JEWELLERY CARE GUIDE
The Fine Print
These instructions provide important information and guidelines for the care of the gemstones and setting of your special Lily Flo piece. We recommend reading this entire guide for repair and warranty information.
Caring for your Lily Flo jewellery begins with mindfulness: knowing when to put it on, when to take it off, and when to have it serviced professionally. Our instructions were created specifically for Lily Flo Jewellery pieces, but are applicable to all fine jewellery. As a general rule, we advise our clients: If you would not wear a silk blouse or dress to do an activity, it is a good idea to set aside your jewellery as well. .
Depending on your lifestyle and occupation, consider removing your jewellery during working hours. Contact with potentially damaging materials can be a daily reality. Professionals in the food, art, or medical industries, for example, may use their hands much more actively than those with office jobs. Please consider our care instructions while deciding whether your workplace is an appropriate environment for your new jewellery.
Although it can be tempting to wear your jewellery all the time, please remove all pieces when:
• Exercising: any strenuous activity including cardio, yoga, lifting weights, swimming, etc. These activities, particularly ones using your hands, put pressure on your pieces, causing them to bend, warp, or for stones to become loose in their settings. Chlorinated water can also react chemically with metals, changing the colour, weakening settings, or pitting gold. Something as simple as extended time in water can harm jewellery, even if the damage is not immediately apparent.
• Showering or bathing. Hard water, shampoos, and conditioners can become stuck behind settings, causing damage to your pieces. Soap scum can be hard to remove and causes jewellery to look discoloured and grimy.
• Sleeping. The extended heat and pressure that occurs during sleep can wreak havoc on delicate and fine jewellery. Keep a jewellery-appropriate container next to your bed so that you can remove your pieces every night.
• Applying perfumes, lotions, oils, makeup, or hair products. Products can build up on the jewellery, damaging certain stones, dulling their appearance, and requiring more frequent cleaning.
• Cooking, baking, or doing dishes. These activities can cause debris to become lodged in settings and diminish the appearance of your pieces.
• Cleaning, especially with bleach or other harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals such as bleach can pit metals and weaken settings, causing stone loss.
• Gardening. The pressure from holding gardening tools can cause damage to settings even when wearing gloves. Removing your pieces before gardening also ensures that they remain free from dirt and debris.
• Painting, throwing pottery, or play. These activities are best done with your jewellery safely out of the way.
Avoiding impact, pressure, and extreme temperatures is crucial to promoting the longevity of your jewellery. Gold, gemstones, and even diamonds can chip, crack, scuff, or become scratched if knocked hard enough. Special attention should be paid to stones in prong settings where the prongs can snag or bend on garments and other surfaces. Be mindful that gold is softer as the karat count increases (i.e. 18k gold is softer than 14k).
Do not wear your earrings if the backs are too loose from wear. Lily Flo is happy to tighten loose backs free of charge. We also offer screw-back posts if you’d prefer a little extra security. Please inquire with our store staff for screw-back pricing.
Checking for loose gemstones
For any pieces with stones, especially rings, we recommend having the tightness of the stones checked regularly by a professional. Depending on the amount of wear the piece receives, stones should be checked every four to six months. Stones should also be checked more frequently at home. You can use a simple pinhead to gently tap the surface and sides of the stone and see if they move. We also recommend listening for loose stones by holding your piece between your thumb and middle finger next to your ear while gently striking it with your index finger. We are happy to provide a virtual demonstration for these techniques upon request. If even one stone is moving, refrain from wearing the piece until it can be tightened. We are happy to provide a virtual demonstration of this method.
Micro pavé set stones require extra care from their owner to prevent loss. Stones should be checked at least every month, until you get used to the frequency with which your piece requires service. Never wear a micro pavé piece that has a loose or missing stone, as it’s highly likely that there is at least one other loose stone.
Caring for your precious stones
Precious stones are ordered in ascending levels of hardness from 1 to 10 on the Moh scale. Opals and turquoise, which range between 5 and 6.5 respectfully, are more easily scratched, whereas diamonds, at 10, are more likely to do the scratching. The Mohs scale is a not a linear scale. Instead it ranks gems on a relative scale based on their scratch hardness; so although a sapphire is a 9, a diamond at 10 is many times harder.Being aware of the relative inclination towards scratching/being scratched is important when wearing and storing your jewellery.
Though it is valuable information, there is more to durability than just hardness. Gemologists define durability as a gemstone’s ability to withstand wear, heat, light, household chemicals, and low or high humidity. Since different gemstones have different properties, they have varying tolerances to these stressors. A gemstone’s hardness is a good indicator of how well it will resist scratches and abrasions. In evaluating a gemstone’s durability, gem experts consider three factors: hardness, toughness, and stability. No single gemstone scores a “perfect 10,” so you should weigh all three of these factors when choosing which gemstone or piece of jewellery is right for you and your lifestyle.
Diamonds fall at the far end of the hardness spectrum—they are among the hardest materials on Earth. In fact, they are so hard that they may cause damage to adjacent jewellery. We recommend not wearing a diamond ring next to, or on the same finger as, an opal ring. A loose diamond can also damage its metal setting, which is why it’s important to check for loose stones regularly and have them tightened as needed.
Emeralds are especially fragile due to naturally-occurring inclusions (imperfections in stones). Heat, chemicals, and even intense light can amplify these fractures. As with all fine jewellery, you should avoid impact, extended pressure, and extreme temperatures when wearing your emerald pieces. Emeralds are particularly prone to chipping under these conditions. Emeralds can be treated with oils to reduce the appearance of inclusions. To preserve the appearance of your emerald we recommend bringing it in as desired for re-oiling.
Emerald pieces should be worn with meticulous attention to our care instructions. The safest way to clean an emerald is gently, with lukewarm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush. Do not use ultrasonic cleaners, steam clears, harsh soaps, detergents, or acetone, even if the packaging says “jewellery cleaner”.
As soft, organic gemstones pearls require special consideration in order to ensure that their nacre and luster do not become damaged or dulled. The standard rule for wearing pearls is "last thing on, first thing off". By putting your pearls on last it ensures that your perfume has a chance to dry and your cosmetics and other potentially damaging materials do not come in contact with the surface of your pearls. By taking your pearls off first it ensures that your pearls do not get scratched or caught on your garments.
Cleaning & Storage
Polish your jewelry with a lint-free, 100% cotton cloth. Gentle cleaning with lukewarm water, soap, and a soft toothbrush is also recommended. Always check the tightness of stones before and after cleaning, especially when using a steam cleaner. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner on micro pavé stones, opals, emeralds, or turquoise.
Fine jewellery should be stored securely in fabric-lined or leather-lined boxes. Pieces can also be wrapped in soft fabric. We recommend keeping an up-to-date inventory of your collection, including photographs and any appraisals, in the event that an insurance claim or police report needs to be filed.