How to Clean

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Detailed Tips For Care & Cleaning of Fine Jewelry & Watches

Fine jewelry is meant to be worn, enjoyed and passed down to future generations. Taking simple steps to care for and clean your jewelry today, will help ensure that it will remain beautiful tomorrow. Each piece of jewelry and timepiece is individual and needs to be cared for differently.

Below are detailed tips, broken down by jewelry types, to care for your precious baubles:

Diamond Jewelry

• Do not wear diamond jewelry, especially rings, when doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials in nature, it can still be chipped by a sharp, sudden blow.

• Chlorine can damage and discolor the mounting on your diamond jewelry. Keep your diamond away from chlorine bleach or other household chemicals. You should also remove your diamond jewelry before entering a chlorinated pool or hot tub.

• Clean your diamonds regularly using a mix of water and a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.

• Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry after cleaning and before storage.

Colored Gemstones

• Many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced from the time they are extracted from the earth by one or more traditionally accepted jewelry industry practices. These treatments and enhancements can affect how you should clean and care for your colored gemstone jewelry. Consult your jeweler for more information on caring for treated or enhanced gemstones.

• After wearing, wipe your precious gemstone jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will enhance the luster of the gemstones and ensure that your jewelry is clean before storage.

• Store gemstone pieces individually in soft pouches.

• Do not expose your precious gemstone pieces to saltwater or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or detergents. These chemicals may slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.

• Hair spray, perfume and perspiration may cause jewelry to become dull. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes, and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.

• Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes.

• If you have an active lifestyle, take extra precautions.

• Almost all colored stone jewelry can be safely cleaned using a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush.

• Always thoroughly rinse and dry your jewelry after cleaning and before storage.

Karat Gold Jewelry

• Remove all gold jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film, making it appear dull and dingy.

• To clean your jewelry at home, you will find a soft chamois cloth an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous and shining.

• Be careful of chlorine. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your gold jewelry. Do not wear gold jewelry while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.

• You can remove tarnish with jewelry cleaner, or by using soap and water. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush. After brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to air dry. If there is a heavy tarnish on your jewelry, consult your jeweler for the best cleaning procedure.


• Platinum jewelry can be cleaned in the same manner as other fine jewelry. Your jeweler can recommend a prepackaged jewelry cleaner that works with platinum, or ask your jeweler to professionally clean your platinum pieces. A professional cleaning every six months will keep your platinum jewelry in great shape.

• Store your platinum jewelry separately and with care, not allowing pieces to touch each other, because even platinum can be scratched.

• Signs of wear, such as scratches, can eventually appear on platinum. However, due to the metal’s durability, there is usually little metal loss from the scratch.

• If your platinum is set with diamonds or other precious stones, be especially careful, as these materials can be more susceptible to damage.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

• Clean your silver jewelry with a mild soap and water solution, allowing the water to bead up, and then pat dry with a soft cloth. For more stubborn dirt, use jewelry cleaner designed for silver use.

• Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish-preventive bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth. Store pieces individually, so that they don’t knock together and scratch.

• Do not rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or a fine piece of felt. Tissue paper or paper towels can cause scratches because of the fibers in these products.

• Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage – this can cause silver to tarnish. And don’t wear sterling silver in chlorinated water or when working with household chemicals.

Cultured Pearls

• Apply cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfume before putting on any pearl jewelry. When you remove the jewelry, wipe it carefully with a soft cloth to remove any traces of these substances.

• Always lay cultured pearl strands flat. Hanging a strand may stretch the threads.

• Do not toss your cultured pearl jewelry carelessly into a purse, bag or jewel box. A pearl’s surface is soft and can be scratched by hard metal edges or by the harder gemstones of other jewelry pieces.

• Place cultured pearls in a chamois bag or wrap them in tissue when putting them away.

• Bring your pearls back to your jeweler to check for restringing once a year. Make certain the pearls are strung with a knot between each pearl. This will prevent loss of pearls if the string should break.


• No matter how handy you are, do not attempt to perform watch repairs yourself. Only an expert jeweler/watchmaker should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.

• A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized dealer and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

• Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.

• Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the timekeeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy.

• Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.

• Have your jeweler/watchmaker or an authorized watch dealer replace the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece.

For more information visit the official Jewelry Information Center.