Jewelry Care Tips

Understanding how to care for your jewelry can make a significant difference in maintaining its beauty and heirloom quality for generations to come.  Below are several tips for how to care for your Michelle Pajak-Reynolds jewelry pieces, popular birthstones, and other jewelry treasures. Your jewelry care questions are always welcome via our contact page

Caring for Michelle Pajak-Reynolds jewelry pieces:

Store your Michelle Pajak-Reynolds jewelry pieces away from extreme heat and moisture in the soft cloth pouch provided with your one of a kind piece. Proper storage helps maintain the beauty of your piece and prevents damage.

It its best to apply personal care and beauty products, such as perfume, lotions, and hair spray, before putting on your jewelry. Jewelry should not be worn while showering, swimming or participating in strenuous activities.   Precious metals, like sterling silver and gold need polishing on occasion.  A soft polishing cloth rubbed gently over the metal will help restore its beauty.

Clean designs featuring pearls, gemstones, crystals, beads, wood, and other non-metal materials with a soft untreated lint free cloth.  Do not use liquid or chemical cleaners on jewelry featuring these items.

Caring for Birthstone jewelry

January-Garnet: Garnets are available in 17 varieties and a wide range of colors. Use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean these gems.

February-Amethyst: Amethyst can be cleaned with warm soapy water & a soft cloth.  Never expose these stones to a steam cleaner or extreme heat

March-Aquamarine and Bloodstone: Aquamarine can be cleaned with warm soapy water and dried with a soft cloth.  

Bloodstone aka Blood Jasper was the original birthstone for March.  These stones can be cleaned with warm water and a very mild soap.  Do not use harsh chemical cleaners on these gems

April-Diamonds: Diamond jewelry should be stored separately from other jewelry to prevent scratches.  Diamonds can be cleaned by soaking them in ammonia based household cleaners or warm soapy water.  If your diamonds are very dirty they can be gently scrubbed with an old toothbrush.  Rinse these gems with warm water and dry with a soft lint free cloth.

May-Emeralds: Emeralds should only be cleaned with a soft cloth and rinsed with luke-warm water. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or soak your emeralds in chemical cleaners or water. Soaking and the vibrations from ultrasonic cleaners can damage these stones.

June-Pearls, Moonstone, Alexandrite: Natural color and dyed pearls can lose their pigment if cleaned with water or chemical jewelry cleaners. A soft cloth is the best and safest way to maintain the beauty of your pearls. Pearls can also be damaged from too much exposure to hair styling products, make-up, body lotion and perfume. Gently wipe your pearls with a soft dry cloth after wearing and store them in a soft cloth pouch to prevent chips and scratches.

Moonstones can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Never use chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners on these gems

Alexandrites can be cleaned with a mild soap, warm water and a soft toothbrush.  These stones should not be exposed to extreme temperature changes, harsh chemicals or abrasives.

July-Ruby: Rubies are one of the hardest and most durable gemstones. Jewelry featuring rubies exclusively can be cleaned with a soft brush and soapy water or commercial jewelry cleaners.

August-Peridot, Sardonyx: Peridot can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Do not use chemical, ultrasonic, or steam cleaners on these stones

Sardonyx stones can be cleaned with a damp cloth.  Do not use ultrasonic cleaners or soap as these gems can be porous and may absorb chemicals, which can build up in the stone and cause discoloration

September: Sapphire: Sapphires are available in a rainbow of colors. Sapphire jewelry can be cleaned with a splash of warm water and mild soap.

October: Opal, Tourmaline: Opals can be cleaned with luke-warm soapy water and soft cloth.  Never use chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners on these stones. Opals can crack when exposed to sudden and extreme temperature changes and they can be scratched easily. If you need to store opal jewelry for a long time, place it in a soft cloth pouch and in a climate controlled space. Do not store it in a basement, attic, or dehumidified safety deposit box.

Tourmalines are available in a gorgeous range of colors. Tourmaline jewelry can be cleaned with a very mild soap solution and a soft toothbrush. Dry thoroughly before storing.

