Jewelry can be more than an accessory. Many of your most valuable pieces are not valuable because of what they would sell for but for what they represent. For many people, jewelry can serve as a reminder of an important memory, relationship, or a family heirloom that has been passed down to you and carries a great deal of sentimental value. No matter the reason your jewelry is something you want to take care of and protect from avoidable damage or wear. Proper care (including how to respond to repair needs such as what to do when a stone falls out) and cleaning techniques will help your jewelry last longer
To help your jewelry last longer by avoiding common errors. You should never wear jewelry when performing certain activities that could expose your jewelry to potential damage. This includes exercise, sporting activities, and involved housekeeping or home maintenance projects. Exercise and sporting activities can cause physical damage and home projects could expose your jewelry to corrosive chemicals. You should also avoid wearing your jewelry in swimming pools as chlorine can damage your jewelry’s gemstones and metals.
Proper care and storage can help your jewelry last longer, avoid scratching and scuffing, and retain its beauty. When you’re not wearing your jewelry it should always be properly stored in a fabric-lined box (such as a jewelry box) or wrapped in soft tissue to avoid friction. You should also wipe your jewelry off when you remove it before storing it as this removes sweat and the natural oils your skin produces. Finally, you should always put on your jewelry last as this helps you avoid exposing your jewelry to personal care products such as cosmetics or haircare products.
When you clean your jewelry you want to avoid damaging the metal or stones. When polishing or cleaning your jewelry you should always use a soft non-abrasive cleaning cloth designed to be used on jewelry and other delicate items. Not all cleaning cloths are the same and some are not designed to be used on delicate items and can scratch your jewelry. Depending on the type of metal used in your jewelry certain chemicals can be harmful. Cleaning chemicals to avoid include salts, acetone, ammonia, turpentine, and chlorine in addition always read the ingredients of any cleaner you’re planning to use as many home cleaning products are also abrasive to jewelry. Full immersion in a liquid, such as water, should also be avoided as it can loosen gemstones and damage certain types of jewelry.
Over time your jewelry can become damaged or simply wear down causing gemstones to loosen and fall out. Sadly, you likely won’t notice a stone has fallen out until you take your jewelry off. If you’ve had a busy day retracing your steps may be ultimately unproductive. Luckily, stones can be replaced by professionals and match the original stone in terms of look, cut, and fit. Plus if you were fortunate enough to find the lost stone it can be reset. If you have jewelry many insurance companies offer jewelry coverage as a separate option to add to your existing policy and some companies specialize in just jewelry insurance.
Your jewelry can be an important part of your daily life and something you wear every day. Like many of your most important possessions, your jewelry requires regular upkeep and care. By taking care of your jewelry you help it last longer and age better. In addition, a professional can help by providing regular cleanings that keep your jewelry looking its best and that use methods that are both safe and effective.
Tommy Hilfiger, Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger (Photo credit: BFA / Michelle Kammerman) The Center for Family Services…
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