Maximize the life and brilliance of your jewelry with proper care and storage techniques to combat exposure to everyday elements. A little TLC will keep your jewelry beautiful for many years.
Water can be used to clean and rinse some jewelry, but is should be dried thoroughly afterward, especially before storing. Usually, though, a good rule of thumb is to keep your jewelry dry.
Cleaning Your Jewelry:
Jewelry is prone to getting dirty, dusty, smudged, dull, dingy and grimy from everyday wear. Lotions, soaps, cosmetics and even your natural skin oils and the air can oxidize or discolor mountings and create a film on gemstones or behind ring settings, thereby masking their brilliance. Simply clean your jewelry regularly and it will look as good as new. The frequency and method of cleaning you use depends on the jewelry piece and how often you wear it. Periodic professional cleaning is a good idea. In the interim, however, you can clean many of your jewelry pieces at home with a few simple, inexpensive methods.
Bath Method: Fill a small bowl with warm water and mild household liquid detergent, creating suds. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush, such as an old toothbrush or an eyebrow brush, creating a lather. Try to brush under the stones and in between prongs. Using a metal or plastic strainer, rinse off the pieces with warm water. Make sure the sink has a stopper in place. Pat the items dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Cold Soak Methods:
Method 2: Make a solution of equal parts cold water and household ammonia. Soak the pieces half an hour. Remove them from the solution and tap gently around the mounting with an old soft toothbrush. Then, rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain them on tissue paper.
Quick Dip Method: Use a brand-name jewelry cleaner made for the kinds of stones and metals in your jewelry. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not touch clean stones with your fingers. Please use commercial cleaners with caution; they may be no more effective than household cleaners, but may be more convenient for you. They are generally safe for diamonds, rubies and sapphires, but be sure not to soak these items for more than a few minutes. Commercial cleaners may be harmful to some gemstones; they are not recommended for opals, pearls, corals, lapis lazulis, turquoise and emeralds, as they may damage or reduce these stones’ luster.
Ultrasonic Method: Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are small, modern machines that quickly clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid. They usually have a metal cup filled with water and a cleaning agent. When the machine is on, high-frequency turbulence cleans the jewelry. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and warnings for using the machine. Also, consult a trusted professional jeweler to ensure an ultrasonic cleaner is appropriate for your pieces and to determine which one to use, as there are many different models available. Ultrasonic cleaners are typically only safe for diamonds, rubies and sapphires. They may cause damage to emeralds, opals, pearls and other colored gemstones.
Luggage Tips & Baggage Allowances
Having the correct luggage and understanding the general TSA traveling requirements can make or break your trip. Check out below for some tips and requirements that will help you decide the appropriate luggage for your travels:
Frame & Construction
Luggage frames are most commonly made of aluminum, wood and/or durable molded plastic compounds. You want a lightweight inner frame that will ensure strength. When it comes to zippers, look for ones that are reinforced with taped seams to help prevent fraying. Also, double stitching ensures a smooth closure every time. A common misconception is that thick leather is the only material that prevents belongings from getting ruined during travel. However, this can make the suitcase very heavy and hard to move. Nylon is a nice alternative, as it costs less to manufacture and is sturdy enough to effectively protect your possessions.
Most wheeled suitcases contain a telescopic pull handle, allowing you to adjust the height and conceal the handle when not in use. The handle should be sturdy and able to withstand pulling. Finding a suitcase with a locking handle will help keep it from bending due to weight pressure. Non-wheeled bags will most likely have hand and shoulder straps. Take note of the overall construction, as handles are typically connected with screws or rivets. Screws are much easier to replace if broken. You’ll also want to be comfortable with the bag, so make sure its handle has a soft/padded, sturdy grip.
If you don't want to carry your baggage, then rolling luggage is right for you. A common type is known as "spinner" luggage, which has four wheels instead of two. Having four wheels makes your suitcase more stable and easier to move through crowded areas. When looking for spinner luggage, wheels should be placed far apart and should attach deep into the bag's frame.