CARING FOR YOUR JEWELRY
At Von Bargen’s, we aim to bring beauty and art into our clients’ daily lives. We believe that fine jewelry should be worn and enjoyed on a frequent basis. That it should become a family heirloom, passed from one generation to the next. In order to ensure that your fine jewelry is cherished today and also appreciated by future generations, we provide you with the enclosed information to guide you in the proper treatment of your fine jewelry.
Scheduled Routine Appointments
We encourage you to visit Von Bargen’s Jewelry at least twice a year for a complimentary inspection and cleaning. Our knowledgeable staff is experienced in all aspects of jewelry inspection and care: checking prongs for wear and security, cleaning gemstones, restringing pearls, repairing clasps and earring backs. Having your jewelry regularly cleaned and inspected will ensure lasting beauty and value.
Treating your fine jewelry with care and consideration will ensure its beauty and longevity. We recommend that you visit Von Bargen’s every three months for a professional inspection and cleaning and that you use the following suggestions to care for your fine jewelry pieces between professional check-ups.
Before cleaning your fine jewelry, be sure that you are familiar with each featured gemstone and its corresponding care instructions. If you are uncertain of the gem type and its care needs, a Von Bargen’s Sales Professional will be happy to provide this information to you.
Platinum, Gold & Silver
Most Gold and Platinum jewelry can be cleaned in a warm soap and water solution using a very soft brush. To dissolve grease or grime, use alcohol or a non-abrasive, jewelry specific cleaner. Be sure to rinse the pieces thoroughly in warm water after such a cleaning. Dry and buff the jewelry with a soft cloth.
Sterling Silver naturally tarnishes, especially when exposed to salt air or products containing sulfur. In order to maintain silver’s white and shiny appearance, we recommend using either a non- abrasive silver polishing cloth or a liquid silver cleaner. Be sure to rinse your silver thoroughly with warm water after cleaning. Do not expose intentionally oxidized silver jewelry or gemstones to liquid silver cleaner.
Diamonds, Colored Stones & Pearls
Certain precautions should be followed in caring for any piece of gemstone jewelry. These include avoiding: wearing during activities that will cause impact or abrasion (i.e. gardening, weight lifting or sports), extreme temperatures (hot or cold), and contact with cosmetics, perfumes or household chemicals. All gemstone settings should be examined regularly to ensure the gems are held securely.
Prongs in particular are vulnerable to bending or breaking during wear and can result in lost gemstones if not checked and repaired when necessary. Most gemstone jewelry can be cleaned in a mild soap and warm water solution or with a non-abrasive jewelry cleaner using a soft brush. Diamonds can be cleaned in an ammonia and water solution (6 parts water to 1 part ammonia). Be sure to rinse the jewelry thoroughly in warm water after cleaning and use a soft cloth to dry.
Do’s & Don’ts
Complementing your proper and regular home care of your fine jewelry pieces with regular visits to Von Bargen’s for professional examination and cleaning will ensure that your jewelry is enjoyed today and for years to come. Von Bargen’s provides complimentary cleaning and inspections to ensure that your gemstones are beautiful, safe and secure in their settings.
The following guidelines will help to assure your fine jewelry remains beautiful for your lifetime and future generations:
- Visit Von Bargen’s for a professional inspection at minimum twice a year.
- Examine your jewelry routinely for secure settings and clasps.
- Make sure your jewelry is properly sized.
- Only clean your jewelry at home if you are familiar with its gemstone type(s) and specific care instructions.
- Do not use gold and silver cleaners interchangeably. Gold cleaners should be used only for gold and silver cleaners only for silver.
- Avoid storing or wearing your gemstones and pearls in locations that receive extended exposure to sunlight.
- Avoid storing or wearing your silver jewelry in salty air.
- Never use paper towels to clean pearls or jewelry.
- Avoid home ultrasonic cleaners unless you are certain that it is appropriate for your gemstone or jewelry.
- Store your jewelry in individual compartments, safe from the potential abrasion caused by contact with other jewelry or items.
Remove jewelry when:
- Lifting weights or shoveling
- Engaging in manual labor or hand intensive chores
- Cleaning the house or using harsh chemicals
- Painting or refinishing furniture
- Applying cosmetics such as lotion or perfume
- Doing laundry
- Swimming in the pool or sitting in a hot tub
- Experiencing extreme cold, heat or the change
When in doubt about the proper care for your fine jewelry, ask Von Bargen’s. We are here to help ensure that your jewelry and its beauty lasts for many generations.
Very few watches are truly waterproof, though many are water- resistant. We recommend the removal of your watch while swimming, sitting in a hot tub or bathing. If moisture penetrates the case of your watch, have it checked only by an authorized technician.
To keep metal watches looking their best, regularly use a polishing cloth made for metal. Care for your watch just like you would a piece of fine jewelry.
Ultrasonic Home Cleaners
Ultrasonic cleaning machines combine the use of cleaning solution, heat and sound waves to clean jewelry. While ultrasonic machines can effectively vibrate dirt and grime out of intricate jewelry pieces, they also pose a danger to many gemstones. Many gemstones are heat sensitive so exposure to the heated ultrasonic can affect the beauty of their color.
Other gemstones, such as pearls, are sensitive to the use of any cleaning solution so should never be put in an ultrasonic. Oiled gemstones, such as emeralds, are sensitive to the ultrasonic vibrations which can remove the oils from their interior fractures, causing increased visibility of inclusions. Vibrations can also cause loose gemstones to move out of their settings. Due to the multitude of risks involved with using an ultrasonic machine, we recommend that you only subject your jewelry to ultrasonic cleaning by a jewelry professional and abstain from using a home ultrasonic cleaner.
Always store your jewelry, at home or when traveling, individually in separate compartments in your jewelry box or pouch. When improperly stored, gemstone jewelry items can damage each other. For example, diamonds will scratch all other gemstones including rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other diamonds. Additionally, gemstones will scratch gold, silver and platinum.
Pearls in particular are sensitive and should be separated in an individual silk or cotton pouch to ensure they remain clean and dry. We recommend that any piece of fine jewelry be returned to its original case or another suitably lined box or pouch after being worn.