All That Glimmers: Maintaining And Repairing Fine Jewelry
Fine jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime. However, years of wear and tear and improper treatment can be rough on even the toughest trinkets and, because we are human, accidents are bound to happen. With regular maintenance practices, you can ensure that your beloved pieces last through generations.
Gemstones, precious metals, and diamonds are probably the gods of the jewelry world and require special care. Fine jewelry should always be stored in a clean, dry place, never tossed into the fray with other fine and/or costume jewelry. Each piece of your ornaments should be stored separately either in a cloth lined box or wrapped individually in tissue paper to avoid contact damage. Jewelry boxes range from the small and uncomplicated to the large and ornate, so choose one that is appropriate for your treasures.
Lotions, hair sprays and fragrances should be applied before donning your finery. Upon removal, take a moment to use a clean, soft, damp cloth to wipe down each item or use a little water and a soft brush. Certain jewels, such as pearls and some gemstones, cannot survive chemicals and solvents, even if they are not harsh. So it's a good rule of thumb for all of your fine jewelry to visit your local jeweler for a professional cleaning and checkup twice a year.
Many ladies enjoy wearing a wedding ring around the clock. Do not assume that because of their relative durability, that precious metals such as gold and platinum or hard stones like diamonds are free to be mistreated. Chlorine, harsh chemicals, and abrasive materials can ruin the finish and physical structure of your jewelry. So if you are swimming, cleaning house, lifting weights, or going on a mud run, leave the jewelry at home. Finally, don't forget to have your jewelry insured.
If you are human, chance has it you've done something completely clumsy and ruined a really nice thing at least once. Luckily, if that involves jewelry, there's hope. To reemphasize, be sure to visit your local jeweler twice a year to have your prongs and mountings examined. This could prevent a potentially catastrophic loss of very precious stones and usually costs nothing or very little to have the item cleaned and checked. A local jeweler can also recommend cleaning solvents for home use that are specific to your piece.
In the past, jewelry repairs were quite expensive because of the extensive hours required to perform the task. Thankfully, modern technology has made it possible to do difficult jobs in less time. If you know the place of purchase, many jewelers offer a lifetime of maintenance options. Otherwise, many factors can affect the price of repair, and the higher quality the piece, the more you can expect to pay. If the issue is minor or more common, such as rhodium (a member of the platinum family) replating, one can expect to pay $60-$120+ depending location and the particulars of the item. Other commonalities, such as ring resizing and pearl restringing can garner $35-$200 or $20 or more, respectively.
Whether you're sporting a brand-spanking-new purchase or great grandma's pearls, be sure to educate yourself on the care of fine jewelry. Remember to ask a local jeweler about your particular "best practices." This will keep your bangles, baubles, rings, and things glimmering for years to come.
For more information, contact Woodbury Jewelers or a similar company.