One of the most important aspects of maintaining the beauty of a piece of jewelry over its lifetime is the amount of care put into its preservation. Metal and diamonds are not indestructible, and metal will wear down over time. It is a good idea to not wear it while performing any strenuous work - including exercising, working on your home or any other heavy labor; blows to the ring may bend its prongs, the ring itself and could even chip your diamond.
Although diamond is known as the hardest material on earth, it is brittle and has what's called cleavage, so it still runs the risk of being chipped: a hard blow to the girdle (its middle) or culet (the pointy bottom) may damage it. In the industry, we see chipped diamonds in rings every day. Additionally, its not a good idea to wear your ring while sleeping - due to the prongs potentially catching on the blanket fibers or knocking into the headboard.
A good customer of ours kept coming in every few months and all of her prongs on her center diamond were all cattywampus. She couldn't figure out how she was doing it. Finally, one day, while changing the sheets on her bed, she noticed all of these marks on her wooden headboard. The mystery was solved! She no longer wears her ring while sleeping.
We recommend having your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked at least once every six months. If you are hard on your jewelry or are an exceptionally active person (or never take it off) it may be a good idea to have it checked more frequently.
Of course, if you ever feel it all of sudden rattling, or catching on things, or can visibly see a stone moving in the setting, you need to have it checked immediately before you lose a stone.
The most effective way to keep your jewelry beautiful and sparkling is to keep it clean. Unfortunately, the soap from cleaning our hands, leaves residue that builds up on your ring. We don’t recommend taking your rings off to wash your hands, unless you are home and can put them in a designated safe place. Taking your jewelry off in a public bathroom to wash your hands, always presents a risk of dropping them down the sink or leaving them behind. Believe me when I say that no one ever plans to leave their rings behind, but we’ve had many customers do just that over the years, and when they go back, the rings are always gone. So, wash your hands as normal when you are out and about, and worry about keeping them clean when you are back at home.
The absolute best way to clean your jewelry is to come by our store and have it professionally cleaned. Nothing at home can work as effectively as our sonic cleaner and steamer. Of course, we know that isn’t always convenient. Again, we do recommend at least every six months to get your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked. Not only does it get it looking as sparkly as possible, but we can make sure you stones are staying tight and settings are secure and without damage. Rings, especially, take way more of a beating on our hands than any of us realize.
For cleaning at home, you can use either the small jar of cleaner that we provide at our store, or simply a soft toothbrush with some dawn dish soap and water, or Mr. Clean and water. These are all great at cutting grease and oils that build up on your jewelry. Simply use the toothbrush to clean behind and around the stones, rinse with clean water, and pat dry. Diamond wedding sets can be soaked overnight for optimum results.
Diamonds and precious metals are always safe to clean as noted above. There are some gemstones, however, that are more sensitive and should be treated accordingly. If you have any questions about your specific gems or jewelry pieces and how to clean them, we’d be happy to talk with you about it and make recommendations. As a generalized rule, don’t soak any colored gemstone jewelry for more than a minute or two, brush and rinse. Better safe than sorry.
Because you use your hands all the time, center stones take a little abuse. This may cause them to loosen in the setting. You might not even notice that the stone is loose, especially if the stone is dirty, and the dirt is keeping it from rattling around! Tap gently near the stone. This will help you notice if the stone is moving in the setting.
Have your rings checked professionally once every 4 - 6 months to determine if the stones are safe and secure. If you are an extremely active person or you know you are particularly rough on your jewelry, have rings checked more often. This can save expense and/or insurance claims if you catch problems before you lose stones.
Pearl Rings and Necklaces:
Pearls are organic gemstones. Due to their porous nature, contact with the following should be avoided: all acidic substances, perfume, hairspray, vinegar, fruit juices, detergents, or alcohol.
Perspiration can also harm the beauty of pearls, dulling their beautiful luster. Therefore, after wearing them, they should be wiped with a damp (not wet), soft cloth.
Avoid getting your pearl jewelry wet, as water can weaken silk thread and epoxy. Pearls in rings are almost always glued in place, so removing your pearl ring as specified above can help prolong it’s security.
Even though pearls are exceptionally cohesive and shock-resistant, they rank only 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, so they may be scratched by contact with sharp objects or other gemstones, and over long periods of wear (many years) the nacre of the pearl can actually wear down.
Extra care should be taken when wearing gemstone inlay jewelry. Rings with stone inlay should remain dry for maximum glue life. Opal inlay is especially vulnerable. Unlike a bezel or prong, there is no metal securing the stone over its edge. Inlaid gemstones are set flush with the metal and glued into place. Through normal wear and tear, the bond can weaken, and the stone can crack, fall out, and be lost. We will happily repair or replace your gemstone inlay rings; normal repair fees will apply.