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A beautiful, one of a kind piece of beaded gemstone jewelry is something of value. It’s a work of art – a creation unlike any other in the world. As is the case with anything else of value, it’s essential that you have a proper understanding of how to care for fine beaded jewelry. Proper care not only helps prevent damage or wear and tear, but ensures that the beads themselves retain every bit of their natural beauty.
Here we’ll take a closer look at how beaded jewelry should be treated differently. We’ll also address how to keep the gemstones and other materials looking their very best over time.
The intricacy associated with most beaded jewelry means that it requires special care to avoid damage and deterioration. Make sure you keep all of the following tips in mind.
How you store beaded jewelry is just as important as how you treat it while it’s being worn. Choose a designated place for your items which is safe, clean, and dry. If possible, store your pieces separately. Storing beads alongside too many other items can lead to tangling and unsightly scratches, sooner or later. (Plastic bags can help keep items separated if space is limited.)
It’s also a much better idea to store your beaded jewelry items flat. Forgo hanging them from hooks or jewelry racks, especially alongside other items. Carefully and neatly arrange them in a softly lined jewelry chest drawer instead.
A well-made, high quality beaded jewelry item will certainly come with some degree of durability. However, it’s important not to assume that it’s indestructible. Be careful of where and how you wear your beads.
Avoid wearing them when doing household chores or working outdoors to avoid unfortunate accidents. You may also wish to forgo wearing beaded jewelry if there’s a possibility that they may be exposed to extreme temperatures, high humidity, bright sunlight, or harsh chemicals.
Do not wear your beaded jewelry while showering or swimming, as the chlorine in the water can damage gemstones, gold, and other fine materials. Wait until you’ve finished applying any makeup, hair spray, lotions, and perfumes to put on your beaded items, as well.
Most naturally colored gemstones are treated in order to enhance their appearance and help them resist wear and tear. However, such treatments don’t make them indestructible. Keep the following tips in mind so that your gemstones remain brilliant and beautiful for many, many years to come.
You always want to make sure that your gemstone jewelry is clean before you put it away. Wipe yours with a clean, soft, lightly damp cloth after each wear to ensure that it’s free of dirt, oils, and debris.
Avoid using jewelry cleaners on gemstones. Such cleaners can cause damage and erode the beautiful surface of the stones. You’ll also want to avoid using harsh chemicals, detergents, salt water, or chlorine-treated water. All of these things can slowly erode the finish of your gems and cause them to lose their polish over time.
Even tough stones like rubies or sapphires can be susceptible to chipping or cracking if subjected to a hard enough blow. For that reason, most jewelry lovers remove their precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry before engaging in manual labor or any other activities that could subject the stones to rough treatment.
As with beaded jewelry in general, you’ll want to avoid subjecting gemstones and gemstone beads to bright sunlight for prolonged periods. Many gems can fade over time and lose their brilliant beauty.
Precious and semi-precious metals like gold and silver will need a little tender loving care to stay gorgeous as well. As with gemstones, precious metals should be gently wiped with a clean, soft cloth after each use to ensure they’re clean before being put away.
Sterling silver, in particular, is very prone to tarnishing. Lower the likelihood of tarnish by making sure your items are stored in a cool, dry place. If you’re in the market for a jewelry box, consider purchasing one lined with anti-tarnish fabric. Should a piece end up developing tarnish, you can polish the tarnish away with either a regular clean cloth or a specialized anti-tarnish cloth designed specifically for jewelry. Avoid polishing any of your gemstones or beads with these cloths to avoid damaging them.
Should a given jewelry item require more extensive cleaning or restoration, consider contacting a jeweler that can take care of the job for you or otherwise seek advice from an expert. You’ll be glad you did!