Caring For Your Jewellery at Home

Jewellery, by its very nature, is subject to wear and tear especially your cherished items which are worn every day. However, there is plenty you can do to help keep your precious items in good condition to keep them safe and sparkling.

The best way to safeguard your jewellery is to have your items regularly inspected by an expert such as our team here at Hamilton & Inches. The Service team can advise on any current or future problems your jewellery may face based on your own personal wear and daily routines. 

When caring for your jewellery at home, it is important to polish gold, platinum and silver items with a soft cloth. Every month or so, gently clean your jewellery in warm soapy water to remove any dirt, particularly from items you wear on a day-to-day basis. A soft toothbrush can help to remove dirt from trickier areas. Please seek advice from our Service team before cleaning gemstones as some stones can be easily damaged. 


It is important to put on jewellery last after doing your makeup or applying any fragrance. Over time, residues can build up making a required clean and polish a more regular occurrence. The same applies at night; you should remove jewellery first before any cleansing ritual or removing clothing to avoid fabrics catching. If removing a ring, you should always do so by gripping the band of the ring to minimise damage and dirt.

Remember to always remove any precious items of jewellery prior to exercise or strenuous activity. At all times, you should attempt to minimise potential damage to your jewellery to ensure their longevity and strength into the future. 

White gold requires specific care, as it is usual practice to plate almost-white gold with a white rhodium coating, which both brightens and hardens the surface. This coating is naturally worn down with wear but can be stripped faster by chemical cleaning. If you think your white gold jewellery looks off-white in places this is probably the reason.  Don’t worry - our jewellers at Hamilton & Inches are able to re-rhodium white gold and bring it back to its original beauty. As a rule of thumb, a white gold ring worn everyday may need re-coating once every 6 months to a year in order to maintain its appearance. However, this will differ depending on your routine and daily wear of your jewellery. 

Jewellery & Hand Sanitiser

With the increase in awareness of hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser, it is important to understand how gels can affect your jewellery. Hand sanitisers are available in two types; alcohol-based and non-alcohol-based. Alcohol-based liquids do not cause damage to your jewellery however non-alcohol-based use elements of chlorine. Over time, this could contribute to the tarnishing of jewellery, in particular items crafted from sterling silver. 

With that in mind, it is important to take care when sanitising your hands; pick your santiser carefully and, if in any doubt, keep rings off when regularly sanitising with non-alcohol-based liquids.

Caring for Pearls

Pearls should be cleaned gently with a soft cloth on a regular basis. Any residue present can cause premature ageing. It is recommended that pearl necklaces should be re-strung every two to five years depending on wear.

Caring for Emeralds, Opals & Unusual Stones

When caring for emerald jewellery, it is extremely important that you avoid using any chemicals, including fairy liquid, to clean them. Instead, they can be professionally and carefully cleaned by our team.
Opals are also porous and must avoid chemical and ultrasonic cleaners. They can also dry out and crack across the surface (known as a ‘craze’). Do not store opals in warm dry places, or under warm lights, for extended periods of time.  Care should also be taken with other, more unusual, gemstones including tanzanite, moonstone, coral, and others. These stones can all be gently cleaned with a soft toothbrush and mild soapy water. 

If you are unsure about the care of your jewellery, please do not hesitate to ask as we will be delighted to discuss it with you further and offer advice.  Our professional jewellers here are able to clean and polish your jewellery in our workshops on the premises should you wish. Please contact us for more information on this service.