Bridal jewelry, and any jewelry really, needs to be protected. From scratches to lost stones to broken pieces, a lot can happen to our beloved baubles over the course of their lifetimes. But with the right jewelry care, like proper storage, regular maintenance, and a couple of bits of know-how, you can safeguard your jewelry from tarnishing, tangling, and dulling.
Just Donâ€™t Toss It in a Dish
Those cute little jewelry dishes with pithy quotes? Yeah, donâ€™t use those to store your jewelry for extended periods of time. Itâ€™s best to store pieces individually, either in a soft-lined box or pouch. This will protect against rubbing, scratching, and tangling. Pro tip: Keeping chains fastened will also help minimize tangling.
The investment made in a diamond, be it an engagement ring, a pair of stud earrings, or a pendant, is a personal one—safeguarding gemstones, some of which are soft, in proper storage will minimize dulling and scratching that can happen if they knock against each other too much.
Also, pearls shouldnâ€™t be stored where itâ€™s too dry or airtight. Theyâ€™re porous and need some literal breathing room or else they can dry out and possibly crack. On the other hand, sterling silver will oxidize over time. So to prevent tarnishing, keep silver sealed in a plastic bag or airtight box.
And it should be a given that stored jewelry should be kept out of extreme heat and humidity, both of which can cause tarnishing. Along those same lines, letâ€™s keep them out of excessive, prolonged sunlight too. Aside from the heat, the sun can bleach out certain gemstones.
Take a Gentle Approach to Cleaning
Most pros will say itâ€™s best to avoid dip polish, ultrasonics, or abrasive cleaners unless you get your jewelerâ€™s approval first. They can contain harsh chemicals and can actually damage jewelry if done improperly.
Instead, use a soft non-abrasive and lint-free cloth to bring out the brilliance and shine on your engagement ring or wedding band. For maximum beauty, you should aim to polish silver and platinum at least once a month.
Jewelry professionals and luxury designers alike will tell you a touchstone of jewelry care is having your bridal jewelry inspected every six to twelve months by your local jeweler. Theyâ€™ll ensure the prongs are secure and give your ring a nice sparkle and polish thatâ€™ll make it feel like brand-new again.
Last and First Rule
A good rule of thumb: Jewelry should be the last thing on, and the first thing off. Chemicals in your perfume, hairspray, lotions, etc. can damage fine jewelry over time.
If youâ€™re going for a dip, whether in waves or a wading pool, err on the side of caution and ditch your jewelry first. Chlorine and saltwater can damage precious metals and gemstones.
Obviously certain jewelry, bridal pieces like wedding bands especially, are expected to be worn every day. But certain activities—high-contact sports, gardening, ceramic work—have a higher likelihood for accidents happening. And if youâ€™re donning gold-plated or silver jewelry, remove before you shower too.
If you happen to experience the unlucky misfortune of needing to get jewelry fixed, be sure you turn to a trusted local jeweler who has experience with the sort of jewelry repair you need.
Learn More About Jewelry Care at Medawar Jewelers
Whether youâ€™re ready to come shopping or have questions about servicing jewelry you already own, we look forward to helping you! Contact us at 855-850-8015 or visit us at any of our five jewelry store locations in West Lansing, Okemos, Jackson, Portage, and Brighton.