Work: Tightening loose stones requires precision and the right tools. Professionals use specialized equipment to adjust prongs and settings without damaging the stones or the metal​​.
  3. Preventing Loss: By addressing loose stones promptly, you can prevent the risk of losing precious or sentimental gemstones, which can be difficult or impossible to replace​​.

Deep Cleaning

Although home cleaning methods are effective for regular maintenance, they may not be sufficient for deep cleaning, especially for intricate or heavily soiled pieces. 

Professional jewelers offer advanced cleaning services that go beyond what you can achieve at home:

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Jewelers use high-powered ultrasonic cleaners that can remove dirt and grime from hard-to-reach areas. 

These machines use sound waves to create tiny bubbles in the cleaning solution, effectively cleaning even the smallest crevices.

Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is another professional method that uses high-pressure steam to clean jewelry. 

This technique is particularly effective for removing built-up dirt and grease without using harsh chemicals​.

Polishing: Professionals can polish your jewelry to restore its original shine and luster. 

They use specialized polishing compounds and machines that can achieve a high-gloss finish, making your pieces look brand new​.


Jewelry can suffer from various forms of damage over time, from broken clasps to bent prongs. 

Professional jewelers are equipped to handle these repairs with precision and care:

  1. Broken Clasps and Chains: Broken clasps and chains are common issues that require expert repair. 

Jewelers can replace or repair these components to ensure your jewelry functions properly and securely.

  1. Bent Prongs: Prongs that hold gemstones can become bent or damaged, compromising the security of the stones. 

A professional jeweler can re-tip or replace prongs, ensuring your gemstones remain securely in place.

  1. Structural Damage: For more severe damage, such as cracked settings or broken links, professional jewelers have the skills and tools to restore the structural integrity of your jewelry. 

This ensures that your pieces not only look good but are also safe to wear​​.

By seeking professional cleaning and maintenance services, you can ensure that your jewelry remains in excellent condition, preserving its beauty and value for years to come. 

Regular professional care complements your at-home cleaning routine and addresses issues that require specialized expertise.

Using Ultrasonic Cleaners for Jewelry

Suitable Jewelry

Ultrasonic cleaners are an effective tool for deep cleaning jewelry, especially for certain types of hard gems. 

These cleaners use high-frequency sound waves to create bubbles in a cleaning solution, which then gently clean the surface of the jewelry. 

Here are the types of jewelry that are generally safe to clean with an ultrasonic cleaner:

Diamonds, Rubies, and Sapphires: These hard gemstones can typically withstand the ultrasonic cleaning process. 

However, it’s important that they are not treated or have any surface-reaching cracks. 

Treatments or cracks can weaken the stone and cause it to break under the ultrasonic vibrations.

Solid Metal Jewelry: Jewelry made entirely of solid gold, platinum, or silver without any inlays or glued components is usually safe for ultrasonic cleaning. 

These metals can handle the vibrations without suffering damage.

Unsuitable Jewelry

While ultrasonic cleaners are convenient, they are not suitable for all types of jewelry. Here are the types of jewelry to avoid placing in an ultrasonic cleaner:

  1. Softer Stones: Gems like opals, emeralds, and pearls are too delicate for ultrasonic cleaning. The vibrations can cause these stones to crack, chip, or become dislodged from their settings. Pearls, in particular, are organic and can be severely damaged by ultrasonic waves​.
  2. Treated Stones: Many gemstones undergo treatments to enhance their appearance. These treatments can include dyeing, oiling, or resin filling. Ultrasonic cleaning can strip these treatments, altering the appearance of the stones or causing structural damage.
  3. Glued Settings: Jewelry pieces with glued components or inlays should never be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. The vibrations can weaken or dissolve the glue, causing parts to fall apart.


When using an ultrasonic cleaner, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions meticulously to ensure the safety of your jewelry:

  1. Read Instructions: Always start by reading the ultrasonic cleaner’s manual. Different models may have specific instructions or limitations that you need to be aware of.
  2. Use the Right Solution: Only use cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer. Using the wrong type of solution can damage your jewelry or the machine itself​​.
  3. Secure Placement: Ensure that the jewelry is securely placed in the machine’s cleaning basket. If the pieces are allowed to move around, they can knock against each other and suffer damage.
  4. Cleaning Time: Do not leave the jewelry in the cleaner for longer than necessary. Overexposure to ultrasonic waves can cause damage even to suitable pieces. Follow the recommended cleaning time in the manual.
  5. Post-Cleaning Rinse: After cleaning, rinse the jewelry thoroughly with clean water to remove any residual cleaning solution. Dry the pieces with a soft, lint-free cloth to prevent water spots or further damage.

