Health and hygiene are the most important things during the pandemic. We all need to protect ourselves by practicing good hand washing and using hand sanitizer. It is possible to also protect our jewelry from too much sanitizer and to keep our metals and gemstones from being damaged. With a little planning, you can keep them shining bright during difficult times.
Safe Use of Sanitizer
The frequent use of hand sanitizer can weaken the brilliance of precious metals – especially platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. Extensive use can even loosen prongs causing the potential loss of precious gems.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can pit the surface of softer gems such as pearls, opals, turquoise, and amber. Any type of sanitizer can even cause crystalline gemstones to lose their brilliance. These gems include:
Clean and Protect
The best way to protect your jewelry and prevent future problems is to take off all rings before using hand sanitizer, then let hands completely dry before putting them back on. To keep your rings shining bright, remember to wash them once a week in a solution of dishwasher liquid and lukewarm water. Brush gently with a soft toothbrush and let them dry completely. Then take them for a professional cleaning and inspection at least twice each year. Keeping them clean will also shorten the amount of time it takes to get them sparkling at each soaking.
Check out these pro tips if you want to go above and beyond any regular care and cleaning:
- Do not use a toothbrush on softer gems that can easily be scratched. If you use a commercial cleaner, remember to read all labels and be sure it is safe to use on your specific gemstone. Some gems should never be subjected to these cleaners, including opals, emeralds, amber and pearls.
- Steam cleaning formulated specifically for gems can be effective for hard stones and allow them to shine like new. Do not use on easily-damaged, heat-sensitive stones, such as aquamarine, tanzanite, emeralds, opals, pearls, amber and coral.
- If you decide to try ultrasonic cleaning for eliminating stubborn dirt, be sure to check with your jeweler first. It may be safe for some diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, however there are conflicting thoughts on the safety of this method, as the shaking can cause stones to become loose from their settings. This cleaning method should not be used for fracture-filled stones.
Your health is your number one priority, but you can protect everything with just a little planning and care. And don’t forget the best way to care for your precious jewelry pieces is through personalized jewelry insurance. Contact Lavalier today for your free quote.
- Three ways to protect your jewelry from hand sanitizer. www.germistoncitynews.co.za. (Accessed July 15 2020).
- Is hand sanitizer bad for your engagement ring. www.brides.com. (Accessed July 15 2020).