Looking after costume jewellery can actually be more difficult than looking after precious metals and gemstones. While diamonds, sapphires and rubies are among the hardest substances on earth, glass and acrylic stones are surprisingly soft and easily scratched or broken.
Similarly, while most precious gemstones are held in place with tightly packed claw or rub-over settings, most costume jewellery uses glue to secure stones in place, and softer metals such as stainless steel when it comes to clasps, chains and claw settings. All of this means that precious, high-end jewellery can generally withstand a bit of a beating, while costume jewellery must be treated with extra care. Here are a few rules on how to look after your most treasured pieces of wholesale costume jewellery, so that they look better for longer.
1. Store it correctly
A tangled chain or a bent setting can spell the end for your favourite necklace – and this is all too easily done. Use a vintage jewellery box to keep your jewellery safe, secure and out of harm’s way. If you are short on space, attach a few picture hooks to your wall and hang your necklaces, earrings and bracelets so they’re out of the way.
2. Don’t use chemicals
There are dozens of jewellery-cleaning products on the market, but they may not necessarily be right for your jewellery. Acetone and other corrosive chemicals can dissolve glue, leaving your costume jewellery less secure than it was before. And strong silver cleaners can leave behind a chalky white residue if they are used on non-silver metals.
To clean your costume jewellery, simply use a very soft toothbrush and a small bowl of warm water with a splash of washing-up liquid. For really old pieces, just run over the settings with a dry microfibre cloth.
3. Check your settings
Loose settings mean lost stones, and missing stones can ruin the look of good costume jewellery. Get into the habit of checking over your jewellery settings, and simply pinch any loose claw settings until they are tightly closed again. That way, your stones will stay intact for longer and you will avoid costly replacement jobs.