Sparkling forever

KATHMANDU: You should always be gentle with your jewelleries and gemstones and protect them from scratches, sharp blows, harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures and sunlight. Never tug on gem settings or toss your pieces carelessly in a pile — you may loosen your gem settings, and also your pieces may wind up nicked and scratched.

Don’t forget that with the proper care, the jewellery you purchase today can become a part of a treasured family heirloom.

Common cautions

•If you use hand lotions or creams, remove your rings before applying them! This will help prevent heavy build up of dirt and oil around your gemstones.

• Put your jewellery on after washing and applying any makeup, cosmetics or hair spray.

•If you plan to do household chores like gardening and cleaning, remove your rings so they will not be subjected to harsh blows, abrasives, or unnecessary dirt. Even diamonds are relatively brittle and can be chipped by a hard blow.

•Take off your jewellery before participating in athletic activities, especially while swimming. The chlorine can cause damage to various gemstones and gold. Gemstones may become loose in their settings and possibly fall out.

•Pearls, coral, and porous stones such as opal, turquoise, or malachite should be kept away from dirty water and oils to avoid discoloration.

•Brittle and soft stones should not be used in jewellery subject to hard wear, such as rings that are worn constantly. They are much safer in earrings, pins, pendants, or perhaps bracelets. They can be used in rings that are worn occasionally, such as dinner rings, but the setting should be designed to protect the stone as much as possible.

Keep them well

•Store jewellery separately so it doesn’t scratch other jewellery. Keep jewellery and loose gems in separate padded compartments of a jewellery box or wrapped in soft lint free cloth to prevent scratching, chipping, and entanglement. A diamond can scratch gold or pearls.

•Always store bead necklaces (such as lapis, pearls, et cetera) flat as silk stretches over time. This also helps avoid kinks and knotting various chains together.

•Stones are usually less resistant to heat and should never be exposed to extreme heat or sudden changes in temperature. Do not leave them sitting in hot sunlight, near radiators, or in hot cars.

Clean and clear

•When removing dust from soft stones, it’s usually best to rinse them with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

•When cleaning nonporous gemstones, wash gently with a weak solution of ammonia, rinse with clean lukewarm water, and dry with soft lint free cloth is quite effective and safe.

•On harder stones, it’s safe to do a little gentle scrubbing with a soft toothbrush, but if you’re cleaning jewellery, be careful not to scrub highly polished metal surfaces, as the slight abrasive action of the brush will produce slightly hazy effects on the metal. A little soaking may be necessary to remove heavier deposits.