Care and Cleaning
We believe that jewelry is meant to be worn. While pieces may stay nice and shiny in a safe deposit box, that's just not very much fun. We hope that you wear your jewelry with joy, love, and without worry--you can keep it in good shape and looking beautiful with a few simple care and cleaning tips. And remember, you can stop by your local Ben Bridge store at any time for a complimentary jewelry cleaning and inspection.
If nothing else, keep these four tips in mind: Protect your jewelry from scratches when it's not being worn by separating it from other jewelry in your jewelry box or travel case. Clean your regularly worn jewelry frequently. Cosmetics, soap, and skin oil can all cloud your jewelry's shine. A quick cleaning either at home or in your local Ben Bridge store can bring the sparkle back. Put your jewelry on after you've applied lotion, hairspray, or cosmetics to avoid getting additional chemicals or oils on your pieces. Get your jewelry inspected and professionally cleaned every 6 months or so. It's quick, free, and the best possible way to make sure that your stones are secure, clasps are in good shape, nothing needs restringing, etc.
Diamonds and gemstones
Keep an eye on your diamond and gemstone jewelry to make sure that your settings are secure and that the prongs holding your stones stay intact and in good shape. This will ensure that you don't accidentally lose a stone. On pieces with larger gems, it may be obvious when there's a problem, but for anything with smaller settings like pave, it's a good idea to get your jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected (free at your local Ben Bridge store), where a jeweler can look at all settings under magnification. You can also keep your diamond and gemstone jewelry clean and sparkly at home. After wearing, wipe your jewelry with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. This will remove any oils or smudges and ensure your jewelry is clean before putting it away. You can also clean most diamond and gemstone pieces by putting them in jewelry cleaner or in an ultrasonic machine for a few minutes. You can pick up jewelry cleaner for free from your local Ben Bridge store or order an inexpensive home ultrasonic machine. One important note: some gemstones such as lapis lazuli, pearls, emeralds, and turquoise should not be submerged in jewelry cleaner or in an ultrasonic machine. Before taking your new jewelry home, make sure to double check with your Personal Jeweler about care for your specific stone.
It's important to remember that gold, while strong and durable enough to be used for much of the world's fine jewelry, is still soft enough to be scratched or damaged. Remove your gold jewelry if you're doing any activities that could involve major impact (rock climbers, we're looking at you). At the end of the day, clean your gold jewelry with a soft cloth, in your jewelry cleaner (which you can pick up for free from your local Ben Bridge store, or in an at-home ultrasonic. Also, make sure to remove any gold jewelry when you're in the pool -- turns out, chlorine is gold's kryptonite, and over time, can weaken the metal's structure.
White and yellow gold pieces generally require similar care, but since white gold is coated with rhodium (a member of the platinum family) to keep it's color bright, it sometimes requires a little extra love. While rhodium is quite durable and does not tarnish, a rhodium finish can eventually wear off of white gold, particularly if you wear a piece every day. If the rhodium finish does wear over time, it can be easily and inexpensively recoated to return to its original brightness. Just bring the piece into your local Ben Bridge store and a Personal Jeweler can help get your white gold jewelry recoated.
Pearls, unique in the gem world for their organic origin, also have unique care and cleaning needs which are essential to maintaining their strength and luster. Their delicate nature makes pearls particularly susceptible to damage, but with the right care, they can last for generations. In general, avoid soaking your pearls in liquid or exposing them to heat. While you can wash them gently with mild soap and water then wipe them off carefully, you should never ultrasonic or steam clean your pearls or use any chemicals, abrasives, or solvents. Pearls also have softer surfaces than many other gemstones and can be easily scratched. Keeping your pearls in a fabric bag or wrapped in tissue can help protect them from minor scratches. It’s also a good idea to have your pearls restrung around once a year. Cosmetics, perspiration, oils, and ordinary wear can all weaken and stretch the threads on which pearls are strung, so it’s important to get those threads checked and maintained regularly.
Our best advice when it comes to watch maintenance is to never attempt do-it-yourself watch repairs, no matter how handy you are or how much time you spend on Pinterest. Watches are super complex little machines and only an expert watchmaker should be trusted to get a watch back into working condition. Attempts by an untrained repair person may seriously damage the watch and can even invalidate factory warranties. That said, it is a good idea to give you watch a quick check on a regular basis, wiping down the face and bracelet with a soft cloth, checking the leather on a strap, and making sure that the strap or bracelet is firmly attached to the watch face. Also, while many watches are water resistant, few are truly waterproof, so if you find that moisture or dust has penetrated the case of your watch, bring it into your local Ben Bridge store where we can have one of our watchmakers clean it out for you. In general, having your watch checked regularly by your Personal Jeweler or watchmaker and serviced according to the manufacturer's guidelines should keep it in excellent shape.