“Bring on the Bling” – Tips for Caring for Your Jewelry

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Spring 2024

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Individuals around the world have been mesmerized by dazzling diamonds, glistening gemstones, brilliant beads, genuine gold, and sculpted silver for centuries. Such treasures (commonly referred to as “Jewelry”) are worn by men, women, and children of all age groups, and elegantly symbolize one’s social status, culture, style, and identity. 

Jewellery can come in many shapes, sizes, and colours, and is typically composed of luxurious metals, precious stones, and minerals. Jewels are often specifically crafted to suit their owners’ preferences, and tend to increase in value over time, as they are rare and highly regarded ornaments.

 As you have likely invested significant resources in finding and financing your personal jewels, it is important that you know how to properly care for them. Doing so will enhance their appearance and lifespan. Here are some tips that you can follow to ensure that your jewellery stays polished and glistens for years to come.

Caring Before Wearing:
Jewelry is regarded by many to be a wardrobe essential, as it enhances your style and complements  your outfit. As such, it is important to decide on the jewels that will accompany your clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and shoes. If you plan your ensemble in advance, you will ensure that it is complete, and not overwhelming. However, if you rush to perfect your look, you run the risk of mismatching items and possibly coming across ostentatiously. Take your time to match your jewellery with the rest of your outfit by considering how the ornament’s sizes, shapes and colours relate to the rest of your attire. In addition, consider the phrase “Less is more!” when deciding on the number of jewels to wear at once.

Dress First; Decorate Later:
If you love wearing make-up and scented products, you should apply them first before gearing up on any garments. Precious metals, coloured gemstones and trinkets are very sensitive to chemicals, and will likely react negatively to your skincare products and cosmetics. For instance, styling products like perfume and hairspray can distribute a film residue onto your jewellery, which will cast a dull appearance across your treasures. In addition, the chemicals in cosmetics can slowly tarnish your precious metals and stones, leaving you with a damaged, lusterless, and weakened ornament. If your jewellery happens to be exposed to any chemicals, you should immediately rinse any residue off with warm water and a gentle cloth.

Avoid Aquatic Activities:
As a general rule, you should refrain from wearing jewellery if you plan on swimming in any body of water. Long or frequent exposure to salt water and chlorine can cause your pieces to tarnish, leaving your precious metals and gemstones with a dull finish. In addition, wearing jewellery while you are submerged in water increases the likelihood of losing it, as water causes certain areas (like your fingers) to temporarily shrink. It is much harder to fish for underwater ornaments than it is to remove them from your body before you go swimming; wearing them in water is risky. 

Keep Them Clean:
Regularly washing and drying your jewellery will help your metals and stones stay vibrant and free of germs, oil, and grime. Many pieces of jewellery can be gently cleaned with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth. You should avoid cleaning products that are not specifically designed for your jewels, as they may contain harsh chemicals that will damage the metals or gemstones. Once you have carefully cleaned your pieces, place them on a soft towel to dry before locking them away in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Store It Away for Another Day:
Proper storage is one of the most important aspects to remember when caring for your jewellery. To help preserve your treasures, you should delegate individual storage spaces for each of them – pieces should be organized, separated, and stored in their original boxes, bags, or cases. This will reduce the likelihood of any materials becoming entangled, scratched, or lost. In addition, a locked away enclosure (preferably one that is away from a light source) will help keep your jewels dry, cool, and free of dust, while also reducing the probability of them disappearing.

Insure Your Investment:
Even if you do your best to care for your jewellery, unfortunate circumstances can still arise. As repairs, sizing adjustments and replacements can be expensive, it is recommended that owners invest in a jewellery protection plan. These resources will cover your jewels in the event of loss, theft, or damage, and cost as little as $70.00 a year to maintain. Protection plans also offer more coverage than store-bought warranties, and provide jewellery owners with peace of mind. You are more likely to wear and enjoy your jewellery when you have a back-up support system, should an unfortunate circumstance ever arise. 

Jerri Lyons | Contributing Writer

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