Any jewelry can bring lots of joy, but gold pieces tend to be particularly special. No doubt you want to keep your gold jewelry items in the best condition possible.
If you’re in the know about this precious metal and how to take care of it properly, you can enjoy your gold jewelry for many years to come.
In this article, we reveal tips for proper care and storage of your precious gold items.
Daily Care Tips for Gold Jewelry
While it may be tempting to simply wear your gold jewelry constantly and hope for the best, this is generally not a good idea. It’s okay to wear your gold every day, but there are some instances in which it should be removed. Here are some tips to bear in mind:
- Avoid wearing it during heavy-duty activities: Gold is soft and malleable, so you shouldn’t wear it in situations where it could be scratched or dented easily, such as when gardening or exercising with handheld equipment.
- Don’t expose it to harsh chemicals: Many chemicals, including some found in cleaning and cosmetic products, can weaken your gold jewelry. In addition, abrasive materials can easily scratch the surface of your gold. As such, you should avoid wearing gold jewelry when cleaning or applying cosmetics. Hairspray and perfume can be particularly damaging.
- Keep your gold out of the hottub: Chlorine can damage gold too, especially when warm. This means that swimming pools and hottubs are not good environments for gold.
- Don’t shower or bathe wearing gold jewelry: Even if their components don’t damage jewelry directly, residues from body washes and shampoos can form a film on your jewelry, dulling its shine.
- Remove gold jewelry when cooking: Sauces, batters, and other messy foods can get stuck in the crevices of more intricate gold items.
Regular and Periodic Care Tips for Gold Jewelry
Even if you follow the tips above, your jewelry will still need some care and attention from time to time. One thing you may be wondering is how to clean gold jewelry. Ideally, you should take it to a jeweler for a professional cleaning and polishing at least twice a year. However, in between, you’ll still need to do some maintenance at home.
Here are some recommendations for caring for and cleaning your gold jewelry.
- Inspect for damage: It’s a good idea to check for damage on a regular basis. Cleaning can make damage such as loose stones worse, so before cleaning is a good time to check.
- Soak in warm, soapy water: Regular dish soap in luke-warm water is recommended for cleaning your gold jewelry. You should aim to do this whenever your jewelry is visibly dirty.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: Some other substances can be used on your jewelry, but many household cleaners can damage the metal.
- Use a new, soft toothbrush: With a hard brush, you risk scratching the gold surface so gently remove dirt and residue from crevices with a soft toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry after cleaning.
Proper Storage for Gold Jewelry
You can find out more about how to store jewelry in our dedicated article, but here are the main things to remember when storing gold jewelry items:
- Separate pieces: This prevents delicate bracelets and necklace chains getting tangled or pieces damaging each other. This especially important if some of your items include hard gemstones such as diamonds, as these can easily scratch or dent other pieces.
Keep them in a jewelry box: These are usually lined with soft fabric to prevent damage and have compartments, hooks, and holders for storing pieces separately.
- Wrap pieces in a jewelry cloth: If you don’t have a jewelry box, you can wrap each piece in soft cloth and store in a box or drawer.
- Store gold jewelry in a cool, dry place: Heat, sunlight, and moisture can damage gold items.
- Keep it secure: For very valuable items, you may want to keep them in a home safe or even in a safety deposit box.
Polishing Your Jewelry
Polishing your gold jewelry can help to make it shine and look its best. If you’ve cleaned it with soap and water, there may be a thin film left on the jewelry. Polishing can help remove this as well other residue that may have built up.
Polishing can also help buff out very light scratches. However, for deeper scratches or dents, you’ll need to have your item polished professionally.
You should only polish gold with a special jewelry cloth or other soft cloth such as those used for sunglasses or cellphones. These are made of non-abrasive fabrics that won’t damage your gold bracelet. Paper products such as tissues or paper towels could scratch it.
Safe Cleaning for Your Gold Jewelry
As mentioned, certain chemicals and substances must be avoided when cleaning jewelry. For example, harsh chemicals such as bleach can weaken gold. It may be tempting to use abrasive materials such as baking soda or toothpaste to scrub away grime, but these can scratch your jewelry.
So what can you use to clean your gold? We mentioned dish soap diluted with water above, but ammonia-based cleaners and rubbing alcohol are acceptable alternatives.
Typical Problems and Damage Resulting From Improper Care
Overall, a little extra care for your gold jewelry can go a long way. Here are some things you can avoid by paying extra attention to your gold pieces:
- Ugly scratches and dents: Removing your jewelry at the right times and cleaning and storing it properly will help keep it damage-free.
- Weakened items: Using the wrong cleaning agents or exposing gold to chemicals can weaken the metal making it more prone to damage.
- Discoloration: Pure gold doesn’t tarnish, but popular gold alloys may discolor if not treated with care.
- Lost stones: Checking the settings of your gold jewelry regularly (and having repairs carried out as needed) can help you avoid losing one of your precious gems.
Types of Gold Alloys
While many people favor pure 24-karat gold, most gold jewelry is made from a gold alloy. The main three types of gold alloy are:
- Yellow gold: Pure gold is bright yellow in color, but most yellow gold jewelry is actually an alloy that also includes silver, copper, and zinc. The higher the pure gold content, the sofer the metal and the more susceptible to scratches it is.
- White gold: To make white gold, pure gold is alloyed with at least one white metal such as silver, nickel, or palladium. While white gold can be scratched easily, it is usually less susceptible to damage than yellow gold.
- Rose gold: This type of gold is an alloy of pure gold and copper. Copper is very durable compared to gold, so this type is the most sturdy of the three.
Gold jewelry items can add something special to any outfit. Plus many of these pieces hold sentimental value and may even be passed down through generations. You can keep your gold jewelry items looking their best by following the tips provided above.
Need more advice about caring for your gold or other jewelry? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.