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May 26: Keep the Bling in Your Bling!

Most people have some form of jewelry - rings, watches, necklaces, pendants and bracelets - and most of this jewelry is made out of some type of metal. The types of metals are - precious metals: platinum, gold, silver, palladium; base metals: pewter, brass, copper, and aluminum; and the new metals (for jewelry): stainless steel, titanium, cobalt, tungsten and ceramic. In addition to metal, the jewelry may contain gemstones (natural and man-made), glass, shells, pears, etc. The type of metal and type of stone (or glass) distinguishes between "fine" and "costume" jewelry. Costume jewelry is normally made from base metals and simulated stones. Keeping it all clean and blinging can be a challenge.

If your jewelry is made out of precious metal, it may be prone to tarnishing, If it contains stones or other embellishments, dirt tends to get embedded. Cleaning and polishing is needed on a regular basis in order to keep your jewelry looking it's finest.

If you own expensive jewelry, you may have a guarantee against chips, breaks or loss stones. You may be required to have your jewelry inspected - and documented - by a authorized representative every 6 months for your guarantee to stay in effect. Repairs must also be done by a authorized representative. Your guarantee may also include lifetime cleaning.

I clean my own jewelry. There are several ways to do so: silver or gold polishing cloths (that make it easy to remove tarnish and helps to prevent further tarnish buildup by applying an anti-tarnish formula); commercial jewelry cleaning solutions - that you use in the jar; an ultrasonic cleaner (with high frequency sound waves and chemicals, which create bubbles that latch on to the dirt on the diamond); or lukewarm soapy water and a small bristle brush. Let the piece sit in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Rinse in clean lukewarm water. Be careful not to drop your jewelry down the drain!

A jewelry cleaning schedule for the jewelry you wear most often could look like this: a quick scrub once every 1-2 weeks, a more thorough cleaning once every 1-2 months, and (if under a guarantee), once every 6 months at the jeweler.

Keep in mind that gemstones - including diamonds - can be damaged or become cloudy looking with the wrong type of cleaning, so check to make sure you're cleaning your gemstone properly. Where you store your jewelry is important too. Store your pieces separately or in a way that prevents rubbing, which can cause scratches. There's many different types of jewelry boxes, as well as other containers that may not be made for jewelry. When you travel with your jewelry - whether down the street or around the world - put your jewelry in a safe container so that pieces are not lost of damaged. Velvet pouches or clean make-up cases (that are only used for jewelry!) works great for this purpose.

Take Away: Your jewelry does not lose it's brilliance - it just gets dirty. Clean it regularly to bring back the Bling! Bling!Try to remove your jewelry before bathing, swimming, cleaning, rough work or handling chemicals (including hair care products and perfume). With a little care, your jewelry will look great forever.

About the Author: L. Sidney Irving is the owner of Sidco Properties, a real estate company dedicated to educating and assisting those that want to buy or sell a home, Sidney loves to organize herself and those around her because she believes that an organized space brings peace and fosters creativity. May the power of organization be with you!

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