Buying jewelry can be one of the most cherished investments you are going to make in your lifetime, so taking care of that investment is important.
Over the years we’ve seen several mistakes people make when it comes to taking care of their jewelry. Here are ten mistakes to watch out for…
1. IGNORING YOUR JEWELER
It’s our passion to help people find the right piece of jewelry, whether it’s the perfect engagement ring or a beautiful statement necklace, but we also want to help you keep it in tip-top shape, so please bring it back in so one of our staff members can give it a thorough “check-up.” This can really help extend the life of your piece.
We have specialized equipment to clean and inspect your jewelry and we’re trained to look for signs of wear or damage, such as worn or loosened prongs on a ring that could cause you to lose a precious stone. Getting a check-up twice a year is worth your time and could save you a lot of money in the long run! Most jewelry maintenance (like fixing loosened clasps or retipping a prong) is not as expensive as people think it is and can really help your piece last longer.
2. NOT CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY AT HOME
Don’t forget to clean your jewelry at home, too. Rings, for example, can get caked in lotion, dirt, and grime. And did you know diamonds are grease magnets? Over time, this build-up can compromise settings and damage certain stones. Plus, cleaning your jewelry will just make it look better!
A microfiber cloth is one way to clean off your jewelry. You can also stock a jewelry cleaner in your home, that way you can use it everyday to keep your rings looking great. It’s great for soaking your engagement ring in and then gently scrubbing with an old toothbrush; it’ll look good as new!
3. USING BAD DIY CLEANING METHODS
Yes, we want you to keep your jewelry clean, but be sure to use cleaning methods that are safe and gentle enough for the job.
For example, don’t use toothpaste to clean your jewelry. It’s too abrasive and will wear down the metal over time. Toothpaste can also leave tiny scratches on metals and stones. Softer stones like pearls, opals, or emeralds can really be harmed by a bad DIY, so skip the harsh chemicals and please bring them in to be professionally cleaned or mild detergent and warm water. If you’re ever unsure how to clean your jewelry, please just ask us, it’s why we’re here!
4. WEARING YOUR JEWELRY IN THE WATER
Water and jewelry generally don’t mix. While an occasional swim in the pool or shower is not going to be catastrophic, it’s best to get into the habit of removing your jewelry before going into any kind of water. Hard water, soap scum, and chlorine and bleach are not your jewelry’s friends. And shampoo and conditioner can get stuck behind mountings and contain chemicals that can damage your jewelry over time.
5. WEARING YOUR JEWELRY WHILE CLEANING
Wearing your jewelry while cleaning is simply asking for problems. You definitely want to get into the habit of removing your jewelry before using cleaning products. Bleach, found in a lot of cleaning supplies, can cause serious harm. It can damage the prongs that hold your diamond or other stones in place, as well as cause a chemical reaction that can disintegrate the alloys in the metals.
Also try to be careful when pouring chemicals into your pool or straight bleach into your laundry. This could spell disaster for your jewelry if it got splashed by the bleach.
6. NOT DOING RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING A PIECE OF JEWELRY
Do yourself a favor and take some time and do a little research about a piece of jewelry you’re considering before investing in it. Granted, your jeweler should help educate you throughout the purchasing process, but having a basic idea of what you want will make it an all-around better experience.
For example, perhaps you love pearls and are ready to treat yourself to an incredible pearl necklace. But after a little research, you may find that pearls aren’t necessarily a good fit for you as they are a very delicate stone and require a little more “maintenance” than you bargained for. (Pearls are fragile, and the string of a pearl necklace can stretch over time requiring the necklace to be restrung. We still think they’re a good idea, but they just require a little extra TLC!). We were always taught that pearls should be the last thing you put on (yes, even after perfume, makeup and hair spray) and the first thing you take off.
Metal is another good example to illustrate the need for research, as some metals are a better fit for more active lifestyles, certain jobs, jewelry applications, etc.
7. STORING YOUR NECKLACES IMPROPERLY
Storing necklaces without clasping them and putting them in a jewelry box drawer will lead to knotting. Here’s a tip that is going to save you a lot of time and aggravation: Don’t store your necklaces without closing them first, and be sure to hang them, either in an jewelry armoire or on a necklace holder.
And if you do get a nasty tangle? Lay it down on a table and use two pins to gently tease the knot out. It really works!
8. WEARING THE WRONG SIZE RING.
Wearing the wrong size ring is nearly a surefire way to do one or more of the following:
Metal sizers aren’t the best idea either as they can end up scratching your ring. It’s simply best practice to get your ring sized by a professional.
9. NOT GETTING YOUR JEWELRY APPRAISED OR INSURED.
This is a BIG mistake people make and regret the most. Not having your jewelry appraised or insured can lead to a lot of heartache in the event it’s lost or stolen. Getting your jewelry appraised and insured by a certified gemologist is the BEST way to protect it.
While your homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance most likely has a jewelry provision, the deductible may be high or the cap could be very low, so alternative coverage is worth looking into. You’ll likely need an additional rider on your policy to cover pricier pieces anyway.
An option to consider is a company like Jewelers Mutual. Jewelers Mutual offers comprehensive jewelry insurance, covering everything from damage to accidental loss and theft. Their policies are almost always free of a deductible and very competitively priced.
The prices of precious metals and diamonds changes a lot over the years, so make sure to have your appraisal checked every 3 years to make sure you’re not under-insured!
10. THINKING YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR JEWELRY TO A JEWELRY STORE IF YOU DIDN’T BUY IT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
This is simply not true. Our staff is thrilled to help you with your jewelry, whether you purchased it from us or not!
We hope you find this helpful and enjoy your jewelry for years to come!