How-to guide: cleaning your jewelry

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I was raised by a mother who always said to me – “don’t buy often, buy good” – simple and to the point. My mom didn’t buy clothes or bags or jewelry all the time, but when she did, she made sure to get very good quality items. She got the ideology from my grandmother who was the very same (I think it has to do with the time she spent in Paris). This kind of mentality goes hand in hand with the quality over quantity dispute.

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What I am leading up to is the fact that, just like the women who came before me, I have purchased a few pieces of high quality jewelry for myself over the years. Buying jewelry is enjoyable and heartwarming, but keeping the pieces clean is part of the high-quality jewelry game. There are a few ways to clean your diamonds and gold. Many people take their precious stones to the jeweler to get professionally cleaned, which costs quite a bit. I have an at-home solution for jewelry cleaning.

Here is what you will need:

  • Old (or new but to never be used) toothbrush
  • Paper towels
  • Dish washing soap
  • Hot water
  • Small bowl

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The process:

  1. Take the small bowl and pour about 1 tablespoon of dish washing soap into it.
  2. Pour the hot water (very hot but not yet boiling) into the bowl with the dish washing liquid. Mix together.
  3. Place your jewelry inside the bowl (if you have a lot of pieces then you can make more than one bowl of this).
  4. Let the jewelry sit in the water for about 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pieces out and lay them on the paper towel.
  6. Take the toothbrush and scrub each piece to get into the smallest of crevices around prongs and grooves.
  7. Pat dry with another piece of paper towel.

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I use this method of cleaning about once a month (you would amazed at how quickly dirt particles collect on your favorite pieces – especially earrings and rings). If you are doing this for the first time, do yourself a favor and take a before and after shot for yourself to remember, I did that the first time and kept it to remind myself how well it worked.

To get you in the jewelry state of mind, I thought a quote by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would be appropriate:

“Jewelry and pins have been worn throughout history as symbols of power, sending messages. Interestingly enough, it was mostly men who wore the jewelry in various times, and obviously crowns were part of the signals that were being sent throughout history by people of rank.”

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