The fragrance of wet earth has eased the stinging heat of the summer, its monsoon time again! Though rains spell romance, it is not such a love-filled season for our jewellery. Humidity, dampness and other factors do cause damage of ornaments, be it gold, silver or precious stone. Humidity quickens the chemical process of oxidation which is responsible for tarnishing of our precious accessories. Make sure to take care of ornaments the right way so that they retain their beauty and remain ‘a joy forever’!
The simplest tip would be always put on jewellery last but remove them first. Keeping jewellery dry is of utmost importance. Even deodorants and perfumes must be avoided. Ornaments must be cleaned after each use with a lint-free cloth, and stored separately to avoid abrasions. In this moist weather, keeping them wrapped in cotton or tissue before storing in jewellery boxes would be better.
Gold must not be worn when bathing especially in chlorinated water as soap dulls the gold and chlorine may lead to permanent discolouration. Tarnishing is a phenomenon seen not only in silver but also in gold jewellery. But tarnished gold can regain its shine by softly brushing it using a mixture of warm water and any mild detergent such as dishwashing liquid.
Silver, particularly sterling silver is prone to reacting with sulphur in the atmosphere resulting in silver sulphide or tarnish. For silver to remain sparkling, it must be kept completely dry and covered in tarnish-free cloth such as flannel. Keeping a small packet of desiccant crystals inside the storage area, whether it is a closed box or a flannel roll is especially important in humid weather like ours. Oxidised silver pieces may be polished with a light wax such as colourless furniture polish, which must be carefully applied with a clean, soft cloth.
Our best friend among precious stones, diamonds must be stored separately in soft cloth pouches and cleaned regularly with either a soft detergent or a mixture of ammonia and water (in a ratio of 1:6).
Other precious stones are sensitive. Pearls and semi-precious gemstones should always be dry and must be stored carefully during humid weather. Pearls are particularly sensitive and must be handled with due care. The same goes for enamel crusting on gold and silver ornaments. Harsh household cleansing agents and even common ones such as toothpaste must be avoided at all costs.
Wearing delicate pieces is not a good idea during this season. But taking proper precautions will definitely help for pieces that are regularly used. A little care can keep the sparkles on forever!