If you own jewelry, you need to be responsible for that jewelry.
Meaning, the upkeep!
Just like everything in life, things wear down, erode, diminish and age.
Your prongs, stones, and mounting grows old, tarnished, and weak.
They need to be maintained.
Just like maintenance on a car, you have to be ready and prepared for repairs.
It’s amazing to me the amount of people that neglect their jewelry. They put their rings or jewelry on and never examine them again. Ever. They wear them day after day, and only notice them once they start to snag or a stone falls out. And that sad thing is…
Most of this can be prevented.
This is how you do it:
- Take the loupe and examine your prongs. The prongs are the basket or head that your stones sit in. Look for low prongs (the nubs on top), thin prongs… If you run your fingers over the prongs and they feel flat or smooth, it’s time to get them rebuilt or retipped.
- Check for fibers or hair under the prongs. This is a sign that they are lifted and catching or snagging. Prongs that snag can easily snap off. Lifted prongs, or sharp jagged prongs need to be fixed and burnished so they lay flat against the stones.
- Check the spacing of your prongs. They should all be even and spaced the same distance apart. That way they protect the outside edge, the girdle of your stone from impact or damage. If they aren’t equal in shape, size, and spacing, you run a risk of chipped stones, or losing a stone all together.
- Use tweezers to gently tap on the surface of your stones, one side, then the other. See if they rock, tilt, or wobble in the head. Also check to see if they actually spin around freely in the head. If the stones are loose or turn, they need to be tightened.
- Use the loupe to inspect your prongs for cracks or fissures. If you spot a hairline fault, get it fixed immediately.
- Check that all the stones are secure in the channels (channel set stones), that they are tight, and that the channel walls are straight and not breaking.
- Check the shank (bottom of the ring) to see if it’s bent, thin, or weak. The shank may need to be reshaped, or rebuilt (a new shank).
- Check the diamonds and gemstones for chips, cracks, or breaks. This can happen if the stones are old, or hit hard enough. Check the girdle and facets for wear and tear. Chipped gems are more vulnerable to chip again. Hitting them in the same spot can crack them in half and pop them out of the mounting. Many times insurance will cover lost or damaged stones (you do have your jewelry insured, don’t you?) Check with your agent to make sure.
- Check the post and backs on your earrings. Make sure they are straight, and that the earring backs are snug and tight. Earring backs can be easily replaced, but if the posts are bent, see a jeweler.
- Check the clasps and jump rings on your bracelets and necklaces. Make sure the spring in the clasps works well and they aren’t weak or losing tension. Check that the jump rings (the O rings) are fully closed (and not gapped or twisted open).
- Check your chains for rough spots, areas that snag, breaks in the chain, or if it’s stretched longer than it used to be. These are signs that the chain needs repaired or replacing.
- Clean your items often. I suggest using a jewelry ultrasonic cleaner, and soaking your items once a week to remove dirt, debris, hairsprays, lotions, soaps… Things that can tarnish or erode your gold.
- Keep your gold jewelry away from bleach. Bleach kills gold. It makes the mounting pit, makes your prongs brittle and snap off. If you’re doing laundry, take your rings off!
Inspect your jewelry often.
Clean them, inspect them. Preventive medicine is way cheaper then losing an engagement ring diamond.
Don’t wait for disaster. Fix it. And if you do spot some issues, take your rings off (don’t wear them). Bring them into a local jeweler and have them repaired asap.
Be responsible for your jewelry.
Pick up some of these great items below. Your jewelry, and pocketbook will thank you.
- 10 Jewelers Loupe
- Pointed Tweezers
- Gem Microscope
- Jewelry Ultrasonic Cleaner
- Jewelry Polishing Cloths
- Diamond Dazzle Sticks
- Jewelry Steam Cleaner
Keep your jewelry clean, beautiful, and in brand new condition.
It’s simple, and easy, once you know how.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact me here, or swing into a jewelry store today.
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