8 Ways to Make Your Jewellery Last For a Long Time

Keep your bling blingin'.

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We spend a lot of money on the stuff that sparkles, so it makes sense that we would want it to last a lifetime. Unfortunately that isn't always the case. Things get damaged, stones get lost, and metals start to tarnish. But if you are a little more diligent with your bling-care, you will certainly shine on for many years to come. 

Here are 8 tips for making sure your jewellery stands the test of time. 

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1. Remove your jewellery while performing manual tasks.

So many people say they "live in their jewellery" and feel "naked without it." Sorry to bust your bubble, but this is probably not such a good idea. When you're doing manual tasks like cooking, cleaning and gardening you need to remove your jewels to prevent them from being exposed to harsh chemicals and cleaning fluids, not to mention the banging around and potential loss of stones down a drain or in a garden bed.

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2. Make sure it's the LAST thing you put on in the morning

This
is especially important if you have a lengthy beauty routine! Wearing
your precious gems while you're doing your hair and makeup will result
in layers of cosmetics, sprays, perfumes and lotions building up. All of
these things have potentially damaging chemicals in them that will wear
your jewellery down, not to mention make it cloudy and dirty, taking
away some serious sparkle.

3. Remove your jewellery before bathing 

Just
because a long soapy shower makes you feel a million bucks, doesn't mean
it will do the same for your jewellery. In fact, it will make it
dirtier as soaps can cause a film to form on top of your stones and
metals, which makes it super dull. The same also goes for leisurely
bathing i.e. in pools or spas. The chlorine in the water can react to
certain metals, causing colour changes and even structural damage.
Besides all that, if you've ever tried to find a lost diamond in a giant
swimming pool you will know that this is an impossible task! 

4. Avoid contact sports

If you're about to get
all rough-and-tumble on us, be sure to remove all of your jewellery
first, ESPECIALLY rings. One hard blow can be enough to break even the
strongest of metals, especially the tiny claws that hold your stones in
place. Even if your jewellery DOES survive a game of touch footy, just
keep in mind that every time your stones take even the slightest
beating, things could possibly be coming looser every time, putting your
precious stones at risk or falling out later.

5. Hair salons and earrings don't mix

If you
wear earrings regularly, be sure to take them off before getting your
hair done at the salon. For one, there's nothing worse than a comb
catching your hoops and tugging painfully at your earlobes! Not to
mention how easily earrings can be broken if this happens. If you're a
pearl wearer, avoid wearing them at all costs if you are getting your
hair dyed as some colouring agents contain alcohol in them that can
spoil the lustre of pearls. This also goes for your pearl necklaces. 

6. Know how to clean your jewellery

For best
results you can use gold or silver professional polishing cloths for
your metals, but if this seems a little excessive you can always opt for
rubbing alcohol. Stick to soft fabrics like svelte to do the polishing
as tissues and paper towels can cause scratches. If you want to get your
diamonds looking like new, some warm water (never cold) with the
smallest amount of dishwashing detergent makes for a great at-home
remedy. Soak your diamonds in a bowl of the mixture for a few hours and
then finish with a gentle rub down with a soft toothbrush. Whatever you
do, DON'T USE BLEACH! Of course, you could also just take all of your
jewellery to your local jeweller for a professional clean.

7. Never clean damaged jewellery 

People like to
use the excuse that those cleaning machines at the jewellers loosen the
stones and cause them to fall out, but this isn't necessarily the case.
Cleaning jewellery when it is already damaged or broken will exacerbate
any underlying problem. For example, if the stones in your rings are
already loose or a claw is broken, putting it into a machine, or even
cleaning it yourself, will cause stones to fall out. Make sure you're
inspecting your jewellery regularly, especially before you clean it, and
if it is damaged set it aside to get fixed before you do anything else.
You can take your jewellery to any good jeweller and they will
'service' it for you, looking at it under a microscope and making sure
everything is as it should be. Claws will be tightened, gold will be
plated, missing stones will be replaced etc. After all of the right
checks have been made they will usually clean it for you as part of the
service as well. We highly recommend taking your special pieces for
annual inspections.

This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.au

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