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Caring for the Jewels



By Asra Shaheen

CARING AND CLEANING YOUR BRIDAL JEWELLERY FORM AN ESSENTIAL PART OF JEWELLERY MAINTAINANCE. HERE’S HOW TO GO ABOUT IT.

Seema’s heart swelled with nostalgia as she carefully placed the gold necklace, earrings, and maang tikka on a satin cloth spread over the table. Seema’s maternal aunt had bequeathed these stunning pieces of jewellery to her at the time of her marriage. The ensemble will now be passed on to her daughter Ritu whose wedding is just two months away. As Seema excitedly spoke about the jewellery, Ritu took the tikka in her hand and pointed to her mother, “Look Mom, the bindi has faded in the center and one emerald stone is gone!” This instantly dampened Seema’s enthusiasm and she began to inspect the other pieces of jewellery as well.
Jewellery is more than just a personal possession of embellishment in Indian tradition. A whole lot of memories and sentiments are attached with each piece of jewellery that goes on to become a part of the family heirloom. It would do well to have some handy tips on maintaining and preserving your prized possessions in good condition.

Cleaning and storing GOLD
Purer gold is softer and hence prone to scratches. Take the gold bangles and finger rings off when doing work that could damage them. 18 carat and above gold doesn’t corrode or discolour but can get dirty very easily.
Cleaning tips: Warm soap water can be used to clean the dirt on gold. Use a soft toothbrush to reach the angular areas around stones or the back of the item. Use a rouge-impregnated cloth to lightly rub the jewellery. This will ring back the sheen.
Do not use bleach or other cleaning products on lower carat gold. Corrosive chemicals can harm the not so pure gold.
Storing tips: Each piece of jewellery should be stored separately in jewellery bag or box. Storing more than one together would result in the items getting scratches. The bag or box should not be too tight and should have breathing space. Some jewellery bags available in the market are treated with chemicals that prevent tarnish.

Cleaning and storing Diamonds
Prevention is better than cure! Prevent the diamonds from getting grimy in the first place. Avoid touching them as far as possible. Remove the diamond jewellery before taking bath or applying makeup.
Cleaning tips: Warm soap water can be used to clean the dirt on diamonds.
Use a soft toothbrush to reach the angular areas around stones.
If the mild detergent water is not enough to clean the dirt or grease, use a mix of 1 cup water and ¼ cup of ammonia. Immerse the diamond jewellery in this solution for 20 – 30 minutes and clean it with a soft toothbrush.
Storing tips: Diamonds are brittle and can get cracked or chipped easily. Store each piece of diamond jewellery separately.
Wrap each piece in a soft cloth. The bag or box should not be too tight and should have breathing space.

Cleaning and storing Pearls
Pearls need to be cleaned very carefully. Abrasive detergent can damage them.
Cleaning tips: Add a little baby soap solution in warm water and clean the pearls. Use only soft cotton to rub pearls.
Storing tips: Pearls are brittle and can get cracked. Store each of the pearl jewellery separately. Use a soft cloth to wrap the jewellery. Pearls can get dehydrated; keep them away from heaters. Cleaning pearls with olive oil will help in retaining the luster.

Cleaning and storing Precious Stones
Precious stones, kundan, polki and meenakari (heirloom jewellery): Different methods of cleaning should be used for the different kinds of precious stones.
Cleaning tips: Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, Peridot, and Tanzanite can be cleaned with a solution of warm water and a mild soap.
Emeralds should be immersed into room temperature water. Do not use warm or soap water. These stones have fine cracks and can be easily damaged.
Opal should be cleaned using soft soap water.Turquoise should be wiped with a soft dry cloth. Never use a detergent as it will discolour the stone.
Storing tips: Precious stones used in antique jewellery are brittle. Store each piece separately. Wrap each piece of jewellery in a soft cloth. The bag or box should not be too tight and should have breathing space.

Cleaning and storing Fashion Jewellery
Fashion jewellery is made of different metals and alloys. Exercise caution while cleaning this jewellery.
Cleaning tips: Avoid ammonia, chemicals and detergent as they may leave a residue on the metal. Use a cleaning solution and a soft toothbrush.A toothpaste containing baking soda can also be used to clean the jewellery.
Storing tips: Store the jewellery in a cool place and do not expose it to heat. Store each piece separately so that they do wnot get tangled or break.

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Reviews 1
mahendra jain [ 15 Apr 2012 ]
how much price this set and how much gold and diamond