Time for a jewellery spring clean

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How to keep the sparkle in your diamonds and the glisten in your pearls.

As spring begins to whisper its presence – warmer weather (perhaps), the sounds of nesting songbirds, gardens awakening from their seasonal slumber – many of us will be thinking about having a good spring clean. But we shouldn’t confine our spring cleaning efforts to the more functional parts of our homes, when there’s a much more rewarding prize in need of some care and attention. Be honest, when did you last have your jewellery cleaned?
Given how special and sentimental jewellery is, regular cleaning ensures longevity and guarantees each piece always looks its best. So, to help keep the sparkle in your gemstones, diamonds and pearls, Cheltenham jeweller Martin & Co offers some professional advice.


Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Know the gemstone

Before you start, it is important to know exactly what the gemstone is as this will determine how it can be cleaned. If you’re not confident, then pop into Martin & Co and have a chat with in-house gemmologist, Leigh, who will be able to identify the type and how it should be cleaned. Certain coloured gemstones need special care and attention, and emeralds, opals and pearls can easily be damaged.

Gem set jewellery should not be put in an ultrasonic cleaner if any gemstones are loose, so it is important not to try this at home before asking a jeweller to first assess its condition. Martin & Co is more than happy to do this annual check on the settings, while also making sure there is no surface damage to the gemstone; all done while giving them a clean too – free of charge.


Emerald and Diamond Hoop Earrings

Dusty diamonds

Diamonds are oleophobic which means they can attract grease. If you are in Cheltenham shopping, pop your diamond ring into Martin & Co who will put your diamond jewellery in the ultrasonic or steam cleaner whilst you wait – again, free of charge. If you want a full refresh, Martin & Co can also have your rings polished or re-plated if necessary (in the case of white gold).


Diamond Bangle

Porous pearls

Pearls on the other hand, need a lighter touch and cannot be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner due to being made of an organic material. To minimise contaminants when dressing, pearls should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off, and you should avoid getting things like hairspray or perfume on your pearls. Pearls will also absorb smoke which can cause them to dull and discolour. Traditionally strung on silk, this will stretch and wear over time which means you could be at risk of the strand snapping and losing the pearls. If you start to notice the silk is stretching – there may be gaps between each pearl or they are moving freely – pop them in to Martin & Co who can arrange for them to be re-strung, while also being cleaned of course!


Mikimoto Akoya Pearl Bracelet

Check your valuations

Now your jewellery items are cleaned and ready for the spring, don’t forget to get an up-to-date valuation and make sure they’re fully insured. You may also be required by your insurer to have your jewellery periodically checked to make sure the settings are secure. Amanda is Martin & Co’s own registered valuer in store who can help with valuations and in providing the necessary documents required by insurers.