This year we are thrilled to welcome The Kingswood Company to Couture! For more than 55 years, The Kingswood Company has been the leading innovator in high-quality, private label jewelry cleaner, making them the perfect choice for a Couture partnership. So this year, attendees of Couture will have the chance to stop by the tricked out “Sparkle + Shine” lounge (located in Lafite) to get some specific tips on jewelry cleaning, and walk away with the exact, complementary, co-branded jewelry cleaner they you need! If you’re a designer at Couture, you will be hand-delivered a selection of jewelry cleaners that you can use to keep your wares sparkling and shining throughout the show, no matter how many retailers or editors try on your jewelry!
I caught up with Kingswood Company CEO and President, my friend Kristie Nicolosi, to get a few tips on cleaning some of the more intricate pieces that will be on display at this year’s show!
Let’s talk about the “Matrix” ring by Nada G, who I am, quite frankly, obsessed with.
KN: Well, the first thing I think when I look at this is “It’s stunning!” The materials I see that are used are gold and black diamonds and white diamonds, and it looks like they’re all prong set. I would say, for a piece like this, it is susceptible to a lot of dirt and grime that will very much impact how beautiful it is. You see how there’s an opening in the bottom that the light is coming in and out of? Those are all places where dirt and grime can accumulate which will prevent this piece from sparkling to its full potential. This is obviously a statement piece, so first of all, prevention is key. Make sure you don’t apply any sort of lotion or hairspray or perfume while wearing it.
Because it’s set high, any sort of a vibration in an ultrasonic cleaning machine could loosen stones so avoid that. Soaking in a fine jewelry cleaner is going to be most effective because the cleaner will work on its own without agitation, and it can get inside all these different areas effectively just by soaking. If you have a tiny jewelry brush, the bristles will be able to get in to the inner layer of diamonds. This is great example of why you want to specifically use a jewelry cleaning brush and you don’t want to use a toothbrush; when you use a tooth brush, the handle is long, and it’s meant to be gripped by the whole hand which means you apply a lot of pressure, which is way too much pressure for a ring like this. That’s why toothbrushes are bad for jewelry because they allow you to inadvertently apply too much pressure. And if you use a q-tip on this ring, you’ll be in a worse place than you were before you tried to clean it!
I’ll remember all that when I own this ring! How about this “Fru Fru” ring from Amedeo?
KN: Oooh, this is awesome! For this ring, one of the things you have to think about is whether the stones are porous or hard? There’s also sterling here, but because it’s rhodium plated you don’t have to worry about anything tarnishing. So in this case you’d want to use a delicate or gentle cleaner, typically that means it’s non ammoniated, in part because while I think the cameo stone is hard it’s also porous. Cameos can dry out so you wouldn’t want to use anything with ammonium in it because that’s what’s going to be drying. You want something that’s going to work on its own. Things that are glue-set require some amount of caution, so you soak it for just a couple minutes at a time. Those chains are going to accumulate gook so allowing them to soak for a couple of minutes will be good, just not anything ammoniated or for more than a couple of minutes at a time. And again, prevention is key!
And how about this 18k gold and pearl ring from Todd Reed Jewelry?
KN: I love this ring! The reality is, a strand of pearls requires very little cleaning, but a pearl rings or a pearl studs can get grimy and gooky. What’s important for pearls is that you get a cleaner that’s pearl safe, no ammonia or anything caustic. Our delicate cleaner is pearl safe but anything you use should say “pearl safe.” If you’ve got a piece like this that also has diamonds and gold, you have to clean the piece of jewelry for the most delicate component of the piece. If it’s pearl set in sterling silver and the silver tarnishes, you can’t put it in a silver cleaner, that will destroy the pearl. This is a piece you may want to send in to a jeweler.
We always try to tell people, our products are not meant as a replacement for having a regular service relationship with your jeweler. It’s like going to the dentist; you visit the dentist every 6 months but on a day to day you maintain. Most in-home products aren’t the ultimate solution, sometimes the only way to restore a piece of jewelry to its original glory is to take it in to your favorite jewelry retailer.
Thanks Kristie! We can’t wait to spend time at the Sparkle + Shine Lounge at Couture! See ya there! Viva Las Vegas!!