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Metals have been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. Although they were often believed to have mystical powers, metals were most attractive as a store of value (money) and for their beauty. Over time, metals came to symbolize wealth, power, and strength. Their scarcity, attractiveness and physical qualities make metals a prized part of any jewelry collection.

For mountings, you can use rubbing alcohol to dissolve some of the stickier grime. However, don't use alcohol on any kind of pearl jewelry. Soap and water and a soft brush will take care of most of your cleaning needs. Make sure the brush is VERY soft when used on metal, especially gold, which can be scratched relatively easily. Use a soft cloth that won't leave fuzz or threads behind to dry and buff your jewelry once it's cleaned.

Gold - When properly cared for, gold jewelry will last forever. It is best to store each individual piece separately. This will keep them from rubbing and scratching one another. Remove your jewelry pieces before bathing or doing strenuous duties. Soap will cause a film.

You can clean gold with commercial products, just be sure to read the directions. A selvyt cloth is a soft cloth good for polishing. A gold polishing cloth has two layers - one is for polishing and the other layer has a polishing compound (rouge) to buff out small scratches. But be careful, using this cloth on jewelry with gemstones can scratch them.

Silver - Cleaning silver is similar to cleaning gold, except you may want to use a special silver cloth to help remove tarnishing with gentle rubbing. Be careful to use this special cloth only when there is evidence of tarnishing. If used on a piece that is marked "tarnish free" you will actually be removing the coating. Use a selvyt cloth in those instances.

Platinum - Care for platinum is similar to gold and silver. Platinum will actually need less maintenance because of its durability.

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