The jewellery that we wear every day can take a bit of a battering. We tend not to think about what we put it through; it’s made of metal and it will last forever, right? Unfortunately this is not the case. Jewellery, like all things, needs to be looked after and cared for, and certain pieces will need to be looked after more than others.
Rings are automatically susceptible to hard wear just because of where they are worn. Our hands are constantly being knocked and therefore our rings are too. It is imperative that the settings of your rings, especially pieces that are worn daily, are checked regularly. Stones can easily be knocked loose and can begin moving in their settings. If you notice a stone moving or spinning, then get it checked straight away, it could be a sign that your setting is worn or has had a knock.
Certain setting styles, like claws, are particularly delicate and should be checked by a jeweller at least once a year. Worn claws can be rebuilt, so keep an eye to see if your claws begin to feel very flat. You should expect to have to ‘re-tip’ your claws every three to five years if a ring is worn regularly. If your ring is older than this, it is probably time to get it checked. When a claw is new you can easily feel it when rubbing your finger over it. As the claw begins to wear away, it will appear less prominent until there is nothing but a fine layer of metal left. Ultimately this will break away leaving your stone exposed and at a risk of dropping out of the setting. Always get your rings checked if you are worried.
Bracelets, like rings, are more prone to wear, as they too get pulled around a lot. The links nearest to the clasp are always the first ones to wear out, so be sure to have these checked regularly. I know that a lot of our customers like to wear their jewellery all of the time, but this is not good for it. When we sleep we tend to move around, our jewellery, especially bracelets, can be pulled and stretched which will weaken the links and ultimately wear out the piece of jewellery more quickly. It is always better to take your bracelets off before going to bed to keep them wearable for longer.
Whilst earrings aren’t susceptible to the same wear as rings or bracelets, the fittings can become weak. Butterflies are normally held on by tension; the older the butterfly, the weaker the hold. Sometimes these can be reshaped to make them tight again, but if not, a new pair of butterflies is much simpler than trying to replace one earring!
Drop earrings can cause problems as they can easily be hooked out of the ear. This is especially a problem in the winter months, when we tend to wear scarfs and big collars. An easy way to prevent this is to simply pop a butterfly or plastic stay on to the hook of the earring, and push it round to sit at the back of the ear.
Like earrings, pendants are not as prone to wear as rings or bracelets. However, the loop (the piece of the pendant that holds it on to the chain) can become worn over time. The loop can usually be built up again or replaced so it is always better to have it checked if you notice that the loop is looking misshapen or dented by the chain.
Obviously there is a lot more to jewellery upkeep than these simple points, so if you have any specific questions then why not get in touch here. If in doubt it is always better to take your jewellery to a professional so that it can be checked.
Looking forward to seeing you in West Malling really soon.