November-Topaz, Citrine: Topaz jewelry can be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. Wipe these stones with a soft cloth or toothbrush if needed and pat dry. Do not use chemical, steam or ultrasonic jewelry cleaners on topaz gems. These products may harm the stone.

Citrine jewelry can be cleaned with commercial jewelry cleaners or warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush.  Citrines should never be exposed to steam cleaners, extreme temperature changes or prolonged sun exposure, as in sunbathing, which can cause the color to change or fade.

December, Zircon, Tanzanite, Turquoise: Zircon jewelry can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Do not use ultrasonic cleaners or chemicals on these gems.

Turquoise can be cleaned with a soft dry cloth. Never use chemical or steam cleaners on these gems.

Tanzanites can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Never use steam or ultrasonic cleaners on these gems.

 

Caring for Zodiac Gemstone jewelry

The gemstones associated with the zodiac signs have varied throughout history, cultural traditions, and spiritual practices. The following list features stones most often used in jewelry.

Aquarius (January 21-February 19) Blue Sapphire: Sapphire jewelry can be cleaned with a splash of warm water and mild soap.

Pisces (February 20-March 20) Amethyst: Amethyst can be cleaned with warm soapy water & a soft cloth.  Never expose these stones to a steam cleaner or extreme heat

Aries (March 21-April 20) Bloodstone: Bloodstone aka Blood Jasper stones can be cleaned with warm water and a very mild soap.  Do not use harsh chemical cleaners on these gems

Taurus (April 21-May 20) Amber: Amber jewelry can be cleaned with a damp cloth.  Do not use chemical, steam or ultrasonic jewelry cleaners on amber. These products will harm the stone. Store amber pieces in a soft cloth pouch to protect the stones from being scratched by other gems.

Gemini (May 21-June 21) Citrine: Citrine jewelry can be cleaned with commercial jewelry cleaners or warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush.  Citrines should never be exposed to steam cleaners, extreme temperature changes or prolonged sun exposure, as in sunbathing, which can cause the color to change or fade.

Cancer (June 22-July 22) Rose Quartz: warm soapy water is the safest method for cleaning rose quartz jewelry.  Ultrasonic and steam cleaner should be avoided.

Leo (July 23-August 23) Red Garnet: Use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean these gems.

Virgo (August 24-September 23) Emerald: Emeralds should only be cleaned with a soft cloth and rinsed with luke-warm water. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or soak your emeralds in chemical cleaners or water. Soaking and the vibrations from ultrasonic cleaners can damage these stones.

Libra (September 24-October 23) Peridot: mild soap and warm water is best. Do not use chemical, ultrasonic, or steam cleaners on these stones

Scorpio (October 24-November 22) Aquamarine: use warm soapy water and dry with a soft lint free cloth.

Sagittarius (November 23-December 21) Golden Orange Garnets: Garnets are available in 17 varieties and a wide range of colors. Use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean these gems.

Capricorn (December 22-January 20) Green Tourmaline: Tourmaline jewelry can be cleaned with a very mild soap solution and a soft toothbrush. Dry thoroughly before storing.

 

Additional jewelry care tips:

Do not sleep in plated jewelry. Perspiration and extra rubbing against skin and fabrics causes the plating to wear off faster

Do not swim in your jewelry.  Chlorine and saltwater can erode metals and damage gemstones, pearls, crystals and beads.

Remove jewelry before trying on clothes to prevent fabric snags (especially in sweaters) and damage to your favorite bejeweled treasures.

 A jeweler should inspect your beaded and pearl jewelry once a year to ensure that strands and clasps are secure. If your pearls, gemstones or beads are strung on silk or other thread, do not clean them with water, which can damage the thread. Use a soft polishing cloth instead.

 Sunscreen and beauty products are wonderful for your skin, but not so great for your jewelry. The lotions, oils, and chemicals (including natural ones) in sunscreens and personal care products can leave a dull residue on your favorite pieces. Put jewelry on after applying your favorite sunscreens and skin care products. At the end of the day, gently wipe your jewelry with a soft cloth to remove any residue.

 Keep sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing by wearing it often and storing it in a soft cloth pouch when not in use.