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Caring for your Jewels.

by Kate McCoy |

Keeping your treasured jewellery sparkling at its most brilliant is not only important for the show factor but also to maintain it for generations to come.

At Kate McCoy we recommend a simple but effective jewellery cleaning solution: Jewel Sparkle.

The Jewel Sparkle is an easy to use jewellery cleaning solution that is an essential household item for the bathroom cupboard, making keeping your jewels clean, super easy.

Jewel Sparkle

It comes in a cute tea cup sized screw lid container full of specially formulated cleaning solution. With an internal basket and adorable little cleaning bush, the basket makes it easy to retrieve your jewellery once you drop it into the solution to have a soak. 

Simply place your jewellery in the basket, dip the basket into the container of cleaning fluid for two minutes. Retrieve and give it a light scrub, being sure to gently scrub underneath the setting and the stone. Repeat the process. Do not leave jewellery in the solution for long periods of time.

Within 3 – 5 minutes your jewellery will be sparkling clean. 

Lift the tray out. Remove your pieces and carefully place them on a towel on the floor or table.

Take your hair dryer and on a warm and low setting give your jewellery a gentle blow dry.

Be careful you don’t blast it! We recommend you do it on a towel on the floor away from the drain, or better still cover the drain if you have a floor waste, we would hate for you to blast your diamond earrings by accident into the sink or worse still, down the toilet!

Drying it will keep it clean and free of bacteria for longer.

The Jewel Sparkle Solution has been specially formulated to dislodge stubborn grease, dirt, oil, bacteria and contaminants adhering to metal and gemstones, especially under the settings and in between any links on fine chains etc.  The defining brilliance of JewelSparkle is that is doesn't leave soapy residue on the diamonds optimising the amount of light that enters and scintillates throughout the facets of your beautiful stone(s). 

Jewel Sparkle is ideal for cleaning Platinum, Gold and Diamond Jewellery and most precious stones such as Sapphires, Rubies, Aquamarines, Tourmalines, Quartz and more. 

If you want to go one step further an ultra sonic jewellery cleaner is a fantastic household item to have in the bathroom cupboard, however, beware that many of the household jewellery cleaners will not have a heating element to them and the ultrasonic vibrations may not be strong enough to give the most amazing clean like our one in the workshop.

Ultrasonic Cleaner

For this reason, unless you are willing to spend around $300 on a industry level ultrasonic, you are better off using our recommended Jewel Sparkle Cleaning Kit to keep your stones brilliant and clean. Once or twice a year, bring your ring in to your preferred jeweller or of course, you can bring it in to us for a service, just as you do a car.

We will clean it, check your stones and all the settings, tighten any settings if needed, give your ring a repolish and if white gold, we can re-rhodium plate it if needed all for just $60 and in most cases, we can do it while you wait. If any repairs are needed, we will show you exactly where and what and talk through the options of how to do this in the most safe way and give you a quote before going ahead.

In our experience it really pays to maintain and look after your jewellery. The sentiment behind a lot of jewellery is priceless, and we know how easy it is to avoid catastrophe if you look after your jewellery and have it serviced regularly.

If you do decide to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner, get in touch with us and we can make sure you buy the correct one. There are lots of models on the market, and not all of them work that well.


Why is an ultrasonic cleaner so good?

The ultrasonic frequency waves dislodge stubborn and hard to reach grease, dirt, oil, bacteria and contaminants adhering to metal and gemstones, especially under the settings and in between any links on fine chains etc. In a good quality ultrasonic cleaner the waves are powerful and the temperature of the liquid will heat up to at least 50 degrees celsius.

There are however some gemstones that MUST NOT go into an ultrasonic cleaner or in general be worn in the water, which means, don’t wear them swimming, especially not in chlorine, in the shower, washing the dishes, washing your hands.

Theses are:

  • Opals
  • Emeralds
  • Some Corals
  • Some Turquoises
  • Cultured and Natural Pearls

Cultured and Natural pearls can go into an ultrasonic cleaner but for no longer than 20 seconds maximum. Its more so to clean the settings that may have diamonds or other stones set within them. There are a few things to be aware of with pearls. If they are set in earrings or a in a pendant or a ring, they have no doubt been glued in with a special jewellery glue/resin onto a post. Whilst this glue/resin is strong and recent technology has improved the fixtures available, in older pieces the solution and warmth of the ultrasonic bath can soften up the old glue or the glue may have become brittle over time and the cleaning process will loosen any brittle pieces causing it to weaken the setting. If you are worried about cleaning pearls, get in touch with us at Kate McCoy and we can happily clean it for you for a small fee and reset the pearls if needed.

Opals are not recommended to be cleaned in the ultra sonic as it can crack them. They are porous stones and it can disturb the silica matrix that makes them so special.

Emeralds are also in general porous stones with micro fissures. Emeralds are often oiled, which is an industry accepted standard, provided the oil does not contain green dye to deceptively improve their colour. The oil helps to maintain them. If you put them into warm soapy water they can dry out and crack.

Another thing to be weary of with opals and emeralds is going from one extreme temperature to another. If you are going on a skiing trip and you have an Emerald engagement ring…. Best to leave it at home. Going from a warm cozy chalet into the powder could cause your emerald to crack.

Some turquoise and coral are dyed to enhance the colour. As well, Natural turquoise and coral are both porous gemstones and as such the ultrasonic can cause cracking long term.