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Art of Style

How to look after your jewelry

A beloved piece of jewelry is the ultimate forever piece and requires plenty of TLC. Here are the tips and tricks we’ve picked up from a few of our favorite jewelry designers…

Model in polkadot top: all jewelry, Jennifer Meyer. Model in tweed jacket: all jewelry, Maria Tash

Maria Tash

“It is very important to store jewelry with care to avoid it being scratched by other pieces in your collection. I prefer a hard jewelry case to a soft one – this ensures that other items don’t damage metals and gemstones. Keep necklaces in a zip-lock bag within the hard case, but leave the clasp dangling out of the bag for easy retrieval.”

Valérie Messika of Messika

“In the warmer months, be careful when going into the sea with pieces, and always make sure to clean your jewelry after it has been in contact with saltwater. My key steps for cleaning jewelry are to soak it overnight in lukewarm water and liquid soap. In the morning, use a soft brush to remove impurities, then rinse the pieces again with lukewarm water. To dry, use a hairdryer on the coolest setting.”

Charlotte Chesnais

“The best way to conserve fine jewelry is to wear it. And every six months, I take care of it using an ultrasonic cleaner. With silver or vermeil, it’s important to avoid contact with water, perfumes and creams. This type of jewelry in particular needs the light or it oxidizes, so there’s no need to keep it in a drawer.”

Yves Spinelli and Dwyer Kilcollin of Spinelli Kilcollin

“When traveling with or storing jewelry, try to keep it away from excess humidity, which can cause the surface of the metal to tarnish. A couple of strips of anti-tarnish paper thrown into your jewelry tray, or in your travel bag, can prevent unwanted discoloration of the metal, which naturally occurs with changes in climate. If your jewelry does become tarnished, a jeweler can quickly and easily re-buff or polish your ring so it looks as good as new.”


Jennifer Meyer

“Don’t shower or go in the water with porous stones such as lapis, turquoise, mother of pearl, opal and onyx. Be mindful when applying lotion and perfume while wearing your favorite jewelry – these products can affect the longevity of the stone and get into the crevices of the prongs.”

Anita Ko

“I always tell my clients to take their rings off before washing their hands or using lotion. Soap and lotion residue can get stuck in the difficult-to-clean areas of the ring, which will make the ring and stones look duller.”

Sophie Bille Brahe

“Pearls are an organic material, therefore they do not tolerate any chemicals. We recommend that pearls are the last thing you put on (after your perfume) and that they are not worn while showering or swimming. However, in order for the pearls to keep their beautiful shine, they need to be worn – they’re best treated with the natural oils of the skin. Pearls tied on a thread will need to be spun again over time, as the thread will loosen upon use. We are happy to re-spin pearl necklaces and bracelets so our jewelry can continue to look fresh and new.”

Jennifer Fisher

“First and foremost, even though plated jewelry may look real, people need to keep in mind that it is not solid gold. If it does have plating on it, the plating can be affected by chemicals, such as hairspray, body lotion, chlorine and saltwater. Any time you are going to swim or shower, I recommend removing your costume jewelry to keep it in perfect condition. Whenever a piece is not being worn, remove any excess dirt or oil by wiping it down with a soft cloth (an old T-shirt works well) before you put it away.”

Carolina Bucci

“Make sure jewelry is not left out in the sun or exposed to too much heat – lots of stones, and especially pearls, can be badly affected by over-exposure. When it comes to gold, you’ll get a good last-minute clean with a little detergent and a soft toothbrush.”

All jewelry Messika

The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.