A beloved rose gold necklace given to you by your parents for graduation. The pearl stud earrings you bought yourself with your first big commission cheque. Your engagement ring, obvi. At Perrara, we understand. When you love a piece of jewelry, when it means something to you, it becomes part of you. It becomes an essential part of your daily attire. You want to wear these pieces all day, every day. But should you? Our aim with this article is to shed some light into the intrinsic nature of fine jewelry, share some common mistakes & hopefully enable you to add more years to the life of your precious jewels.
Common Mistake #1: Never Taking Jewelry Off
Fine jewelry is crafted with precious metals like gold, sterling silver & platinum. Precious gemstones, diamonds & organic gems like pearls adorn these pieces of jewelry. Regardless of how well the ring, necklace, pair of earrings or bracelet were made, often times leaving them on all day every day & sleeping in them can be a mistake. Some food for thought:
Consider your lifestyle
If you work with your hands (for example, construction, manual labor or if you come into contact with harsh chemicals on a daily basis) wearing your engagement ring & wedding band may cause unnecessary deterioration, wear and tear.
Consider the type of jewelry you wear
If your engagement ring has lots of smaller diamonds (which means they are held in by small prongs!) it may be a good idea to remove it for sleeping. Small prongs can snag on sheets and bedding and cause the diamonds to loosen.
Consider the gemstones you like
Some gemstones like sapphire & ruby are good candidates for every day wear. Some, like emeralds, pearls, tanzanite & opal are soft and need to be worn sparingly. Take pearls for example. Yes they come from the ocean, they live in water right? But they don’t appreciate being subjected to our hard water, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, lotions & perfumes. These solutions can ruin the nacre on a beautiful pearl, causing it to lose it’s luster. If you love gems, consider a visit with your local jeweler for some care & wear considerations on the specific gemstones you have (or want to add to your jewelry box!)
Common Mistake #2: Not Storing Your Jewelry Properly
While it’s super tempting to leave your rings beside the kitchen sink, on your nightstand or hanging somewhere in your closet, it’s a surefire way to cause accidental damage to your jewelry. I cringe to think of a diamond ring being knocked off a counter onto a tile floor and chipping! Yes, diamonds are the hardest substance on earth but that means they are also the most unyielding - a diamond can break, chip or fracture! Hanging necklaces together can cause them to become tangled (even if the clasps are done up). And who of use hasn’t lost an earring?
The best storage is a designated jewelry box. Here’s some tips:
Always fasten the clasps on your necklaces to prevent tangles, knots & inadvertent breakage.
Store rings in the holders so that they are not rubbing against each other causing unwanted scuffs & scratches.
Always keep earrings in pairs.
Consider investing in a travel jewelry box to protect against damage when you are away from home.
Pro tip: consider insuring your jewelry with specialized jewelry insurance. Jewelers Mutual exclusively insures jewelry and offers very comprehensive coverage for your precious jewels.
Common Mistake #3: Cleaning Your Jewelry Incorrectly
All jewelry eventually needs a little TLC when we wear these pieces often. Dirt, hand lotion, ear wax & beauty products can build up on our jewels, causing them to lose their shine. Our blog on engagement ring care gives these tips, which can apply to all other fine jewelry:
Buy a soft bristle toothbrush exclusively to clean your fine jewelry. With some warm water on the toothbrush add a bit of dish soap & gently scrub. Give extra consideration to the crevices behind diamonds and gently poke the bristles underneath the prongs. Rinse well with warm water and either air dry or wipe with a soft, microfiber cloth.
It’s important to know exactly how certain gemstones should and shouldn’t be cleaned. Always discuss with your local jeweler before trying any diy cleaning methods on precious gemstones like tanzanite, opal, emerald or pearls!
Avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach or toothpaste (toothpaste is designed to leave a film which you definitely don’t want on your gorgeous diamonds!)
There are cleaning products & various jewelry cleaners available for purchase at some stores, but in our experience, the above suggestions are just as effective (and no need to purchase additional products).
Common Mistake #4: Putting Jewelry On First
At Perrara, our motto always is that jewelry should be the last thing you put on & the first thing you take off. Beauty products, lotions, perfume and even salt water can cause yucky grime & even corrosion to fine gold jewelry. Getting your necklace or bracelet caught on clothing while dressing is easily preventable if it’s the last thing you adorn. To keep your silver and gold looking it’s best, get ready in the morning & after all the hairspray is done, consider your jewelry as the finishing touches.
Common Mistake #5: Not Wearing Your Jewelry Enough
Hopefully at this point we have given you some practical tips for keeping your jewelry in top condition but now you may be worrying about wearing it too much! Let’s dispel that right now. Fine jewelry is meant to be worn, loved and adored...just with some extra care. And did you know, some precious metals, for example sterling silver, will naturally tarnish over time? Wearing these pieces often will help keep them looking their best. When jewelry is worn it rubs up against clothing, which helps to gently polish the metal. So wearing jewelry will prevent accidental damage caused by tarnishing, keeping it looking shiny & new!
It’s been said that wearing fine jewelry without proper care and attention is like driving a Ferrari through a gravel pit. You can do it...but it’s going to show! With a little forethought, extra love and maintenance, your piece of jewelry will stand the test of time and do what it was meant to: become part of the fabric of what makes you unique.
With Love, Perrara
Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor