I wanted to start this thread so that we all have somewhere to discuss maintenance issues and such. I know I am not talking to the average jewelry buyer so many of you will be clued into this stuff but I wanted to put it out there anyway.
Just as you would never buy a luxury car in the belief that you would never have to service it, jewelry also needs a regular ‘service’. Pieces should be checked regularly for any wear on the metal and loose/chipped stones. Often, this is something that is easy enough done at home but you do need to be careful. Before you check for loose stones, clean the piece with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap, making sure to get to the back of the piece/stones too. Make sure you do this in a container with warm water – NOT OVER A SINK as you could easily lose stones down the drain. Using a bowl means that any stones loose enough to fall out can be found at the bottom of the bowl.
You need to clean the piece first because sometimes dirt can prevent you from identifying problems.
Once the piece is clean, use a pair of pointed tweezers to gently push every stone and watch for any signs of movement. Some styles are known for loosening up easier than others and we will get into that in another posting. If you are concerned about a tiny melee, you can mark it with a child’s washable marker for when you need to take it into your jeweler (not that they shouldn't check every stone for you anyway) or to send it back to us. With larger stones, you may be able to identify if something is loose by holding the ring up to your ear and shaking it – if it rattles, you have a stone that needs tightening.
If you have ANY loose stones, DO NOT use a high powered steam cleaner on the piece! Unless you really want to blast the stones clean out of the setting!
So you’ve checked everything and you have no loose stones. Now what? Take a look over the setting itself. Look at the prongs: are the tips worn thin? Have the prongs moved at all? Do they all still have full contact with the stone? Any knocks/dings to the setting itself? Also look to see if any of the stones are chipped and in need of replacement.
One other important thing to remember: if you ever drop a piece, inspect it immediately for damage/loose stones – just as you wouldn’t drive a car further than the nearest garage after an accident to have it checked over for road-worthiness, so it is with your jewelry.
Of course, we take great care and pride in our pieces and we won’t send out a piece if it’s not up to our standard, but no piece is infallible. We are here to help with any issues you may have – just let us know!