By Amy Brenan, director of Heirlooms Jewellers, 21 South Street, Wareham.
Spring will soon be here – the clocks go forward one hour on March 26.
Time when people start thinking about spring cleaning, and it’s a great time to take a look at your jewellery box and give your treasured pieces some tlc.
Everyday substances like soap, perfume, hairspray and hand sanitiser can reduce the sparkle and lustre of precious gemstones and metals, so regular cleaning can ensure they look their best.
Regular cleaning also prevents the build up of bacteria than can cause skin irritations, and which can discolour the metal and cause the stones to be scratched.
Pieces that are worn regularly benefit from cleaning once a month, especially pieces like wedding and engagement rings that we tend to wear every day with taking off for washing hands, washing up etc.
You will read about a number of natural and organic ways to clean jewellery but one of the benefits of using a specially designed jewellery cleaner such as a cleaning cloth is that it is anti-bacterial and impregnated with natural oils.
This will not only restore the sparkle but will also make your pieces more resistant to future corrosion.
Dips specifically formulated for gold and silver jewellery are also available and are very easy to use. At Heirlooms, we recommend the Hagerty range of jewellery cleaners.
Stones such as pearls, because of their soft, organic nature, require special care and without proper looking after they can erode to a chalky white finish.
However, you should never use jewellery cleaner on these delicate stones.
Once you have finished wearing your pearls, gently rub any surface grease from them.
Always lie a strung row of pearls flat rather than hanging, otherwise the thread will stretch and the pearls will become loose, move and become damaged. Take care of your much loved jewellery and it will love you back for years to come!