Ask sXs: How To Care For Your Precious Jewellery


You treat yourself right with a nice piece of jewellery from time to time. But are you treating your jewellery right? Let Joanne Low, jewellery designer and founder of Joanne L, tell you how to wear, clean and store your diamonds and pearls to make your investments last.

Joanne L wearing a cuff from her eponymous line.

From time to time, when I feel the need to pamper myself, I buy a nice piece of jewellery. But I realise that they tend to lose their shine after a while. How can I care for them so they last and retain their lustre? — Amelia Tang, 30, creative director

Joanne L: I always look forward to that time of the year where I can treat myself to a special (and usually expensive!) piece of jewellery — the sort that will last me through the years. Yet, many chemicals found in everyday substances like hairspray, lotion, perfume, cosmetics and even natural elements like sunlight can permanently damage these precious little loves.

Hence, it is imperative to understand how to care for our jewellery.

Some chemicals can corrode metals and even gemstones and pearls. Always remove your jewellery before doing housework, participating in sports or applying perfume and lotion. Heat, light and excessive temperature changes can also affect the colour of some gemstones, so avoid leaving your jewellery in hot, sunny areas and definitely avoid subjecting your jewellery to sudden temperature changes.

Tahitian pearl bracelet, Tiffany & Co

As pearls scratch easily, use a soft cloth to wipe them gently before storing them. Most other jewellery may be cleaned using warm water, mild soap and a soft brush, and then dried thoroughly. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing plated jewellery too forcefully as you may end up removing more than the surface dirt! Get your jeweller to check yearly if your pearls need re-stringing or if stones should have their settings adjusted.

Celebration solitaire rings, Joanne L

Store all jewellery individually and carefully to prevent them from being scratched.  Other than pearls and opals, store jewellery in dry areas, with the anti-tarnish tabs provided by your jeweller. As pearls and opals need some moisture, storing them in a dry area, such as a safety deposit box, is not a good idea. Instead, wear them frequently! When travelling with jewellery, protect the pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding the jewellery.

You are reading styleXstyle's "Ask sXs" column. Once a week, we will address your style, shopping and beauty conundrums with the help of experts in their fields — whether they're a designer, stylist, make-up artist or celebrity. So, if you don't know what to wear on your first date, or need help with your make-up, email us your questions at, or drop us a message in the comments field below or on Facebook, and we'll do our best to have them answered and featured.

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