Jewellery Care

Diamond Care

You’ve got your diamond ring, a beautiful and lasting symbol of your love and commitment. Your diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth and set securely in the ring - so what could possibly go wrong or disappoint you?

Diamond has an unusual quality – its surface repels water but has an affinity for grease. (A fact exploited by some diamond miners who tip diamond rich gravels onto a greased surface – the diamonds stick to the grease, the gravel separates away.) This means of course that a diamond will attract any grease in its environment and require special cleaning to keep it shining and bright.

The oil deposited from the mere touch of a human finger can cause dirt to collect and this nearly indestructible gemstone will quickly lose its sparkling appeal.

So how can you keep your diamond looking its very best? Here are some tips on keeping your diamond sparkling.

Handle the diamond sparingly – if you touch it, wipe it.

Clean it regularly in a proper jewellery cleaning solution.

Keep a special toothbrush handy to clean behind the diamond. This is particularly important as it’s where most of the suntan oil, hand cream, soap, etc seems to congregate. The fire and brilliance you see at the front will be extinguished if you don’t keep the back of the diamond absolutely clear.

Easier still, take advantage of Kayes free lifetime care and let us valet your diamond jewellery for you. No appointment necessary.

Remember also that a diamond can scratch another diamond and cause more damage to softer gemstones and precious metals. So never store your diamond jewellery items in one group together. Wherever possible keep all you jewellery items in individual pouches or clear envelopes, to protect them from each other.

Caring for Colour

Understanding how to care for and protect your treasured coloured gemstone jewellery can make a world of difference.  The correct practises will maintain the beauty and keep your heirlooms sparkling for generations to come.

Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, light and heat can affect a coloured gemstone’s durability and colour. Over time, and in excess, they can also fade or damage some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz and shell cameos. Pearls and coral will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.

Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes may also fracture some gems. Heat can easily remove the natural moisture these gems need to keep their beauty. Pearls, for instance, can dry out, crack and discolour. Opals can turn white or brown, develop tiny cracks, and might lose their play of colour.

Exposure to chemicals can damage or discolor gold, silver and platinum – and may harm some coloured gems. Even everyday substances like hairspray, lotion, perfume or other cosmetics can contain chemicals that will permanently damage the surface of your pearls and other delicate or porous gems (like turquoise). Fine jewellery should be removed entering a swimming pool ( Chlorine) or before using household cleaners ( Ammonia)

Many coloured gemstones are routinely and legally treated to improve the appearance of colour and clarity. These treatments can be negatively affected by heat, solvents, steam and ultrasonic cleaners. Particularly, avoid using home ultrasonic cleaners as many gemstones and their settings can be permanently damaged by indiscriminate use of ultrasonics.

Regular cleaning -all coloured stones jewellery purchased from Kayes is sold with a lifetime care promise - if in doubt how to clean your jewellery please bring it to us or call us to discuss the best methods for your particular gemstone. Soft gems, such as pearls, for example, can easily scratch. Use a new, clean makeup brush and warm, soapy water to softly clean them. Lay a strand of pearls on a towel to dry. The wet silk thread can stretch − and attract dirt − so don’t touch your strand until it is completely dry. Pearls worn often should be restrung once a year.

Gemstones have different hardnesses need to be stored carefully so that they do not damage each other. Particularly when travelling with your jewellery, never bundle different items together - always separate pieces using tissue paper or cotton wool. Pearls and opals draw moisture from the air, so storing your opal or pearl jewellery in a dry area, such as a safe deposit box, can sometimes do more harm than good.

Caring For Vintage 

All the rules and advice for modern jewellery apply here, plus a few more. Most importantly, if you have a vintage item that requires repair you must bring it to a jewellery expert with proven experience in handling vintage items.

Setting styles, metal types and gemstone cuts require different treatment than modern jewellery, particularly when it comes to cleaning and polishing which should improve the piece but not remove the particular antique patina which makes it so special.

All our vintage items are sold with a lifetime cleaning and care warranty so please contact Kayes for further information.