Twenty-first century lifestyles are pretty hectic, this can be at odds with our precious jewellery which needs to be cared for. After all who would ever describe jewellery as cheap? Don’t wear your jewellery 24 hours a day; take it off when you get home or at least at night. Keep it separated as different elements can damage each other. When you are not wearing chains and necklets keep them fastened so they don’t get tangled. When you are doing jobs around the house, gardening, DIY etc. remove it, you wouldn’t wear your Escada dress or your Paul Smith suit when cleaning the kitchen floor or working in the shed!
Jewellery can also be damaged by shopping trolleys, dog leads, prams, door handles, handbrakes, even washing-up. Diamonds maybe forever, but they and all other jewellery components can and do get damaged. Jewellery care is a necessary part of owning it.
Have everything that you would make a claim on in the event of a loss, properly valued for insurance. The description on a valuation should be detailed enough for a jeweller to draw a pretty accurate sketch of an item. Most valuations these days come with digital images included to aid the insurer, the Police as well as the owner, when it comes to identification in the event of a loss or recovery.
Have the valuation updated every four or five years as jewellery and its replacement values, do not follow the practice of index linking as some insurers believe. In the event of a loss, insurers sometimes insist you get the replacement from their choice of supplier. Should you rather replace lost pieces from your jeweller, ensure you read all the conditions in the policy before signing it.
Do also bear in mind that in the case of any loss, sentiment unfortunately cannot be given a monetary value.
Get your jewellery cleaned and checked at least annually by your jeweller. They will be able to recommend any maintenance required, before you suffer any expensive loss.
Don’t attempt to clean jewellery using any form of chemical or an ultrasonic cleaner yourself, you are likely to do more harm than good. Some gemstones and settings should not even become wet.
Certain chemicals can harm your precious items, we use some of them so often we don’t think of them as chemicals. Hairspray, perfume, nail varnish remover, even perspiration can all affect jewellery. If you are going to wear hairspray or other cosmetics, put them on first and give them a chance to dry before putting on your jewellery.
Chlorine is particularly damaging, so if you are going swimming leave your jewellery locked in the safe at home. No safe? They are available for less than the price of a tank of petrol, how does that compare to the price of your engagement ring?
A number of people have suffered an allergic reaction when wearing jewellery. Often heard was the phrase “I’m allergic to 9 carat gold”. This is not the case, Gold is a noble metal, it is not possible to be allergic to it. The allergy stems from a reaction to other alloys used e.g. the other 15 carats in 9 carat gold (total 24 which would be pure). Most often the allergy comes from nickel, which has now been outlawed in the Nickel Directive. The above explanation also covers allergic reaction to sterling silver.
If you have a mechanical watch wind it in a clockwise direction. Often it is recommended that you do this about the ame time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the winder.
Water resistance is often misunderstood, for example a watch saying 30 metres on the dial sounds like it is perfectly safe to swim in. The 30 metres is actually a static pressure that the watch can take. Did you know that just jumping into a pool can exceed this pressure therefore possibly letting water into the watch? If you really have to know the time when you are in the pool, it is recommended that you have a watch with a 100 metre water resistance or greater. Even then don’t wear it in the bath or while taking a shower.
Your watch is a very intricate piece of engineering and works non-stop day after day. You would not expect your car to do this without a service so follow the instructions on servicing. As a guide a service every three or four years should help it last for decades.
Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis, making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the case.
Cultured pearls are formed inside oysters. As they are of organic origin, although they are beautiful, they are particularly susceptible to damage. For this reason you should treat cultured pearls with great care.
Cosmetics including perfume and hairspray should be applied before you put on any cultured pearl jewellery, otherwise the nacre or skin, can become permanently damaged. After wearing, clean them with a soft dry cloth.
Should you need to wash your cultured pearl jewellery, do it with water and maybe a drop or two of detergent. Obviously don’t get cultured pearl stud earrings wet as it may affect the pearl cement.
Don’t use any form of chemicals, as they are most likely to damage the cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are soft and any rough treatment such as carrying in a handbag or putting them loose in a jewellery box may also damage them. Wrap them in acid-free tissue for protection.
Everyday wear, and the natural constituents of your skin can have a detrimental effect on the silk used to thread your cultured pearls. Get a jeweller to check them regularly. The frequency of rethreading depends on many different factors, but once a year is a good idea.
It is all very confusing for those not “in the know”. Natural is relatively simple, this would be a gemstone that is entirely in its natural state other than being cut and polished.
Enhanced is a term used for natural gems that have been improved by man in a permanent way. This has been going on for over 100 years and is an accepted practice that doesn’t require mentioning to the public in most cases. An example of this would be the colour improvement in zircons in Victorian times. There are however some enhancements that do require description. An example would be the lasering of diamonds to remove inclusions (nature’s fingerprints). Travellers buying diamonds while on holiday in America for example, are often sold these without any declaration.
Manmade and synthetic gems are simple to define, though there are many terms used to try and detract from the fact that these are grown in a laboratory. Created or Kimberley are terms that are commonly met.