Did you receive fine jewelry for Christmas? Beautiful jewelry can last for many generations with the right care. We asked Seth Roberts of Smithworks Fine Jewelry in Spartanburg how to ensure your jewelry always remains as beautiful as the day you opened the box.

Have your diamond jewelry inspected twice per year to ensure structural integrity

“A jeweler’s trained eye can catch issues before they arise and a little maintenance now could save you from costly repairs that could have been avoided,” Roberts said.

Clean jewelry regularly

“The best way to clean your jewelry at home is to use a sudsy ammonia cleaner diluted by twice as much water,” he said. “Heat the water first, add cleaner and allow your jewelry to soak for a half hour. After soaking, use\a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas. Rinse clean with cold water. You can also stop by Smithworks anytime for complimentary ultrasonic and steam cleaning.”

Avoid wearing your jewelry when coming into contact with abrasive or caustic chemicals

“Chlorine bleach can discolor precious metals and some gemstones,” Roberts said.

White gold needs special care

“White gold is achieved by alloying yellow gold with white metals, and then rhodium plating the outside of the piece after polishing,” he said. “To keep your white gold crisp and shiny, have it polished and plated every few years.”

Store silver jewelry in an air-tight container

“This will lessen tarnishing, and make it easier to polish,” Roberts said.

Care for your pearls

“Pearls are most often strung on silk cord which can deteriorate if it gets wet,” Roberts said. “Try to keep your pearl strands dry to lengthen the times between restringing. Most jewelers will string your pearls on nylon if you prefer. It’s more durable and often a better choice for those who wear their pearls regularly. If the knots between your pearls are no longer white, place the strand in a sandwich bag with a little baby powder and shake for a bit. The powder will stick to the knots and whiten the cord significantly. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.”

Maintain watches

“Mechanical watches should be serviced every five to seven years to ensure optimal performance,” Roberts said. “Beyond that, lubricants begin to break down and lower efficiency. Change or remove dead batteries in quartz watches as soon as possible. An expired battery can begin to corrode almost immediately and can result in damage to electrical components.”

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