Jewellery is a significant part of humanity – across all cultures and all time periods, people have worn jewellery. But, what’s the best way to look after it? Whether you have something brand new or a few stunning pieces of vintage jewellery that need caring for, we’re going to have a look at the best ways to look after jewellery of all kinds.
Let’s get started.
Looking after your jewellery should start with how you store it when it’s not in use. Most people who have owned jewellery of some kind since they were children are familiar with the struggle of having all of your necklaces become one singular ball of tangled hell. Storing necklaces and pendants doesn’t have to be an endless struggle.
You can choose to keep your neck decoration on a hanging stand or wall-mounted jewellery holder. Equally, you can use jewellery bags – made with soft fabric like silk and satin – to keep pendants safe. Place the pendant itself inside the bag, then tighten the top and allow the chain to hang on the outside of the bag. This stops the chain from becoming caught around the finer details of the pendant’s design.
There are some gemstones that you should be wary about when storing jewellery. Diamonds, for example, are stunningly beautiful and potentially deadly to other jewellery pieces. Because they are so strong and hardwearing, diamonds can easily scratch other, softer gemstones. Bear this in mind when storing your jewellery, and ensure that diamond jewellery is stored separately to other pieces.
The last type of jewellery you have to be very careful with storing is pearl jewellery. Pearls are very soft, and easily affected by other materials. Storing pearl jewellery, then, should be done with care. Use soft cloths and bags to keep your pearls safe and secure. Storing pearls away from the rest of your jewellery – either in bags or a separate jewellery box all together – will prevent them from becoming scratched, discoloured, or otherwise damaged.
It sounds silly that there might be certain rules to follow when it comes to wearing jewellery. If you want your jewellery to be as beautiful as it can be for a long time, however, then you know that every step needs to be taken to ensure its overall health.
Since we’ve touched on pearl jewellery, we’ll talk about that first here. The overall rule for pearls is: last thing on, first thing off. Because pearls are so easily affected by other materials and chemicals of all kinds, it is important that you limit their exposure to potentially harmful substances. Moisturisers, perfumes, and makeup are all things that can damage your pearl jewellery, so you need to ensure that pearls are the very last thing your put on before you head out, and the very first thing you take off once you are back at home. You shouldn’t let this make you hesitant about wearing pearls, however, as some exposure to the open air helps pearls maintain their natural lustre.
Rings and bracelets are other types of jewellery that should be worn with some care. Your hands and wrists come into contact with so much throughout the day, and so the potential for damage is higher for rings and bracelets than it is for necklaces and earrings.
For rings, the best way to care for them is to have them regularly checked by a professional jewellery. Once a year is enough to ensure that your ring is in good working order, and most places will offer to professionally clean your jewellery too – getting the maximum shine for your gemstones. You can use a jeweller’s loupe to examine your own jewellery closely also. This is particularly useful for jewellery with claw settings. Rings often have claw-set gemstones on them, and given the contact rings come into every day, it is possible that the claws could get caught and become loose, bent, or – in the worst cases – removed all together. If this happens, the gemstone being held in place is no longer secure, posing a serious threat to your jewellery.
With proper storage, wearing, and maintenance, most jewellery can last for a long time – often centuries! Turn your jewellery into family heirlooms by taking care of it now so that it can become a valued and treasured antique further down the line.