\r\nWhen you give someone a piece of high quality jewelry, it is something more than just a heartfelt gift. Jewelry is an intimate gift of love that will stand the test of time and as a result, it is often handed down through the generations as cherished family heirlooms. And, like fine wine, jewelry is one of the very few things on the planet that becomes more valuable with age.\r\nBut, in order to ensure your jewelry’s longevity and vibrancy, you need to give it the routine care and maintenance it requires. Over time, exposure to things like hairspray, cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, and environmental factors can cause precious metals to corrode and fine gems to lose their dazzling luster. To help ensure that your jewelry lasts through the ages, here are some basic jewelry care and maintenance tips from Spectrum Fine Jewelry Repair in Wilmington NC.\r\nProtecting Fine Metals and Gems\r\nThe first step to ensuring your jewelry stays as beautiful as the day you received it is knowing when to wear it and when to take the jewelry off. For instance, harsh chemical agents and cleaners like bleach and chlorine can ruin metals like gold, silver, and platinum. Therefore, you should always remove your precious jewelry before jumping in a swimming pool or using cleaning products.\r\nIn addition, the sun’s rays can also damage some of the more delicate gems. For instance, amethyst, kunzite, topaz, and pink conch-shell cameos will start to fade when they are exposed to too much light, while amber will actually turn darker the more it is exposed to the sun. Meanwhile, pearls, if subjected to extreme heat will dry out, discolor, and even crack. Opals will also turn dark and brittle if exposed to heat.\r\nProper Cleaning Techniques\r\nThe safest and most effective way to clean most jewelry at home is to use warm soapy water (mild soap, no detergents), a very soft brush, and a clean, lint-free cloth. Be sure to put a stopper in the sink in the event a gemstone becomes loose and falls from its setting. For softer gems, like pearls, you will want to use something even softer, like an unused makeup brush along with the warm, soapy water. Instead of drying the pearl jewelry, just rest it on a clean soft cloth and let it dry naturally. Do not pick it up until it fully dry to prevent dirt from sticking to it.\r\nStoring Your Cleaned Jewelry\r\nNow that your jewelry is cleaned, how you store the pieces is just as important. Ideally, you should store each piece in the box that it came in but if you no longer have them, then using a jewelry box with padded slots for rings and a hangar for necklaces and bracelets is suitable. Sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a dry cloth or anti-tarnish bag. Whatever you do, do not throw your jewelry in one drawer as this will result in scratches and loosened gems.\r\nHave Your Jewelry Professionally Cleaned and Repaired at Spectrum Jewelry\r\nIf you received a family heirloom piece of jewelry that’s seen better days, bring it to Spectrum Fine Jewelry for repair in Wilmington NC. Our professional jewelers can bring your old pieces back to life, restoring their vibrancy and luster like you wouldn’t believe possible. Simply stop in or call us today at 910-256-2323 to schedule an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with one of our jewelry associates.