Jewelry is a significant style investment that requires proper care and attention. However, many unwittingly damage or shorten the lifespan of their pieces by making common mistakes. This article outlines seven such errors to avoid for keeping jewelry sparkling and protecting its resale value. With some adjustment of habits and an understanding of best practices, costly mishaps can be easily sidestepped.
Table of Contents
Excessive Exposure To Chemicals
Unless specially coated, even precious gems and metals will oxidize or even deteriorate when repeatedly exposed to chemicals like perfume, hairspray, lotions, and household cleaners. Store jewelry in a closed box or pouch when not in use to limit contact. Before wearing expensive buys, thoroughly wash your hands or shower to remove any residue. Infrequent exposure allows the jewelry to withstand occasional realistic use longer.
Rough Removal Methods
Instead of rudely yanking rings off with fingers or tools, take the time to carefully twist them off gently. Likewise, put bracelets and necklaces on link by link instead of forcefully pulling clasps open or shut. Over time, rough handling will damage vulnerable settings and joints, possibly leading to expensive repairs or replacement. Treat fine jewelry as a prized possession they are through respectful handling.
Lack Of Cleaning
Even though sitting in a drawer, dust and grime slowly accumulate on jewelry dimming it. Regular cleaning restores brilliance. Wipe stone settings with a soft brush or cloth. For delicate pieces, use ultrasonic jewelry cleaners or dab tarnished areas gently with toothpaste and let sit before polishing dry. Skipping this maintenance leads to longer-term dirt buildup corroding metals or dulling gemstones prematurely over wear.
While light buffing removes light scratches, aggressive rubbing and polishing of jewelry diminish it quicker than necessary. Frequent harsh polishing of gemstones in particular significantly reduces their depth and life. Save rigorous polishing for important occasions instead of making it a daily habit. Use a soft cloth for light debris and enjoy patinas on antique pieces adding character over time.
Not Sizing Rings
As fingers shrink or swell due to weather, activity level changes or weight fluctuations, improperly sized statement ring pose a risk of damage. Rings too small cut off circulation while ones too large easily get caught or snagged pulling gems out. Have rings correctly fitted or re-sized by a professional for safety and longevity of wear.
Losing Jewelry Charms
Dainty drops, opal slices, or gemstone accents in fragile prongs, bead, or claw settings on necklaces and bracelets easily detach unnoticed if caught on clothes during wear. Be extra careful not to yank jewelry over heads or twist links too roughly which may dislodge tiny pieces. Shortening extended chains helps keep charms closer to the body too for safer wear.
Ignoring occasional professional appraisals means missing potential signs of damage from daily wear and use masked under regular polishing. Early detection allows less costly repairs. Appraisals along with routine maintenance like re-tipping also reaffirm a jewelry piece’s current resale or replacement value should anything untoward happen due to loss or theft. This diligence protects investments made in luxury accessories.
Steer clear of storing precious loose gems, rings, and delicate chains together in a cluttered jewelry box. Instead, wrap each piece securely in acid-free tissue before placing it in designated individual slots or pouches within a compact case. Protected this way from scratches and knocks in a dust-free environment, jewelry maintains like-new aesthetics longer with negligible tarnishing between uses.
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