You have to remove your jewelry whenever you are doing activities that are risky. These activities may cause an impact or expose the jewelry to chemicals. Do not wear your jewelry when you are playing sports or doing house hold chores.

If you have rings that can not be removed and you have to use strong cleaning products, particularly those with an Ammonia base, you can protect it (as well as your skin) by wearing gloves made of rubber. Rings and bracelets are jewelry that are often worn, earrings and necklaces are also prone to damages from chemicals, especially whenever they are worn while putting on make-up, spraying fragrances and hair products.

A jeweler can also restring your pearl necklaces every two years. This should be done if it is your favorite jewelry. You can also clean your jewelry yourself by using mild and warm water with a soapy solution. Use a soft brush in cleaning the edges. Dry them using a soft cloth.

Be mindful of loose clasps and gems before you wear your jewelry. You would not want the stones dropping out. Neither would you want to lose the entire thing when you are walking down the street.

Do not pull the stones. Some women who wear jewelry pull on the stones whenever they are bored; just so their fingers have something to do. Well, this practice results in the gemstones being more prone to oil, dirt and sweat. You may even risk losing these because you loosen the setting on the metal.

It is also not advisable to store your jewelry in one big pile. This will cause the metal and the gems to scratch one another. Store your jewelry in separate sections. Wrap them in paper, silk or velvet. Put them in a jewelry box.

Here is a quick run-through on how to clean common gems:

1. Alexandrite - Clean using soapy water or commercially available products. The best is alcohol. You can also resort to mechanical cleaners.

2. Aquamarine - Steer clear of chemical cleaners and heat. These should not be cleaned frequently as well. Use a soapy solution.

3. Diamond - Chemical and mechanical cleaners are said to be safe, but they should be avoided when cleaning diamonds because the stone could be fractured. Rinse the diamond dry and well after using a soapy solution.

4. Emerald - Do not use mechanical and chemical cleaners. It will only dissolve oils during the cleaning process. Emeralds must be cleaned using soapy water. Have a jeweler re-oil the gem once every year.

5. Garnet - Just use soapy water.

6. Jade - Soapy water is the best, safest and easiest solution. You can also resort to mechanical cleaners, just steer clear of the chemical ones.

7. Opal - Wipe the stone after every use with a slightly damp or dry cloth. Do not wash or scrub hard.

8. Peridot - Do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Just use soapy water.

9. Ruby - Use soapy water or the cleaning solvents that are commercially available. Mechanical cleaners are also safe but these should be avoided because it may affect the clarity of the ruby.

10. Sapphire - Use soapy water and cleaning solvents. Mechanical cleaners are also safe but when these are used, they may affect the sapphires clarity.

11. Spinel - Use soapy water and the commercial cleaning solvents. Mechanical cleaners are to be avoided because these affect the clarity of the spinel.

12. Tanzanite - Do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Just use soapy water.

13. Topaz - Same with tanzanite, do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Soapy water is fine.

Caring for Your Pearls - Pearls are quite durable. Proper care keeps them lustrous and even more beautiful as they age. Here are some general tips in doing so.

1. Wipe the pearls using a damp warm cloth. This removes dirt and body oils which harm the original color of the pearl. Do this before you put them away.

2. Pearls must be stored away from other jewelry and objects. Keeping them close to such could scratch the surface. Wrap them in soft cloth or linen and put them in pouches. Do not store your pearls in packages that are air tight because they might lose their moisture.

3. Wash them using mild soap and wipe them dry with a soft cloth. You can use also use acetone.

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Sparkle N Dazzle Co., 7W 47th Street #1011, New York, NY 10036.

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