From The Jeweler
(photo courtesy of jewelry-secrets.com)
JEWELRY WEAR AND TEAR
Think back to when you first got your engagement ring (or another ring that you wear every day). It was shiny and new; full of promises of everlasting love. And while your undying love may have lasted the test of time, you may be coming to find that the condition of your ring has not. As durable as metal can be, it does not prevent it from sustaining damage from everyday wear. Over time, a piece of jewelry may be found in need of repair – or even replacement.
That’s right. Your favorite chain, ring, or bracelet all have a life cycle, similar to that of a car. Car parts wear down and need repair. The same goes for jewelry, particularly those parts which take the toughest beating, like prongs. Even platinum prongs can bend and break with the right amount of force.
So, what can help prevent large amounts of damage on your precious jewels? Have your items cleaned and checked by a reputable jeweler at least twice a year. Most jewelers will provide this service free of charge and will do it while you wait. They should inspect your prongs, stones, and the overall condition of your ring. If anything looks amiss, they should let you know on the spot and offer estimates on the cost for repair. Any trustworthy jeweler should be able to return your jewelry to its original splendor.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, OR ARE THEY?
Diamonds are often touted as one of the hardest materials on the planet. But, it that accurate? While diamonds are extremely durable, they are not indestructible. Diamonds can chip or crack if hit the right way. In fact, splitting a diamond in two is part of the initial cutting process, as the diamond cutter transforms the rough material into a polish stone. Some diamond shapes are more prone to chipping than others. Any shape with any kind of pointed edge (think princess cut, marquise, or pear) runs the risk of chipping at the delicate edge. Stone setters are very much aware of this risk and will take great caution when repairing your ring.
Let’s say your diamond is chipped. What do you do?
There are two options for you. If the diamond is chipped in a notable spot, a skilled jeweler can set your stone so that the chip is covered by one of your prongs. If the chip is too large to be covered, the diamond may have to be re-cut to a smaller size. Your jeweler will advise you on the best course of action for your situation.
WINDEX REALLY DOES WORK FOR EVERYTHING
Have you ever tried on a ring and got it stuck on your finger? Try a little spritz of Windex (Yes, like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). This little known jewelers’ secret is often used to help customers remove too tight rings from their fingers. Yes, it really does work. Try it for yourself.
Pearls are a classy and timeless addition to any woman’s jewelry wardrobe. However, did you know that pearl necklaces should be re-strung regularly? This is especially true if it is a constant in your jewelry rotation. Pearl necklaces are strung and knotted on silk cord, which is a delicate material that can stretch and wear over time. You should also refrain from hanging pearl necklaces when they are not being worn. This will speed up the stretching process of the silk.
A good rule of thumb is to never clean your pearl jewelry using soap and water. The pearls themselves are delicate and may be harmed by the soap; the water can damage the integrity of the silk. For a quick and safe cleaning, a rub down with an untreated jewelry cleaning cloth should do the trick.
JUST SAY “NO” TO SWIMMING POOLS
Did you know that the harsh chemicals found in swimming pools and hot tubs cause serious damage to your precious metal jewelry? The chlorine can pit and discolor precious metals, thus weakening their integrity. Even a quick dip in the ocean can have a harmful effect on your favorite rings and necklaces. So, what do you do if you find that your jewelry has gotten damaged from chemical exposure? First, don’t panic. Depending on the extent of the damage, the piece may be able to be restored to its former condition. Only a proper assessment from a jewelry professional will let you know for sure.