By understanding which types of jewelry can safely undergo ultrasonic cleaning and following proper procedures, you can maintain your collection’s brilliance and longevity while avoiding potential damage.


Special Considerations for Vintage and Heirloom Jewelry

Vintage and heirloom jewelry often require extra care to preserve their integrity and value:

Handling with Care: Vintage pieces can be more fragile due to age and previous wear. Handle these items gently and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures.

Cleaning: Use the mildest cleaning methods possible. A soft, lint-free cloth and a gentle soap solution can often suffice. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners and steamers for these pieces​​.

Professional Appraisal and Maintenance: Regularly have your vintage and heirloom jewelry appraised and inspected by a professional jeweler. This helps in maintaining their condition and value, especially if you intend to pass them down to future generations​​.

The Importance of Regular Inspections and Jewelry Insurance

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspecting your jewelry can help you catch minor issues before they become major problems. Here’s why routine inspections are crucial:

  1. Detecting Loose Stones: Over time, prongs and settings can become loose, increasing the risk of losing precious stones. Regular inspections can identify and secure these issues early, ensuring your gems stay in place​.
  2. Identifying Wear and Tear: Even the most durable pieces can suffer from wear and tear. Routine checks can reveal scratches, worn settings, and other damages that might not be immediately visible, allowing for timely maintenance.
  3. Ensuring Structural Integrity: Frequent inspections help in maintaining the structural integrity of your jewelry, especially for complex pieces like necklaces and bracelets, where clasps and links can weaken over time. Addressing these problems early can prevent breakages and loss​​.

Jewelry Insurance

Insuring your jewelry is an important step to protect your valuable items against loss, theft, or damage. Here are key considerations for jewelry insurance:

Understanding Coverage Options

Jewelry insurance can vary from basic coverage under homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies to specialized jewelry insurance. 

It’s important to understand what each type covers and to choose a policy that fits your needs.

Appraisals and Documentation

Accurate appraisals and detailed documentation are essential for insuring your jewelry. 

This includes receipts, photographs, and certificates of authenticity. 

Regular updates to these appraisals ensure that your insurance coverage reflects the current value of your piece.

Claims Process

Knowing the claims process and what is required can make a big difference in the event of loss or damage. 

Keep all necessary documents in a safe place and be aware of the steps needed to file a claim quickly and efficiently​.

Why It Matters

Regular inspections and adequate insurance provide peace of mind, ensuring that your cherished jewelry remains protected and well-maintained. 

by taking these precautions, you can enjoy your valuable pieces without worry, knowing they are safeguarded against potential risks.


Taking proper care of your jewelry is essential for preserving its beauty, longevity, and value. 

From daily cleaning routines and safe storage practices to professional maintenance and special care for delicate or vintage pieces.

Following these expert tips will ensure your treasured items remain as stunning as ever.

At Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry in Denver, CO, we understand the importance of maintaining your jewelry’s brilliance. 

Our experienced jewelers offer a range of professional cleaning and repair services to help you keep your collection in perfect condition.

Pile of white question marks with one red question mark. FAQs about Omega Watch Repair


  1. How often should I clean my jewelry?

Regularly cleaning your jewelry every few months helps maintain its shine and remove any buildup of dirt or oils. Delicate pieces, such as pearls, should be cleaned more gently and less frequently.

  1. Can I use toothpaste to clean my jewelry?

Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch precious metals and gemstones. It’s best to use a mild soap and water solution or a jewelry-specific cleaner.

  1. How do I prevent my silver jewelry from tarnishing?

Store silver jewelry in anti-tarnish bags or cloths and avoid exposure to humidity and harsh chemicals. Regular polishing with a silver cloth can also help maintain its shine.

  1. Is it safe to wear jewelry while sleeping?

It’s generally best to remove jewelry before sleeping to prevent damage or tangling. Delicate pieces, especially those with prongs and settings, can catch on fabrics or hair, causing the metal to bend or the stones to loosen. Additionally, constant pressure and friction against the skin and bedding can wear down the jewelry over time, reducing its longevity and beauty​.

  1. What should I do if my jewelry is damaged?

If your jewelry is damaged, it’s crucial to take it to a professional jeweler for repair. Professional jewelers have the expertise and specialized tools required to fix intricate and valuable pieces without causing further harm. Attempting to fix your jewelry yourself can often lead to additional damage, potentially decreasing its value and integrity​.

Do you have any other questions or tips on how to take care of your jewelry? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!