Caring for your jewelry starts with proper wear. That means knowing when to put your jewelry on – and when to take it off.

Put jewelry on after applying cosmetics, hairspray, and lotions, as they contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Be mindful in handling gemstones since skin oil can build up over time and dull their appearance.

Remove your jewelry if you're going to do any manual labor, including housework. Gems, even diamonds, can chip or crack if they're knocked against a hard surface.

Jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool, or before using household cleaners. Many of these cleaners contain ammonia, and are only safe for diamonds and the more durable colored gems.

Light and heat may also affect a colored gemstone’s durability and color. Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, over time and in excess, it can also fade and weaken some gemstones, remove the natural moisture some gems need to keep their beauty. Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes may also fracture the gem.