Taking care of your precious jewellery will ensure it will look its best for years to come.
gold & gemstones
Mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water in a bowl. Put the jewellery into the bowl and let sit for a several minutes. Use a soft toothbrush (like a baby tooth brush) to gently scrub the jewellery, making sure to get under the gemstones. repeat as necessary. Remove item from soapy water, rinse it and dry thoroughly with a soft, clean cloth. You can also bring your diamond rings to a reputable jeweler and ask if they can put your piece in their ultrasonic cleaner. If you live in Kelowna, I would be happy to do this for you. Emeralds, tanzanite, opals, pearls and many other gems should NEVER be put in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Silver tarnishes quite quickly when it comes into contact with air, oxygen, chlorine or sulfur. Happily, the best measure to prevent this is wearing your silver jewellery often. The oils in your skin help prevent tarnish. (This varies depending on your own body chemistry.)
When storing your silver jewellery, use an airtight plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and if you can, put in a piece of chalk or a silica gel (the little packets in new shoes) These will help prevent tarnish while you are not wearing your silver.
If your silver is tarnished the best way to clean it is with a jewellery polishing cloth. (a.k.a. rouge cloth. I have a few available... $20 ea). These cloths works best on high polished silver or silver with very little texture. For textured silver I recommend a silver polish paste (like Brasso brand and available at hardware stores and some grocery stores) used with a baby tooth brush.
There are also many viable home remedies for cleaning silver online. Just remember that silver is very soft so use something like a very soft baby toothbrush to avoid scratching.
brass & copper
Brass and copper will darken with wear and time. If you don't like the dark patina, try to avoid getting your brass/copper jewellery wet. A commercial brass cleaner, like “Brasso” will restore your piece to its original shine. If this is unavailable, use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to polish, or soak the piece in coca-cola for a few minutes.
Despite being rather sensitive beauties, pearls love being worn!! They don't like being stored away and their intrinsic luster and glow will only improve when worn regularly.
However, they do need proper care to last many many lifetimes. Pearl experts say: put them on last and take them off first. Pearls are more vulnerable to the chemicals found in cosmetics, hair spray, hair dye, and perfume. And pearls do NOT like chlorine - neither in swimming pools or even regular showers. Do all your primping before you put your pearls on.
Pearls should ONLY be cleaned with a soft cloth moistened with water and the little bit of mild soap.