Here are 3 things to know about how cold & flu season affects your jewelry:
Hand sanitizer can discolor white gold and other rhodium overlay pieces. That’s right – the alcohol in common hand sanitizer reacts with the rhodium finish often used to make white gold jewelry (and sometimes sterling silver) more shiny. During this time of year, hand sanitizer is a great way to to stop the spread of harmful bacteria – but it’s not always the best friend for your jewelry.
PRO TIP: When using hand sani, apply to your fingertips and the palms of your hands trying to reduce contact with jewelry. If you can, slip your rings off briefly and put them back on after application dries.
Opals don’t like freezing cold. Opals are a silica-based precious stone with water trapped inside the crystals, making them extremely sensitive to pressure and temperature changes. Wearing opal jewelry in icy weather or exposing it to very cold water can cause these fragile stones to actually crack!
PRO TIP: Keep your opal jewelry stored at room temperature during freezing weather. When cleaning your opal jewelry, use only lukewarm water and mild soap with a soft cloth. Don’t ever use harsh jewelry cleaners on opals or pearls.
Limit your jewelry’s contact with soaps and hand lotions. As the weather gets cooler, the dry air and frequent handwashing has us using lotions and moisturizing creams more often. This can leave ugly buildup on your jewelry and even cause discoloration of fashion pieces that would otherwise last years. They can also damage the finish of many gemstones.
PRO TIP: Take off your rings and bracelets before using strong cleaning products. (Please remember never to place them on the edge of the sink!) Clean your jewelry routinely with a soft toothbrush and MILD, lukewarm soapy water to remove filmy residue and other debris. Or use a jewelry cleaner formulated specifically for the type of jewelry you’re cleaning.
Here are some of our favs:
• Connoisseurs® Precious Jewelry Cleaner
• Connoisseurs Delicate Jewelry Cleaner
• Connoisseurs® Silver Jewelry Cleaner
• Connoisseurs ® Advanced Jewelry Cleaner Dazzle Drops
• The Sharper Image Jewelry Cleaner
And don’t forget, a microfiber cleaning cloth can always provide a quick and safe cleanup for your pretty pieces.