Part One: At Home
Here at Champaign Jewelers, we absolutely love our jewelry and we want to see it sparkle and shine for a very long time. This is part of why we do free cleaning and checking, so that your amazing pieces can stay amazing for many, many years to come. It’s also very important, however, that you know what steps to take to protect your jewelry at home during day to day wear.
Clean your jewelry, especially your daily wear pieces like wedding rings, at home often. But don’t neglect to bring them in to get them professionally cleaned at least twice a year. When you clean your jewelry, use our foam cleaner and a soft toothbrush to scrub grime and buildup away. Always make sure to scrub the back side of any stones, since that’s usually where the dirty buildup will occur, and any grime there will inhibit light reflection and refraction. In other words, they won’t sparkle!
Try to remember to remove any jewelry, especially gold and colored stones, when swimming in a chlorinated pool, or using a hot tub. The chlorine can break down the alloys that the gold is mixed with, resulting in cracks and weaknesses, and heat, as well as any sudden temperature change can greatly damage some colored stones.
Make sure to remove any rings when gardening, or doing any kind of dirty, labor intensive work with your hands.
If you have an engagement ring and a wedding band that you always wear together, I would strongly recommend that you get them soldered together. If you do not, the two rings will bump and rub against each other constantly, wearing the bands down much faster than they would if they were attached as one ring.
Another aspect of at home care is to insure your fine jewelry. If a stone or whole piece does get lost or stolen or damaged beyond repair, you want to be able to replace it. It doesn’t take us long to do a professional appraisal for insurance purposes on pieces that you already own, and we provide appraisals with the sale of our valuable pieces so that you can just take it right to your insurance agent.
Some other things you can do to be proactive in your jewelry care is to look out for signs that your jewelry needs some professional maintenance; which I will address more thoroughly in part two. A few things to be looking for include thinning, bent, missing, or otherwise misshapen prongs, and ALWAYS be on the lookout for loose stones.