Simple steps to sparkling jewellery Simple steps to sparkling jewellery

A little bit of maintenance goes a long way in keeping your precious pieces looking like new.

Whatever the occasion, a beautiful new piece of jewellery can be a great gift for your partner. Before investing your hard-earned money in a special keepsake, it’s worth knowing how to keep the piece looking brand new.

Cameron Marks, director of the Jewellers Association of Australia, says we really need to think about our jewels like we would a prized car. “You change your tyres and you get your car serviced every year—the same should apply to jewellery,” he says.

That’s why Costco jewellery and watches buyer, Katrina Ngo, recommends having your pieces inspected and cleaned by a jeweller every six months. “This will keep the piece looking like new and assist with ensuring the integrity of the setting,” she explains. In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do at home to protect your most sparkly assets.

Polishing a ring
Polishing a watch
Gold chains

1. Make cleaning a habit

If you want your jewellery to maintain its shine, Katrina recommends cleaning your pieces every few weeks. “The more they’re worn, the more they are prone to a build-up of natural body oils and chemicals from moisturisers and soap,” she says.

“It’s amazing what a bit of warm water and detergent does to a gold chain,” Marks agrees. “It removes the dirt from the links so [it looks] brand new.”


2. Keep your jewels dry

Take your jewellery off and put it in a safe place before showering or swimming to keep it shipshape. “Not only can they easily be lost when swimming, but the salt from the sea and chlorine may harm the metal,” Katrina points out. “Shampoo, conditioner and soap can cause a build-up around the setting over time, which can become difficult to clean.”

Katrina suggests leaving them outside the bathroom when showering too. “Avoid humid places like bathrooms, as well as areas with free-flowing air where your pieces can collect dust and require cleaning more frequently,” she adds.

Polishing pearls
Putting on jewellery
Jewellery box

3. Use a damp cloth on delicate gems

While most jewellery can be immersed in water, Cameron says there are some exceptions to the rule.

“There are a few gemstones, such as turquoise, that shouldn’t be immersed in water so we recommend that you wipe those down with a damp cloth,” he explains.

Pearls that are strung on a thread [shouldn’t be] immersed in water either because the string could deteriorate or stretch. For pearls, use a felt or damp cloth and run them through gently.”


4. Save the best ‘til last

A clever rule of thumb is to put your jewellery on as you walk out the door so spritzes and drops of body products don’t accidentally settle on your special something. “Your jewellery should be the last thing you put on before you walk out the door and the first thing you take off when you walk back in,” Katrina says.

“Chemicals like perfume, hairspray and lotions can build up over time and not only detract from the brilliance of your jewellery but also cause metal surfaces to dull. And remember, strong chemicals like bleach and ammonia will completely destroy the metal.”


Watch with care

Just like jewellery, looking after your watch will improve its appearance and longevity. Here are two easy tips.


1. Clean

Wipe your water-resistant watches with a damp cloth regularly. Use a dry, soft polishing cloth on any watch that is not waterproof.

2. Chemicals

Chemicals like detergents, perfumes and cosmetics can damage your watch band, so let your body products dry before putting on your timepiece.


Originally published in The Costco Connection, Jan/Feb 2020. Pick up the latest copy at your local warehouse or read it online.