Tips for Choosing  and Caring for Jewelry




Choosing a Diamond

Choosing a diamond you'll both love is not so difficult - when you understand the characteristics that distinguish one gem from another. Any explanation of a diamond's beauty and value centers on three key quality factors: cut, color and clarity, and one unit of measure: carat weight. Collectively these are known as the four Cs. Learn what to look for. Decide your priorities. Then make the choice that's right for you and your budget.

What you "C" is what you get. The diamond is a true marvel of nature. No two are exactly alike.

CUT....A diamond that is masterfully cut displays maximum brilliance and fire. Cut and proportion are extremely important because they have the greatest influence on the sparkle and value of a stone. A diamond that is well cut reflects light from one facet to another and Dianond, color and cutdisperses it back through the top of the stone.

COLOR....A diamond's body color can range from totally colorless to light yellow. The whiter or more colorless the stone is, the more costly, because the absence of color is more rare. Also, the less color in the stone, the easier it is for light to pass through and be dispersed back into the spectrum of colors, like a rainbow.

CLARITY....Nature is rarely perfect. So it is very rare to find a diamond that is completely pure or free of inclusions - minerals or crystals trapped within the stone at the time it was formed. Without ten-power magnification, you may never see these tiny inclusions. But they are the fingerprints that make each diamond unique.
CARAT WEIGHT....The size of a diamond is defined by its weight, which is expressed in carats. One carat weighs one-fifth of a gram, and is divided into 100 points - like pennies to a dollar. The larger the diamond the more rare and costly it is. However, depending on their color, clarity and cut, two diamonds of the same carat weight can vary widely in their value.

Caring for Your Jewelry

All Jewelry
Avoid wearing jewelry while in contact with household chemicals, such as chlorine bleach. They can discolor or damage your jewelry mountings.
Take off your jewelry before doing rough manual work or playing sports. Stones could be jarred loose or chipped by a hard blow.
When you're not wearing your jewelry, be careful that pieces do not tumble against each other to avoid scratching or dulling. Ideally, store each piece in its own soft cloth pouch.
At least once a year, have a jeweler professionally clean and inspect your fine jewelry.

Clean your diamond jewelry regularly at home in an ultrasonic cleaner or by hand. To make your own jewelry cleaning solution, mix one part ammonia to six parts water.
Gently scrub the diamond piece with a small soft toothbrush to loosen dirt and restore the diamond's brilliance. Be careful not to scratch the metal setting. Always rinse after cleaning.

Rubies, Sapphires and Garnets
To clean this gemstone jewelry at home, use a lukewarm solution of water and mild dishwashing soap, or one part ammonia to six parts water. Keep your gems brilliant by gently brushing them with a small bristle brush, especially underneath where dirt collects. Rinse and dry.

Because emeralds have delicate structures, never place emerald jewelry in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Heat and chemicals adversely affect emeralds. They are best cleaned professionally by a jeweler. However, you may wipe your emerald pieces with a soft cloth and clean them gently with a soft toothbrush and mild soapy water.

The best way to help your pearls maintain their luster is to wear them regularly. Your body's natural oils aid in keeping the pearls' beauty.
When necessary, wipe your pearls with a damp, soft cloth. Do not use oils or other treatments.
Never clean your pearls with jewelry cleaner or in an ultrasonic jewelry-cleaning machine! A harsh cleanser can wear away the nacre.
Have your pearls restrung every two to five years if worn regularly, or when the silk becomes dirty. Take your pearls to a professional jeweler for cleaning prior to restringing, which will add to the beauty and long life of your pearls.
Keep your pearls away from hairspray, lotion and perfume. Chemicals in these products can damage the pearls.
Make your pearls the last item you put on when getting dressed and the first item you take off.
Pearls should be worn alone. If worn with other jewelry, such as a gold chain or other necklace, they may be scratched or damaged.
Store your pearls separately so they won't be damaged by other jewelry.

Choosing a Diamond  and Caring for Jewelry