In order to keep gems looking as vibrant and valuable as on the first day of purchase, it is important to keep in mind a few basic rules and follow some specific cleaning techniques:
Since gems vary in hardness, storing them next to each other can result in scratches and reduced polish. Keeping jewelry separately, wrapped in cloth, silk or velvet is an easy task that will ensure preservation of luster and prevent damage.
The temperature at which gemstones are stored should be constant. Extreme temperature fluctuation can cause gemstones to fracture. Also, prolongued exposure to strong sunlight may cause some colored gemstones to fade or discolor. Therefore, some jewelry should be stored out of direct sunlight.
Check for loose gemstones before wearing your jewelry and always remove it when engaging in strenuous activities. Restring pearl or bead necklaces at least every two years (or every year if you wear them frequently). This will prevent lost gemstones.
Do not wear your jewelry if there is a risk of exposure to chemicals. For example, do not wear your jewelry whilst cleaning or during activities such as swimming or showering. Chlorine can damage gemstones and soap residue leaves jewelry looking dull. In addition, the chemicals in cosmetics, hairspray and perfume can damage gems, so necklaces or pendants should be put on last when dressing and taken off first when undressing, as a precaution.