Throughout history women have had a love affair with gold. From ancient Egyptians to modern New Yorkers the lure of gold jewelry is still going strong. The basic designs have changed to follow current styles, making it possible to trace history through the designs on jewelry.
Gold is one of the softer metals and can be easily worked even with the crudest tools. It can be fashioned into jewelry, ornaments, and even dishes. When properly polished gold holds a luster that is very pleasing to the eye, which is one of the reasons it has always been so highly prized. But when gold is worn close to the skin or with other metals it can lose some of its shine.
Basic Home Care Instructions
Gold jewelry worn on an everyday basis can become dull and dingy. Because of the malleability of gold, it is often mixed with other stronger metals to ensure that it will hold its shape better and longer. It is these other alloys in the mixture that are actually changing color. This slight change in color or dullness can be easily fixed with a few common household items.
To get started all that is needed to clean gold jewelry is a mild detergent and a soft brush, an old toothbrush works great for this process. Dip the brush in the detergent and gently scrub the item, paying attention to the small cracks and crevices. Rinse the item thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth. The cloth should be a professionally recommended polishing cloth to ensure the jewelry isn’t scratched during the polishing phase. This will take away the dirt and grime that can build up from normal use.
If the jewelry has heavy caked on dirt it might be necessary to make a solution of one part ammonia and six parts water, and then soak the piece for 1 to 2 minutes. This should loosen the grime and make it easier to brush away. After brushing and rinsing, it is a good idea to use a soft cloth to polish a shine onto the jewelry.
Things to Avoid
There are some things that can be avoided to ensure many years of enjoyment from your gold jewelry. For example, avoid interaction with chemicals. Some everyday chemical combinations can be harsh on gold. Cleaning products can affect the surface of the gold jewelry robbing it of its natural sheen. Even products that are used on the skin such as lotions, bleaches, or hair dyes can be harmful.
Wearing jewelry made other metals should also be avoided. Gold is a softer metal and can be damaged when worn in conjunction with a harder metal, such as silver. The friction can scratch or elevate the wear of the piece reducing its life. Also be aware of where you remove your jewelry, setting on the edge of the sink can sometimes end in tragedy when your ring rolls down the drain. Following these simple tips can help in extending the life and enjoyment of your gold jewelry.