Every piece of Laurie Sarah Jewelry you purchase is a fine work of art. Just like a priceless vase, or an expensive painting, knowing how to care for your art will minimize repairs and increase the longevity of your beautiful jewelry. The following is Laurie Sarah’s basic Jewelry Care Guide.
So my husband and I (and my whole staff for that matter) get quite a kick out of the long list of “don’ts” that jewelers typically put down for jewelry care:
- “DON’T take a shower with your ring on
- DON’T wash your hands with your ring on
- DON’T do the dishes while wearing it
- DON’T sleep with it on
- DON’T use hairspray, lotions or perfumes
- DON’T wear your jewelry at the gym, at the beach, in the swimming pool, while gardening, etc.
- DON’T bump, scratch, hit or scrape it on anything.”
MY GOODNESS, CAN I WEAR MY JEWELRY ANYWHERE?!
Of course! Let’s step back a moment and look at the principle of what is being said. “Be careful with your jewelry!” I’m not going to tell you when to, and when not to wear your jewelry. But what I will do, is I will give some of the main instances where a ring can be damaged and give you the reasons why. Then you, as an educated client, can make your own decision whether there will be instances where you will take your jewelry off or not.
Remember, every piece of Laurie Sarah jewelry comes with our Lifetime Care Plan. Anytime you have trouble, questions, or need repairs, we are here for you! Remember, the most common time jewelry needs repairs is within the first few days or weeks that you own it. Why? Because for many people, they have never owned a piece of fine jewelry before and it takes a little getting used to. Never be shy to tell us why your jewelry needs repair. We won’t scold you, we promise ?
Below is a list that includes the main things that can cause damage to jewelry. Of course this is not all-inclusive, but it gives you the idea. For care for specific gemstones (they require their own separate care), please feel free to visit our “Gemstone FAQ’s” section of our blog. If you don’t see the particular gemstone you want information about, please contact us.
Ironically, much of how your jewelry maintains its original beauty has to do with your lifestyle. Perhaps you are someone that likes larger rings, wider bands, thicker gold. Well, your ring will sustain more hits and bumps before losing a gem than someone who chooses a very thin, dainty style. If you love thin (either because of the look or because it bode well with the budget you had) just know that you’ll need to exercise more care than someone with a thicker ring.
Gripping things can cause your ring to bend over time, can chip stones, or damage prongs leading to lost stones. Activities that commonly involve gripping include weight lifting, riding a bike, gripping the steering wheel, etc.
HITTING OR BUMPING YOUR JEWELRY
Anytime you bump or hit your jewelry, it can bend prongs, dent the metal, loosen or chip stones, etc. Some common places to hit jewelry are the washer or dryer, tables, car doors, in the kitchen, opening cabinets, bathroom sink, etc. The larger your center stone, the easier it will be to hit it. Anytime you feel your jewelry has sustained a good hit, have us check the prongs to ensure your stones don’t fall out.
EXPOSURE TO BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND CHEMICALS
The more you expose your jewelry to lotions, perfumes, hair products, make up, cleaning products, chemicals, etc, the more your jewelry will be damaged. Chemicals in these and similar products can have a corrosive effect on jewelry, causing brittleness in metals and discoloration to colored gemstones. They can also build up in your jewelry, causing it to look dull.
EXPOSURE TO SOAPS
Wearing your jewelry while taking a shower or washing your hands may seem like a convenient way to “clean” it, but beware! Soap, shampoo, conditioner and other similar products can contain corrosive chemicals, and build up residue on your jewelry, causing it to look cloudy and lifeless over time. We recommend our Laurie Sarah Jewelry Cleaner for all your jewelry cleaning needs. For more stubborn residue, we recommend our Ultrasonic Cleaner
PUTTING STRESS ON THE METAL HOLDING THE STONES
All stones, no matter how they are set, are held in place by the metal your jewelry is cast in. The side stones are usually very tiny, which means the amount of gold, silver, or platinum holding them is very tiny. A single loose or broken prong can be enough to cause a stone to loosen or fall out. Be very conscious to not put stress on your jewelry. Some examples are catching it on your sweater as you take it off, putting your hand in and out of your pocket, pushing on the jewelry, taking a ring off by pulling on the center stone, etc. Remember, if your side stone or center stone falls out, it is almost always because the metal holding it was damaged or the stone was chipped.
SUDDEN TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Drastic changes in temperature can cause certain gemstones, such as opals, to fracture. Even diamonds are not completely immune to this, as sudden and extreme temperature changes can cause thermal shock and either create new fractures in the stone, or cause existing ones to spread further. So think twice before you jump from the hot tub into the freezing Alaskan ocean!
EXPOSURE TO DIRECT SUNLIGHT
The sun is very powerful. All jewelry can be affected by long exposure to the sun, and certain colored gemstones can be affected even by short exposure to direct sunlight. Know your gemstone and whether it’s prone to damage in this way. Very hot sunlight can also damage and extend fractures in a stone. So before you lay out on the beach for several hours, leave your beautiful jewelry in a safe place so it isn’t exposed too much to the sun.
Although clean, cold water may seem harmless, there is a hidden danger. Short exposure to very cold water (such as washing your hands) or long exposure (such as swimming in it) can cause your fingers to shrink. Your jewelry can slip right off without you even realizing it.
EXPOSURE TO OCEAN OR POOL WATER
Both chemicals used in pools and the salt in ocean water is highly corrosive to precious metals and gemstones. They can cause erosion to soldered parts, discoloration to diamonds and gemstones, and damage the facets on all stones. Enough exposure can cause loss of stones.
So that’s Basic Jewelry Care in a nutshell. May your jewelry always sparkle and bring a smile to your face every time you look at it!
Laurie Sarah & Avo