Posted on October 13 2017
Because it’s crucial to know what you’re buying and how to care for it.
WHEN YOU’RE BUYING A NEW PIECE
There are two different aspects to quality: the materials used in a piece as well as the craftsmanship involved in its creation. When buying fine jewelry, it’s important to know what you are buying and how to care for it. For example, anything that is gold plated will wear off over time, and for rings that are worn on a daily basis, this can actually happen very quickly!
Pay special attention to the stones used in a piece as certain stones, for example, opals are much softer than diamonds and can break relatively easily. This most likely won’t be a big deal if used in a pair of earrings or a necklace, but you don’t want to have a big opal in your engagement ring that you’ll be wearing on a daily basis.
Craftsmanship can be trickier to evaluate when making a purchase, but attention to detail is key to look out for. Check for stones that feel loose, and turn the piece around to see what the finish on the back looks like.
Finally, even the best made pieces will need some TLC every so often to keep them in good shape. Take the time to learn about the company’s repair policy if it is a purchase you’ll want to hold onto for a while!
HOW TO STORE AND CARE FOR IT DAY-TO-DAY:
The best way to care for fine jewelry is to keep it cool and dry. Take it off before you get in the shower, and try to prevent any lotions or sprays from coming into contact with it.
Gold and diamond pieces can be washed gently with a toothbrush and soapy water, or you can find a stone-cleaning solution online. Remember to wash it in a bowl rather than in the sink—that’s a major accident just waiting to happen.
Special care should be taken with gemstones, and a quick check on Google will tell you whether or not the stone can be washed in water.
In an ideal world I would get my engagement ring professionally cleaned (they do this using an ultrasonic and steam technology to dislodge any debris) about once or twice a year, but in reality it usually ends up getting dunked in soapy water at home!
Finally, store jewelry in a box or travel case that allows each piece to sit individually so that the pieces don’t end up scratching each other. A jewelry industry standard is to use tiny plastic bags for storage, and I usually do this when traveling to prevent everything from getting tangled. Not the most glamorous or sophisticated system, but highly effective and easy to do when packing late the night before a flight.
WHAT TO AVOID:
A lesser-known tip is that salty air can be especially harmful to rose-gold jewelry because of the copper alloy in it, so leave these pieces at home when heading to the beach.