How to Clean Platinum Jewellery
Do you know that there was a time when platinum was a rare metal? So rare that in the late eighteenth century King Louis XVI of France declared it fit only for kings? Thankfully, gone are such days. Today, many jewellery lovers prefer this metal for wedding bands and engagement rings, thanks to its exclusivity, strength, and durability. Earrings, pendants, and chains made of this white metal are also increasing in popularity these days. What’s more? Many consider their jewellery collection incomplete without a platinum trinket, however small it may be.
Of course, platinum is a durable and hypoallergenic metal which is 30 times rarer and 60% denser than gold. It neither oxidises nor wears down with years of use. However, this doesn’t mean that you can take your platinum trinkets for granted. Like all other jewellery, this alluring white metal also needs periodic care. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you clean your ornaments made of this precious metal.
Handling Platinum Jewellery
When platinum is polished, it attracts things like fingerprints easily. This can make your jewellery look grimy and reduce its shine. And the solution to this problem? Simple! Don’t touch your platinum jewellery every now and then. When wearing your jewellery try and handle it by the sides.
Do you have the habit of wearing your jewellery first, even before you wear your perfume and cosmetics? Well, it’s about time you change that habit. Chemicals in your cosmetics and perfumes can leave a residue on the metal. Make sure that you wear your platinum ornaments only after you have finished getting ready. As a general rule, they should be the last thing you wear and the first thing you remove. Likewise, those who wear platinum rings take it off before washing or moisturising your hands.
Cleaning Your Platinum Jewellery
Don’t you look so much fresher after you have washed your face? Similarly, platinum also looks brighter when it’s clean. Dirt may not harm the metal but will make it appear dull and lifeless. Hence, your everyday platinum trinkets, such as platinum earrings or chains, should be cleaned at least once a fortnight. To clean your platinum jewellery all you need to do is to soak your jewellery in a diluted detergent solution for a few minutes. This will help remove dirt and grime. This applies to all types of jewellery made of platinum, without any stone embellishments.
However, if your jewellery is mounted with gemstones such as topaz, opal, emerald or tanzanite, do not let it soak in water. To clean the crevices and intricate elements of your jewellery, you can use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Follow this up by rinsing your jewellery in clean water and drying it with a lint-free cloth. Believe it or not, in less than 10 minutes, your platinum jewellery will have a renewed sparkle! You can also buy a jewellery cleaning solution from your local jeweller. Do not use toothpaste, baking soda or any other such products to clean your jewellery.
Storing Your Platinum Jewellery
Platinum is a hard metal but this does not make it free from scratches. Thus, avoid storing your platinum jewellery with other ornaments. When many pieces of jewellery are stored together in a single box, they rub against each other, thereby causing scratches and other damages. Instead, store your jewellery flat in a fabric-lined box. It is best to invest in a storage box with individual compartments for the different pieces of jewellery. Alternatively, you could wrap each piece of jewellery in soft tissue paper or store them in individual fabric bags.
Watch Out What You Are Doing!
Platinum jewellery may suit all occasions but it does not suit all activities. If you plan on cleaning your home, put your platinum rings and bangles away before you start. Abrasives and chemicals such as bleach can mar its beauty and discolour diamonds and gemstones. You should also avoid wearing such jewellery, especially stone-studded ones, while doing labor-intensive work or gardening.
Taking Care of Platinum As It Ages
Age not only affects your looks, it can also affect the look of your platinum jewellery. However, this precious metal ages differently than many others. With time, this precious metal takes on the look of a soft aged patina, which makes your ornaments appear darker than before. Many people consider this as a unique feature of the metal and prefer the rich finish of patina. However, others may prefer to have their platinum sparkle like brand new, forever. If you belong to the second category, you can choose one of the two options - buff your jewellery or plate it with a fresh coating of rhodium.
Buffing your platinum jewellery will renew its sparkle by removing the layer of patina and scratches. This lustre can last for anywhere between 6 months and a year. Rhodium plating involves plating your platinum jewellery with a thin layer of rhodium. Rhodium shares the lustre and sheen of platinum and has a highly reflective sheen. This too will last for around 6 months to a year.
Taking Your Platinum Jewellery to the Jeweller
It is a good idea to have your platinum jewellery inspected by a jeweller once or twice a year. If your jewellery has gemstones, your jeweller will check for unequal prongs and damage to any of the prongs. You can also have the loose stones checked and fixed securely in their setting. Your jeweller can also polish your jewellery and help it shine. If you need your ring to be resized, ensure that the jewellery uses platinum and not white gold for the same. If white gold is used, your ring will have dark markings where the two metals have been soldered.
You have indeed taken a wise decision by investing in platinum jewellery. Now all you need to do is to keep them beautiful. Follow the above mentioned tips and your ornaments will keep shining, forever.