A carefully crafted jewelry piece can be the perfect way to add a little sparkle to your favorite outfit. But unfortunately, even simple missteps when adorned with high-end jewelry can lead to their demise. By focusing on jewelry care, you may be able to enjoy those pieces for years. Here are three mistakes you should avoid when wearing high-end jewelry so that you can preserve those treasured items.
1. Ignoring the Signs of Damage
You never know what will happen throughout the course of a day, but some simple accidents can cause permanent damage to your jewelry. For instance, rounding a corner in your home too quickly could cause your ring to run into the wall, potentially damaging the delicate prongs that hold gems in place. Or letting a child wear your favorite pendant necklace might seem harmless, until you find them nibbling on that center stone.
As difficult as it can be to prevent accidental damage, it is even more dangerous to ignore the signs of simple physical trauma. Loose clasps on watches, bracelets, and necklaces could allow those pieces to slip off when you least expect them, and microscopic fractures in brittle gems like diamonds could cause them to shatter the next time they are subjected to force.
Fortunately, if you periodically inspect your jewelry carefully and watch out for problems, you might be able to prevent permanent loss or damage that impacts the piece's wearability. When you remove your jewelry at the end of the day, check the hardware carefully to look for opening O rings, troubled clasps, scratches, or chips.
If you spot trouble, take the piece to a professional jeweler for repairs. Although you might feel like you are being fussy worrying about a single scratch or metal ring, repairs are far cheaper than replacements — and much less stressful.
2. Using Cleaners, Perfumes, Lotions, or Makeup Around Jewelry
Unfortunately, physical damage isn't the only risk to your carefully curated jewelry collection. Many jewelry materials are prone to chemical damage from common household and cosmetic products, such as hairspray, surface cleaners, toothpaste, and even essential oils.
For instance, extremely acidic or basic products like ammonia, bleach, or vinegar can discolor the surface of pearls, and the chlorine in warm hot tub water has been shown to lead to prong breakage in white gold rings in as little as 21 hours after initial exposure. Abrasive cleaners and body scrubs can scratch both metal and gemstone jewelry, and perfumes are typically suspended in alcohol that can discolor a wide range of different precious metals and stones.
To keep your high-end jewelry safe, focus on keeping it as far away from chemicals as possible. If you use shower scrubs, lotions, and perfumes regularly, give your skin some time to let the chemicals dissipate before wearing jewelry. Also, never wear jewelry where you may come in contact with chlorine bleach or pool chemicals, since these additives can be incredibly corrosive.
3. Wearing Jewelry 24/7
Certain pieces of jewelry can start to feel like they are a part of you, which is why you might be hesitant to remove your favorite class ring, tennis bracelet, wedding ring, or pair of studs. However, wearing jewelry permanently can be just as hard on your skin as it is on your jewelry items, leading to issues like skin infections, additional corrosion, and a higher risk of physical damage.
For example, wearing your wedding ring in the shower could allow soap scum and hard water residue to accumulate underneath the prongs or gemstone, creating a foggy-looking gem and a compromised setting. Wearing earrings 24/7 could cause friction behind your earlobes, irritating your skin.
Always remove your jewelry at the end of the day, and focus on mixing up your jewelry choices to make it easier on your skin. In addition to creating a more dynamic, interesting personal look, giving your favorite pieces a break could extend their lifespan.
Whether you need a little help with jewelry or watch repair or you are in the market for another bauble to add to your collection, we can help. Here at Lang's C & L Jewelry, Inc., we specialize in offering custom, in-house jewelry design created by professional jewelers. Learn more about our family-owned and operated company today by visiting our website.