The true value of a fine piece of jewelry lies not in the precious metals and gemstones from which it is crafted, but rather it is found in the pleasure and enjoyment that it provides you with during your lifetime. Proper care of your jewelry will insure that it retains its value, wears well and can become a keepsake or heirloom which may be passed on, often through several generations.
CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY
The simplest way to clean most jewelry is with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Be sure to clean the backs of all transparent or translucent gemstones really well because this allows the facets of the gemstone to reflect light properly. A very expensive Diamond can appear to be worth a small fraction of its value when dirt prevents the real brilliance of the Diamond from being seen. The true color of many gems can become muted when dirty, because light return is diminished as dirt accumulates on the bottom of the gem. Be aware of the fact that several gems such as Emeralds, Pearls and Opals require a little more TLC than other gemstones.
By all means avoid using any abrasive cleaners on your jewelry. Abrasives can scratch many gemstones and may remove the original finish from your jewelry. Never use anything with chlorine in it to clean your jewelry, chlorine reacts with gold and will ruin your gold jewelry. Never mix cleaning solutions, mixing chlorine and ammonia can be lethal. Don’t boil your jewelry on the stove and certainly don’t boil it with ammonia. Why would you want ammonia fumes in your home? Occasionally someone boiling their jewelry forgets about the pot on the stove and brings their burnt jewelry with damaged gemstones to us for repair. A stove is no place for jewelry.
At Diamond Jewelers we have always offered free jewelry cleaning services and most other quality jewelry stores do as well. When your jewelry gets to the point that soapy water or a generic jewelry cleaner will not do the job, it’s time to take it to us. Our professional ultrasonic cleaners and steam machines will make the dirtiest jewelry sparkle again, and our cleaning service is FREE!!!
REFINISHING YOUR JEWELRY
If your jewelry is dull, discolored, worn, or badly scratched, it can be refinished and restored to its original condition by our experienced jewelers. Refinishing your jewelry is a simple process, that can usually be performed while you wait at one of our stores. Our jewelers can make your worn jewelry look new and worth much more than it does now. Do you have lots of thing you don’t wear anymore? You will be pleasantly surprised when you see what refinishing can do for your old jewelry.
All jewelry made from platinum, gold or silver tarnishes over time from the process of oxidation. A film or thin layer of discoloration develops on the exterior of these metals. When a metal such as copper oxidizes it turns green. When yellow gold, white gold or platinum jewelry tarnishes it does not totally change color like copper, instead it becomes very dull and changes color ever so slightly. Silver dulls and turns black usually requiring continuous cleaning unless it is plated with a finish to retard the oxidation process.
Rhodium is the most common plating material used to plate Sterling Silver because it provides a bright mirror like finish and it is also silver in color. An article of yellow gold jewelry can be made to look like it is white gold by having it Rhodium plated. New white gold jewelry is commonly Rhodium plated to provide a brighter finish. We provide Rhodium plating services if you would like to restore the original finish to your precious jewelry items. Also know, because white gold is so popular now, refinishing your yellow gold jewelry with a Rhodium finish (which can be removed again) means you do not have to buy new jewelry to be in style.
A Rhodium plated item may retain its finish for a lifetime or for only a short period of time, depending upon factors such as the type of metal being plated, the amount of wear the article is subjected to, each individual’s body chemistry and the thickness of the plating. The good news is that if the rhodium finish on a piece of jewelry wears off over time, it can be re-plated to look brand new and the process is not very expensive.
Also don’t forget, if you really don’t like the style of some of the older pieces of jewelry you have, we also can remodel them into contemporary creations for a fraction of the cost it would be to buy a similar new item.
STORING YOUR JEWELRY
Fine jewelry or any article of jewelry that is important to you should be stored in a manner that will prevent each piece of jewelry from coming into contact with others. Diamonds which are much harder than other gemstones can scratch your other gems, especially if you put your jewelry together in something like your purse that can be subjected to a lot of movement. Storing chains and necklaces separately will prevent tangling which often results in damage. In addition to jewelry boxes, any soft lined compartmentalized tray, individually wrapping items in tissue paper or using jewelry pouches or rolls will protect your jewelry.
AVOID EXTREME TEMPERATURES
Gemstones such as Emerald, Opal and Cultured Pearls can be easily damaged if subjected to high temperatures. Opals and Cultured Pearls, which are organic in composition, may be damaged by very dry conditions. Emeralds which typically have inclusions in them can be damaged by sudden changes in temperature which could cause internal fractures to expand rapidly, sometimes even resulting in a broken gemstone.
INSPECT YOUR JEWELRY BEFORE PUTTING IT ON
Many necklaces are lost because of clasps that have broken or simply worn out with age. Do you have a necklace or pendant that is a couple of years old? When was the last time you inspected the clasp and the loops that connect the clasp to the chain to see if they are wearing thin. Gold is a relatively soft metal and wears out in areas that are subjected to a lot of friction over time. Are the links on your bracelet getting very thin? Check all of the links carefully and pay special attention by the clasp because these links tend to wear out sooner than the others in a bracelet or chain. The good news is that we can rebuild old loops and links on your jewelry that have worn thin and make them like new again!
Are all of the gemstones in your jewelry secure? Are any of the prongs holding the gemstones bent, missing or worn thin? You can usually tell if a gemstone is loose by touching it from side to side, if it moves it definitely needs to be tightened. Loose Diamonds are in danger of being lost because they are much harder than gold. When a loose Diamond moves in a mounting it acts like a tiny saw blade, slowly wearing the metal holding it in place away until the Diamond falls out. Inspect your gemstones regularly, every month or so depending on wear, to be certain they are secure. If you are not sure if a gemstone is loose, please bring your jewelry into one of our stores and we will inspect it for you, free of charge. Our jeweler will check that your prongs are all intact and that they are not wearing thin. In addition, we inspect for cracks or unusual wear and will provide you with a complementary professional cleaning. We will never charge you to inspect or clean your jewelry so please feel free to stop by.
WHERE SHOULD YOU STORE YOUR VALUABLES?
All too often, people store their very valuable jewelry in a jewelry box on their dresser or night table. Ask any policeman how many times he has responded to a report of a burglary where jewelry was taken from the bedroom by a burglar or jewelry was reported missing after someone was let in a home to do repairs. The answer to this question should prompt you to think of a better place to store your treasured keepsakes. I suggest you only use your dresser as a place to put your jewelry when you go to bed and expect to wear it the next day. Otherwise consider finding a suitable hiding place in your home or invest in a small safe. If you buy a small safe which could be carried away, either hide the safe well or secure it to something, or both. Small safes that look like common household articles are another option. Your local locksmith should be able to offer you some sound advice in selecting a small safe and a place to install it.
CARE OF PEARLS
Since cultured pearls are made in nature by oysters, they are more sensitive to the elements than other gems. Pearls are organic like opals and cameos, while almost all other gems are minerals. Constant exposure to sunlight can dull a Pearl or an Opals luster. Pearls are porous so they absorb liquids and should not be immersed in liquids, especially those with color that may stain the pearls. The natural oils from your skin will enhance the beauty of pearls and is a good reason to wear them often. Pearls should be restrung regularly, probably every 18 to 24 months, to keep them in top condition. Pearls should be kept in a pouch or separate compartment, by themselves, in a jewelry box so other jewelry does not scratch them.