Basic Jewelry Care
At Zales our fine jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime, however with normal wear proper care is required to keep it looking good. As a result we've created this Basic Jewelry Care Guide to direct you in the proper care of your jewelry. We hope that you'll find these guidelines helpful and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact us via email or call us at (800) 311-JEWEL.
Jewelry is worn by millions of people every day, but few recognize how they can preserve their treasures by using some simple advanced planning and thought. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when wearing jewelry:
- Remove Jewelry During Tasks – When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids. Some tasks that should be avoided when wearing jewelry include kitchen work, gardening, cleaning the house and other common tasks.
- Put Jewelry On After Applying Makeup – Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting jewelry on after applying these materials will limit exposure to jewelry and any potential damage.
- Don't Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas – Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it's a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.
- Contact Sports and Jewelry Don't Mix– Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved. All jewelry should be removed before play begins.
These guidelines for wearing jewelry should get you off to a good start, however if you'd like more information you can find it here: Jewelry Care: Wearing Jewelry
For those that wear jewelry regularly, keeping their jewelry clean and looking good requires regular effort. Here are some general guidelines that may help:
- Remove Your Jewelry Before Bathing
Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film you immediately reduce the occasions of servicing.
- Use Jewelry Polishing Cloths for Best Results
Polish silver or gold with a jewelry polishing cloth for best results. You can use a svelte or an old diaper, but the professional cloths are the best. Use of tissue or paper towels can cause scratches because of fibers in these products.
- Clean Your Jewelry With Care
Cleaning your own jewelry regularly can keep it looking good, but be careful. You can either purchase commercial cleaners from a jeweler or make a cleaning a solution yourself. Rubbing alcohol can work wonders, but bleach can literally destroy jewelry so avoid it at all costs.
Use Warm Water to Clean Jewelry
Using warm water is the best bet when cleaning your own jewelry. How water can cause reaction with the cleaning fluids resulting in discoloration and Sterling Silver is especially susceptible to this problem. Should this occur, this problem can be remedied by buffing and the application of a tarnish remover.
- Avoid Cleaning Damaged Jewelry
Never clean any jewelry that is damaged, cracked or broken, since the additional handling is likely to exacerbate or worsen the problem. If you find that a piece of jewelry is damaged, it should be set aside for repair as soon as possible.
- Inspect Your Jewelry Regularly
Just like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When having your jewelry professionally cleaned, it's a good idea to have each item checked and inspected for any possible problems. Addressing signs of damage, or loose gemstones will prevent any further damage or loss and keep all of your pieces in excellent shape for years.
Finally, if you're interested in learning about some more specific jewelry cleaning suggestions, you may find them here: Jewelry Care: Cleaning Jewelry
From time to time, it may be necessary have a repair performed on your jewelry. At Zales, we offer jewelry repair by a well-trained, professional staff. You can learn more about Zales Repair here: Jewelry Care: Jewelry Repair . However in the event that you're not in a position to visit one of our locations, here are several guidelines you may find helpful:
- Prevent Damage to Your Jewelry
Prevention is the best way to prevent the necessity of repair, so a regular inspection is the best way to minimize potentially costly repairs. You can perform a simple inspection every two to three months to ensure that the condition of your jewelry is good and prevent a small problem from becoming a big headache.
- Look for Reviews and Referrals
When deciding on a jeweler to perform your jewelry repairs, look for reviews of their work and ask for referrals when appropriate. Furthermore, taking a few moments to ask questions of the jeweler is a wise investment that should pay off with a good jewelry repair experience.
- Jewelry Repair Pricing
When jewelry repair pricing is being quoted, it's wise to ensure that these figures are being quoted from a price book rather than off the top of someone's head. When a jeweler takes the time to publish their prices, it's clear that they have extensive experience and have thoroughly researched their investment of time and materials to complete the job correctly.
- Observe the Jewelry Take-in Procedures
A clear description of how an item is to be repaired is the key to a successful repair. Closely observe the jewelry take-in procedure when the repair is being explained. The issues with each piece being repaired should be well documented using descriptions and drawings to ensure that the repair will be done correctly the first time.
- Inspect Your Jewelry at Pickup
When picking up your jewelry, it's important to thoroughly inspect the work performed. Before accepting the piece of jewelry, first make sure that it is the correct item. Next, make sure that the repair was performed as requested. Lastly, ensure that the entire piece was cleaned and polished. After all, this should be the expectation of every professional jeweler that performs jewelry repair.
Anyone that has a collection of jewelry can appreciate how difficult it can often be to keep it organized. To improve the enjoyment of your jewelry, we've assembled these suggestions that should keep your jewelry organized and orderly:
- Keep Your Jewelry Secure
Store your jewelry in a container and prevent pieces from moving around. While fabric-lined jewelry boxes are ideal, this can be as simple as using a shoebox and pieces of fabric.
- Prevent Your Jewelry from Tarnishing
Sometimes jewelry tarnishes went it's not worn, especially silver and gold. To maintain the luster of your jewelry, place silver anti-tarnish strips in your storage container to absorb the oxidants that discolor and tarnish jewelry.
- Inventory Your Jewelry
Unfortunately, jewelry can get lost or stolen. Taking a regular inventory can be incredibly useful when making an insurance claim or filing a police report. A photograph, a written physical description of each piece and it's cost is ideal. Furthermore, store that information apart from your jewelry in the event it is taken too.
- When Travelling with Jewelry, Use a Case
Travelling can be tough on jewelry, so it's wise to use a travel case to protect your favorite pieces. Traditionally made of fabric or leather, a jewelry travel case can carry jewelry of all types and easily rolls up to a size that's easily stored in most suitcases, makeup cases or business attaches. Clearly, a case like this is a good investment to protect your jewelry on the road.
Keeping your jewelry collection organized and under control does not have to be difficult and these recommendations should help. In addition, you find more information here: Jewelry Care: Jewelry Storage
Shipping jewelry can cause a great deal of concern due to its high-value nature. While there are a variety of carrier-specific guidelines, here are some general rules of thumb that you can use to safely ship jewelry:
- Use Two Boxes: An Inner Box to Hold the Jewelry and an Outer Shipping Box.
- Carefully Pack the Inner Box to Prevent the Movement of the Jewelry
- Pack the Shipping Box with Packing Material to Protect the Inner Box During Shipping
- Eliminate All Information on the Shipping Box that Refers to Jewelry or a Jeweler
- Seal Both Boxes Completely with Tape
- Insure the Shipment
- Require a Signature on Delivery
- Don't use a Drop Box
We hope that you've found these recommendations helpful. You can also find additional information here: Jewelry Care: Jewelry Shipping