Inside your jewelry box might be some of the most meaningful, beautiful (and possibly expensive) things you own — but are you treating your gimmick with the utmost care? Here are the top six mistakes that your Jeweler would wish you stop making when it comes to your jewel maintenance.
You pick up your brand new piece from the jeweler — and never taking it back there again.
When you see a cool vintage car driving around, it’s because someone treated it right from the very beginning. And just like you would never go years without getting your car serviced, you shouldn’t skip taking your jewelry in for a tune-up either. Many jewelers will do it for free, and it could really extend the life of your piece.
You risk damage with bad DIY cleaning methods.
Dish soap is really the strongest thing you should use to clean your jewels. Denatured alcohol can be good for cleaning residue off diamonds, but definitely don’t use it on softer stones like pearls, opals, or emeralds. Turquoise and coral are other stones that won’t stand-up well to a harsh treatment. Lemon juice or other acids can also damage delicate pieces or porous stones.
You shower wearing your jewelry.
Jewelry can likely take a dip in the pool, or even an occasional shower at the gym, but it’s not a good idea to make it a habit. The effects of hard water and soap scum are hard to remove. Showers aren’t good for costume jewelry either, steam can loosen the glue that holds pieces together, or can cause rusting.
You don’t put your pearls on last.
Softer stones like pearls are the exception to jewelry’s general durability rules. They’re a delicate gemstone. They always go on last, after you’ve done all your primping, your hairspray, and your makeup. Pearls have a luster that can be damaged easily by many chemicals. You shouldn’t store pearls in something airtight like a plastic zip-top bag they need to be able to breathe.
You don’t clasp your necklaces before you store them.
People always have trouble with tangled necklaces, and there’s a really easy way to avoid that. The number one thing is to close the necklace, and then hang it on a necklace tree or a pushpin.
If you do get a nasty tangle, lay the strand down on a table, and use two pins to gently tease the knot out. Don’t try to do it while holding the necklace in the air; gravity will just keep pulling the knot back into place.
You wear rings that aren’t sized properly.
If you do this, the ring is more likely to become misshapen and eventually break. But one mistake that drives me crazy is when people use metal ring sizers instead of just getting the ring sized. They’re pieces of metal designed to wrap around a ring to make it smaller, but they’ll end up leaving deep scratches in the ring where they rub. I would much rather see someone wrap a bit of athletic tape or even a Band-Aid around their ring as a temporary fix.