Ask Your Goldsmith:
Taking Care of Your Jewellery
Fine Jewellery has to be looked after on a regular basis, if worn most of the time. Like your diamond engagement ring or wedding bands and multi-stone cluster rings. Your diamond engagement ring that cost $500 twenty five years ago is likely worth $2,500 today! So the claws on the diamond should be checked on a regular basis, as the ring gets older and is worn all the time. Claws that are worn should be fixed immediately, before one breaks off and you lose the diamond! At $50 for four new claws that get soldered over the old ones (without even having to take the stone out) it's the best insurance for your special sentimental diamond engagement ring. You'll have peace of mind knowing that your diamonds or other precious stones are secured.
Just in case you do lose a stone someday, make sure that your insurance policy covers your item for this type of loss. If you're just covered for theft, you're out of luck when it comes to replacing lost stones - or your lost ring for that matter! Ask your insurance agent for that loss coverage.
Also check your other Jewellery containing precious stones for their safety. Check for snagging and catching - these are all signs of trouble ahead when it comes to the security of your fine Jewellery containing precious stones. The locks on your chains, necklaces, bracelets and earrings should give you a hint too, when they act up once in a while.
You might think this part is funny, but do watch out when clapping your hands while at festive functions. Especially with Diamond or other precious stone rings worn on both hands! As you clap with excitement, your rings may hit each other and can chip the stones and damage the soft gold part of your rings too. On a three row, 30-Diamond band, I have seen 8 stones chipped and damaged, one of my customers' rings. She attended a wedding party and did all that damage by wearing Diamond rings on each hand, which is a common thing to do these days. The gold bands showed sharp nicks and cuts, these could only be done by other hard stones or sharp metal objects. Eight of the Diamonds on the band were also chipped! Take that as a lesson learned, treat your Jewellery carefully.
Cleaning your own Jewellery!
Take a soft baby toothbrush (you can find them in the infant section of most drugstores) and some soap and warm water and get in behind the stones as much as possible. Make sure to press the brush towards and under the back of the stones where possible. All collected film that seems to stick on the stones will be loosened and come off almost immediately and your precious stones will shine again! The gold takes no effort to brush and wipe off lotion and previous soap deposits (from washing your hands or dishes). I have demonstrated this to my customers in the shop using just a soft bristle toothbrush (without our ultrasonic cleaner or 40 pounds of steam pressure from our steam cleaner) and they could not believe it, how their Jewellery came back to life after that simple cleaning. If it's done every couple of weeks, it would prevent the film building up under the Diamonds or other stones.
Light color stones, like Aquamarine or Topaz (and of course Diamonds) will really come alive after a good simple cleaning. Of course, we will polish our customers' Jewellery free of charge while they're in the shop and then put it in the ultrasonic cleaner to shake off all dirt and polishing compound deposit. After that the items get a nice steam cleaning, bring them back to new, just like it was as you bought it or when it was given to you! I always like the look on my customers' faces when they see this "miracle"! Out of the dirt, the Jewellery has become brand new! It is also really rewarding for every goldsmith to bring a very meaningful, personal and sentimental Jewellery piece that belongs to the customer or in their family for many generations back to life.
For more information, please read my other articles about Buying and Selling Jewellery, About Old Gold and 12Kt Gold Explained.
West York Jewellers