ALL THAT GLITTERS
Spring is in the air, and so is the humidity. The crowds are beginning to wane and traffic is becoming bearable. It’s also time to clean and check your fine jewelry.
By fine jewelry, I mean your gold, platinum and gemstone jewelry. It’s time to check the important components that hold your gemstones in the settings, such as prongs, bezels and channels. The past months I saw an alarming amount of loss from simply not having one’s jewelry checked for tightness or security, and replaced several lost important diamonds that were insured or not. Many of the unfortunate losses could have been avoided had they regularly had their jewelry checked or inspected.
Prongs are not the only things to keep an eye on. Clasps, catches and especially the simple little rings that hold everything together (jump rings) can wear out and fail, causing you to lose your chain and whatever happens to be attached to it.
Diamond studs with screw back post systems can become stripped, fail to secure properly and slide off causing loss. Even the common “friction back” earring back can become loose and fail. Many times a simple adjustment can tighten things up and everything will be as good as new. In some cases I may suggest a heavier and larger friction back for security and peace of mind for important diamond stud earrings.
Besides the changing of watch batteries (my favorite subject), it might be a good idea to remove your watch and look it over carefully (not just for dirt and grime). Use a little soapy water and scrub it with an old toothbrush – this will do the job. Check the strap for wear and tear – even metal straps wear out. Catches that fail to snap closed properly can be adjusted, too.
There are many methods of cleaning your jewelry at home and innumerous products that do the job, but one has to be careful with sensitive pieces or gemstones, such as cultured pearls, cameos, and all porous stones like turquoise, coral and mother of pearl, to name a few. If you have questions…that’s why I’m Marco Island’s “go-to jeweler.” Call or email me any questions before you go and do irreversible damage to any heirlooms.
My shop also offers cleaning and polishing services for a nominal fee if you want your jewelry to look like it did the day you bought it. Also during the process we carefully inspect for anything that looks out of order; missing diamonds or gemstones or those worn and missing prongs, worn out links or catches etc. that I mentioned above.
It’s never too late to have your valuable fine jewelry inspected; I can’t stress how important it is to do it at least twice a year to avoid the pain and discomfort of needless loss, not to mention the cost of replacement if you are uninsured.
Spring is also a good time to see if your appraisals are up to date, instead of late December when your policy is about to expire. No jeweler that I know (yours truly included!) wants to be burdened with appraisals during the busy Christmas gift-giving season. Any appraisal more than ten years old is most likely obsolete, and not accurate to current values.
So heed my suggestions and advice, and avoid a disappointing loss and the cost of replacement in the future. Always remember, “Clean and shiny jewelry is happy jewelry!”
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and has been Marco’s jewelry genius for nearly 25 years. He welcomes your comments and questions. Phone 239-394-9275, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.harborgoldsmith.com.