Learn How To Care For Your Jewelry

Understanding how to care for your treasured jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping its heirloom quality sparkling for generations to come.

Pawnshield offers free check-ups and recommends professional cleanings at scheduled intervals, consult with our Graduate Gemologist.


chemicals found in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, or other cosmetics can permanently damage the nacre of your dazzling pearl and corrode the alloys in the shiny setting.  To preserve the radiant beauty of your pearls, avoid letting them come into contact with these chemicals.  Always put on your jewelry after applying make-up and styling your hair.  Keep in mind, perspiration can damage the nacre of the pearl as well, so wipe them down with a soft cloth before returning them to your jewelry box.  To prevent tangles and scratches, fasten clasps and pins and  then lay each item out separately in a compartmentalized jewelry box, keeping items separated.  When carrying jewelry, always use a protective jewelry pouch.  To clean Pearls use an unused soft makeup brush, and warm, soapy water.  Lay the pearls on a towel to dry.  The wet string can stretch—and attract dirt—so don’t touch a string of pearls until they are completely dry.  Pearls worn every few days should be restrung once a year.

UV Light

Light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s durability and color.  Ultraviolet rays from the sun can also fade and weaken some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz, and pink conch-shell cameos.  Pearls and other delicate materials, like ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light.  Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.

Exposure to chemicals

Chemicals can damage and discolor precious metals – gold, silver, and platinum – and may harm some colored gems.  Fine jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool, or before using household cleaners.  Many of these cleaners contain ammonia, and are only safe for diamonds and the more durable colored gems.  Chlorine bleach, and other common household chemicals, can pit gold alloys and cause them to turn color.


Clean most colored gems with warm water, mild soap (no detergents), and a soft brush.

Proper Jewelry Storage

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked.  Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or on top of a dresser—that’s a recipe for scratches and fractured gems.  Most jewelry pieces come in a box or pouch from the store, which is a perfect place to keep them.  Sterling silver, for example, should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth.

Jewelry boxes that feature individually padded slots for rings, and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets, are also ideal for storage.  Like pearls, opals draw moisture from the air. Storing your opal ring or pearl earrings in a dry area, such as a safety deposit box, can actually do more harm than good.  Opals can craze if stored in dry areas.  When traveling with jewelry, protect your pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding the jewelry so they don’t rub against other pieces.