Caring for Your Jewelry
Purchasing a beautiful piece of diamond jewelry is an exhilarating experience. However, ownership also involves responsibility as now you should care for this piece of art and maintain it not only for yourself but hopefully as a family heirloom for years to come. Consequently, you should care for your jewelry as required. Luckily, this is not a full time job but rather a task that will help you appreciate your jewelry even more.
Here is a quick and very important guide on how to take care of, and how to avoid the heartbreak of losing or breaking your precious diamond jewelry.
Returning the Sparkle - Cleaning the Jewelry
To keep diamond jewelry looking as sparkly and brilliant as when you first bought it, it is recommended to have it cleaned once or twice a year professionally by a jeweler who may clean the jewelry ultrasonically or with steam. Similarly, you can achieve excellent results cleaning it at home using a jewelry cloth (a flannel cloth or piece of cotton can be substituted), a jewelry brush, and cleaning solution.
Check that all diamonds are secure before cleaning. If not, pack the jewelry securely and take immediately to a jeweler. If they are, use the cloth to wipe the jewelry clean and then run under the tap for a few seconds. Soak jewelry for 3-5 minutes in a solution of hot water and detergent free soap, such as dishwashing liquid. Scrub with the brush and repeat the process 2-3 times. Dry with the jewelry cloth.
Securing the Piece - Tightening the Prongs
Depending on the piece of jewelry involved, the diamonds are subject to being knocked about. Diamond rings and bracelets have more of a chance of being banged than necklaces or earrings as your hands are active and prone to being knocked. Even though diamonds are virtually scratchproof and will rarely be affected by knocks, the prongs or claws of the setting may become loose or break. Consequently, it is worthwhile checking whether any diamonds are loose.
Jewelry comprised of chains such as necklaces and bracelets should be checked for weak or tangled links.
Lock ‘em Up - Checking the Clasp
Earrings, pendants, and bracelets are secured with a lock or clasp connecting the chain. Locks and clasps should be regularly inspected to ensure they are not worn down and remain tight and secure. If they require adjustment, a trip to your local jeweler is in order.
Soft and Scratchy - Repolishing the Piece
Gold is a soft metal and the greater the purity the softer the metal. The bands of rings and exposed metal parts are subject to scratches. Most scratches can be removed by having the metal re-polished. This work should only be performed by a jeweler.
On the Rhodium Again - Replating the Metal
White gold jewelry is actually rhodium plated and as jewelry is susceptible to wear and tear, over time this will affect the appearance of white gold jewelry. White gold has a slightly different color to rhodium and once the rhodium plating begins to wear off, the off-white color of the white gold will begin to show through. Consequently, it may be necessary to re-plate white gold periodically, according to the appearance of the jewelry. Any reputable jeweler can re-plate white gold jewelry.
The Incredible Shrinking Ring - Resizing the Ring
It is very rare for a person to stay the same size as they grow older. Some people become thinner but most grow heavier. Childbirth and a slowing metabolism are just two of the many culprits, but unfortunately our jewelry doesn’t go through this process and may need to be re-sixed in accordance with our own re-sizing.
Re-sizing a ring is not a problem for a qualified jeweler; however there are issues that require attention. For example, when adjusting ring size, it often affects the prongs holding the diamond. You must ensure that the diamond is still properly set following size adjustment. Also, diamonds along the shank must be checked to ensure they do not now rub against each other which may result in chipping. Similarly, if there is a parting line from re-sizing, the jeweler must confirm it is properly soldered so as to avoid cracking.
Maintaining jewelry is essential if you are to fully enjoy your jewelry for many years. Also, it is a good opportunity to reacquaint yourself with pieces that you have not worn for a while. Rediscovering your jewelry and spending time with it almost always brings back fond memories associated with each special item. This, together with seeing your jewelry back at its shiny best always makes the task much more fun than what you anticipated.