Caring for Antique Gemstone Jewellery | Kit Clayton – Kit Clayton Jewellery
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Jewellery & Gemstone Care

Keeping Those Antiques Awesome...

Our top tips for making sure your antique jewellery lasts another 100 years are:

  • never put antique jewellery in an ultrasonic cleaner - soap, water and a soft toothbrush is enough
  • clean jewellery over a plugged sink only...just in case a stone falls out during cleaning
  • do not sleep in your jewellery, or wear while showering, bathing, swimming or at the beach
  • take jewellery off before any rigorous activity including gardening and cleaning
  • be careful not to get chemicals on your jewellery including beauty products and perfume - as a rule, put your jewellery on last and take it off first!

Diamond Jewellery

caring for your antique diamond jewellery

Contrary to popular belief, diamond is not unbreakable. Its hardness makes it difficult to scratch, but it can 'cleave' (split) if bashed in just in the right place.

So do treat diamond jewellery with care and take it off before doing anything that could cause the jewellery to get knocked, especially in the case of an antique ring or bangle.

Diamonds attract oil and grease, so a gentle clean with some soapy water and soft toothbrush once in a while will do them wonders. Take them off before moisturising your hands, also.

Diamond will scratch all other gemstones in your jewellery box (including each other). We recommend you store your diamond jewellery separately and make sure your diamonds cannot rub together while stored.

Emerald Jewellery

Some of our favourite old jewellery! But care is definitely required since emeralds are routinely oiled to fill surface reaching fractures. They should never be put in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, and in fact all cleaning should be done with great care - cold soapy water and a soft brush is best.

Emeralds should never come into contact with chemicals or solvents, as again they can affect the oil fillers in the stone.

Emerald is a brittle stone that will chip if bashed, so extra care must taken when wearing emerald jewellery, especially on the hands and wrists. We recommend you take your emerald jewellery off before any activity.

caring for your opal jewellery

Opal Jewellery

One of the most beautiful gemstones to grace the Earth.

Opals are soft and should be treated with great care. Clean by wiping with a damp or dry cloth only. No ultrasonic or steam cleaning.

Opals needs moisture to look their best and stop from drying out and 'crazing'. Avoid storing them anywhere dry or hot, or in direct sunlight. Instead, if you can, store with moist cotton balls or a dish of distilled water.

Avoid contact with any chemicals and solvents and take opal jewellery off before doing activity which could result in the stone getting bashed.

Pearl Jewellery

Pearls are susceptible to damage from detergents, cosmetics, soaps and mild acids. Cleaning should be done very carefully, by lying the pearls flat, and using cool water and cotton wool. Care must be taken not to stretch the string.

caring for antique pearls

Like opals, pearls can crack and craze if they get hot so need to be stored somewhere cool. They will be easily damaged by gemstones, metals and rigid plastics. Store them carefully in breathable cloth, ideally silk. Do not store them in airless containers or plastic bags/tubs.

Do wear them! They will appreciate it.