Jewelry is far more than just decorative showpieces. Yes, the right ones do complement and accentuate your ensemble; but aren’t they nothing if not timeless tokens of your best memories? From souvenirs to wedding rings to proud heirlooms; some pieces of jewelry are integral parts of your life. One would, by all means, keep these priceless trinkets from getting stolen. But because they are made of metal and stones, they can easily be taken for granted.
One can be unmindful of the fact that jewelry needs more than just some soap-and-water cleaning. They will need deeper cleaning, polishing, securing, and maybe some reinforcement too, from expert hands. And you’ll need to tend to them from time to time, depending on how often you wear them, what they are made of, and the way they are made. Wedding rings, for instance, are worn every day. But while doing their job of being the daily reminder of your love, the elements and time take their toll on them. They might need more frequent care than a solitaire pendant or rarely worn brooches and tie tacks, to remain unscathed. Likewise, there may be a lot of factors you may not have thought of, pitching into the importance of jewelry cleaning, repair, and maintenance; and we’ve compiled every one of those here for your consideration:
Why Jewelry needs regular Cleaning: They can get filthy
Most pieces of jewelry stay close to the body. So they come naturally in contact with sweat, soap, tap-water, dirt, perfume, cosmetics, oils, dishwashing liquids, food, handwashes, sanitizers, and whatnot! As a result, they can get grimy, and breed germs. While most of the filth in everyday-wears can be washed away by brushing with mild soap, perfume stains and a number of corrosive products can completely dull down its shine and appeal. This calls for expert cleaning and polishing from a well-trained jeweler to make them look brand new again. Rings, nose-rings, bracelets, and daily-wear chains may need to be cleaned every two weeks, while earrings and pendants on the other hand can wait for a month. Ones that are occasionally used, like necklaces and cufflinks, only need to be wiped dry after use; but the sensitive ones would need expert attention after about 4-5 uses.
Tarnishing and Oxidation
Jewelry made from silver, copper, bronze, and even meteorite can tarnish. The presence of iron can even make them rust a bit. Even the family heirlooms from rings to silver tiaras that are sitting in their caskets can tarnish with time. Wiping off moisture after every use can help, but the only feasible solution is regularly tending to them and following the maker’s instructions. Chances are, you may not know exactly what each piece of jewelry needs. Even the maker’s instructions can be generic if they were not custom-made or you have not asked the expert yourself – which can be the case with most jewelry. You may be brushing away on some sensitive pearls and jeopardizing the state of your other prized possessions without knowing it.
They can lose shape
While jewelry can wear out with use, improper storage and handling can disfigure them too. They can get scratched, chipped from brushing against themselves or completely lose the quality of their precious stones. Tangled chains can stretch and weaken just as much as the ones you wear daily. Semi-mount ring joints stretch and move every time you flex your finger and can loosen up. Loosened joints and chains can only wear them down exponentially – the more they stretch, the weaker it gets! This is why each piece of jewelry needs to be checked, repaired, and maintained on time. The jewelry mountings, prongs, ring-heads, chainlinks, hooks, and clasps call for expert help.
What makes Jewelry Cleaning and Maintenance Daunting also makes it Important!
The uniqueness of each ornament is a factor for care. The cleaning and maintenance needs of a piece depend on the nature of the material it’s made of and the stones fixed on them.
(i) Pearl, for example, is organic and can be damaged from the acids and enzymes in the sweat. They are sensitive to any chemical substances too. Wiping them dry after use can help, but the damage would have been done by the time you remove them. Nacre or mother of pearl behaves the same as pearls too in this matter. They’ll need regular attention and polishing after about 3 to 5 uses.
(ii) Gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and amethysts, need their prongs to be checked and reinforced regularly. They can also use some polishing and tightening up once every six months. At least, you won’t need to check in a mirror all the time to make sure the stones are in place! While some stones like sapphires are sensitive to heat, rare ones like Chalcedony are sensitive to light, and will need regular application of special coatings by an expert; or they may lose color. Opal on the other hand needs special polishing to make sure it does not dehydrate. Each gem has its Achilles’ heel, and an expert would do the maintenance, ensuring its long life and beauty.
(iii) Each metal has its own way of nemesis too. While Silver, Copper, and Brass have tarnishing, meteorite jewelry can rust due to its iron content. The patina, or coating formed by the metals when they meet oxygen, can make the jewelry look dull and lackluster. So, each piece of jewelry will need to be cleaned the way it should be, to remove the patina.
(iv) Jewelry that has some fabric elements, like velvet or silk, will need to be cleaned every 2 weeks. But the rest of the jewelry may not! Seek the help of a jeweler to help you out with these. The Take-Away Always choose your jeweler based on authentic reviews. Take a moment to go through credible customer feedbacks of top rated companies and you’ll be amazed and in awe of how Richard’s Custom Jewelers and other noteworthy jewelers does flawless repairs and maintenance.