Category: Jewellery Care

Where to keep your diamonds when you’re not wearing them

Sometimes, intentions with regards to caring for a piece of jewellery can be similar to caring for a new car. In the first few weeks or even months, you carefully wash your new car and dry it to avoid watermarks. You vacuum out any remnants of dirt or dust and even your closest friends and family aren’t allowed to eat or drink in it. But after a few months the car becomes a place to store things that you don’t want to bring into the house and any thought of soapy water touching the paintwork becomes a pipe dream, or distant memory.

Jewellery, as with cars, maintenance and care is of critical importance. Perhaps most crucial is storage – the right garage, or the best way to store your new diamond to make sure it’s as safe as possible.

Diamonds Can Be Destroyed.

Anyone who has been in a high school science class, or read an article about diamonds knows that they are incredibly tough. In fact, they are the hardest natural minerals on earth, the word, “diamond” actually comes from the Greek word, “adamas” which means “indestructible.”
But the thing is, diamonds can be damaged and even destroyed; they just can’t be scratched, except by another diamond.

To avoid chipping, breaking or cracking your diamond (yes, these things are very possible) make sure that you remove your jewellery when undertaking physically intensive tasks, or activities that may put them in harm’s way such as gardening, sport or washing the dishes.

Remember, There’s More to Diamond Jewellery Than the Diamond.

Unless you’re going to rub your diamond against other diamonds, it cannot be scratched, but the same is not true of the other components that make up your jewellery. If you are just carrying around a single diamond, then you wouldn’t have to worry about scratching at all, but your piece also has metal, and perhaps other stones that can be scratched or shattered through carelessness.

Treat your jewellery as if it was made entirely out of its softest part. An incredible diamond won’t look as good if a formally stunning white gold band is scratched and dulled through lack of care.

Simple Is Better.

Your jewellery came in a box or a pouch, or something that was designed to keep it safe. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy storage boxes, just put the ring back in the bag – separately to everything else – and then place it gently in a drawer or somewhere else it won’t get knocked around. The critical element is routine – don’t commit to cleaning your jewellery every night and placing it in a box if it’s unlikely you will consistently follow through with it. It only takes a couple of careless, “I’ll just throw it in the drawer tonight” episodes to take your stunning piece and turn it into a shadow of its former self.

Caring for diamonds and making sure they maintain their looks is a discipline. Take the entire piece of jewellery into account, and create consistent and simple habits. Your jewellery will thank you, especially in 15 or 20 years.

June’s birthstone: How to take care of your pearls

June’s birthstone is a delicate and precious gem, symbolising loyalty, purity and faith. Gifts from the sea, pearls have a timeless elegance that allows them to be worn and loved for generations. They are also as delicate as they are beautiful, requiring special care. 

To make sure yours retain their lustre for years to come, follow these guidelines on caring for pearls

Protecting your pearls

On the Mohs hardness scale, pearl comes in at 2.5. To compare, diamond is ranked 10. This means that pearls are soft and easily scratched, so you need to take care to protect them. 

When you’re not wearing your pearls, it’s important to store them carefully. Keep them separate from other jewellery to avoid nicks and scratches from harder materials like gold or other gemstones – even two pearls rubbing against each other can cause damage.

Avoid storing pearls in plastic bags or containers – it’s best to keep them wrapped in a soft cloth in a place they can breathe as pearls are porous and need moisture and dehydration can make them fragile, even causing cracks. 

If you’ve heard it said that pearls like to be worn, it’s because the natural oils in your skin can help to keep them radiant, so don’t leave them stored away for too long!

pearl-strands-at-showcase-jewellers
Give your pearls the care they deserve.

Wearing your pearls 

While enjoying your pearls is important, so too is remembering that they are easily damaged by acids and chemicals, such as perfume, hair spray and make up. The general rule with pearls is that they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. This is to help prevent spritzing your perfume or other products on your pearls and accidentally damaging them. 

Don’t wear your pearls while in the shower or swimming, and when you take them off give them a gentle wipe with a damp cloth to remove any grime or oils. 

Cleaning your pearls

Every now and then, you’ll need to give your pearls a more thorough clean. Use a mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth.

After you have washed your pearls and rinsed them in clean water, wrap them in a cotton towel to dry. Never use cleaning solutions intended for silver or other jewellery, detergents or ammonia-based cleaners to wash your pearls, although you can use acetone nail polish remover if they are especially dirty. 

If you have any doubts or questions about pearl care, come and visit us in store – you can add to your collection while you’re there!

Discover August’s birthstone: Peridot part 2

If you’ve seen our first guide to peridot, the intriguing gem that is August’s birthstone, you’ll already have an idea of what makes this gem so special. From celestial origins in meteors dating back millennia to masquerading as emeralds, the peridot’s golden green hue has enchanted throughout the ages. 

Like numerous other coloured gems, the peridot is thought to be imbued with various properties. According to the American Gem Society, the olive-hued stone is believed to bring good fortune through power and influence, as well as bringing about a prosperous year. Additionally, peridot is also said to act as a talisman to protect the wearer from nightmares. 

But how can you tell a good quality peridot specimen? For those who have read our handy series on how to sound like an expert when choosing jewellery, you’ll already have a good few pro phrases under your belt, but this is something a little more specialised. 

Here’s what to look out for when you’re seeking out the perfect peridot at one of our Showcase Jewellers stores

peridot-facts

Making the cut 

As we mentioned before, the peridot gets an average score of 6.5-7 the Mohs hardness scale, meaning that it doesn’t have the hardest composition. While this isn’t too much of a concern for the discerning consumer, for jewellers, it can make cutting this gem into the perfect shape more of a challenge. 

According to the International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA), raw peridot is prone to cracking, meaning it takes a skilled hand to reveal its true inner beauty. However, once a gem cutter has worked to remove any coarse outer imperfections, the ICA notes that you don’t need to take any special precautions with it, as a peridot wears fairly well. 

What to look for when choosing a peridot 

With peridots coming in a broad range of verdant hues, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) notes that the finer examples tend to be more vibrantly coloured, with poorer-quality stones tending to be more brown in colour. Today, the best examples of peridots with good colour come from Pakistan and Myanmar, according to the GIA. 

As with diamonds, clarity is important. Finer peridots won’t have any imperfections or inclusions – often in the form of black spots – that are visible to the naked eye. However, with a slightly included peridot, you may see flat, reflective disk-like shapes known in the industry as ‘lily pads’. 

As for cut, peridots can be moulded into a variety of shapes, so go for one which catches your eye, or that complements its setting.