The simple rule of thumb is to clean a piece of jewelry according to the limitations of its most fragile component. For example, it your earrings contain both pearls and sapphires, you should look for instructions on how to clean pearls. (In this case, use warm water and mild soap. Rinse and dry the piece thoroughly.)
It's a good idea to take your rings off when doing rough work. Even though diamonds are durable, they can be chipped by a hard blow. Perspiration and dirt can cause your jewelry to dull.
Bring your diamond jewelry to your jeweler a least twice a year to have them check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings.
When you are not wearing your jewelry, put it in a fabric-lined jewelry case with dividers so they won't come on contact with each other (avoiding the possibility of scratching your jewelry).
Don't expose your jewelry to salt water or harsh chemicals, like chlorine bleach.
Don't wear your sterling silver jewelry in chlorine water.
The use of hair spray, make-up, hand lotions and perfumes can cause jewelry to dull. Put your jewelry on after you have used any of these to prolong their luster.
Store your silver in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish preventative bag or wrapped in a soft piece of felt or cloth.
It is a good idea to bring your pearls in to your jewelry at least once a year to have them restrung. Normal wear tends to weaken and stretch the threads on which pearls are strung.
When you have your pearls restrung, make sure they are knotted between each pearl. This will prevent the loss of pearls if the string should break.
Don't wear your watch while swimming, bathing or doing, hot, strenuous work unless the degree of water-resistance was clearly specified when you purchased the watch.
Replace broken or scratched watch crystals promptly. Even the smallest crack can let in dust or moisture that can threaten its accuracy.
Pearls, coral and porous stones such as opal, turquoise and malachite should be kept away from oils, chemical and dirty water to avoid discoloration. Wipe them gently with a soft, damp cloth.
Ultrasonic cleaners should not be used with stones subject to internal stress -- tanzanite, opal, emerald, organic gems (pearl, coral and amber), turquoise, lapis, malachite and any stone containing major inclusions. Use warm water and mild soap, rinse and dry thoroughly.
Opal, pearls, coral, amber, turquoise are heat sensitive (both to extremes and sudden changes in temperatures). Do not leave them sitting in hot sunlight, near radiators, or in hot cars.
More Jewelry Tips ...
1. Avoid wearing your jewelry especially white gold in a chlorine pool or a hot tub. The chemicals may slowly erode the finish, weaken the prongs, and discolor the gold or sterling silver.
2. Use ? water and ? ammonia to clean diamonds and some colored stones. Dip the jewelry into this solution and use a soft brush to clean under the prongs. DO NOT clean the following stones in this solution: Turquoise, opal, emeralds, tanzanite, pearls, amber, coral and ivory, shell cameos, lapis, bone, horn, any assembled stone
3. Store your jewelry in separate soft boxes or plastic bags to avoid scratching the finishes.
4. Platinum is an extremely durable precious metal. It is resistant to tarnishing and discoloration due to chlorine and other chemicals but needs to be cleaned like gold jewelry.
5. Clean silver jewelry with a non-detergent soap and water, using a small, soft brush to clean under the stones. To remove tarnish, try a polishing cloth. They are charged with a cleaning compound just for silver.
6. Hair spray, perfume and perspiration can weaken the silk thread that pearls are strung on. The corrosive effects can damage pearl luster.
7. Should your pearl strand break, the knots in between each pearl will prevent the loss of any pearl. Knots separate pearls to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
8. Clean pearls only with a non-detergent soap, rinse and pat dry.
9. Place a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up, on the bottom of a glass bowl or glass pan. Fill the container with a solution of boiling water and three teaspoons of baking soda. To remove tarnish, soak any sterling silver and good quality silver plate (the finish on cheap silver plate will bubble if it's soaked).
May we suggest one more...