For you non-jewelry folks out there – no, I didn’t spell loupe wrong. The title of this post is my attempt to show that I can be clever! I know, I’ve got some major room for improvement in that department. At least I tried! 🙂
With Thanksgiving only two days away, Christmas around the corner and countless holiday parties on the horizon, I wanted to talk about how to care for some of our most cherished possessions. After all, us ladies will likely be sporting our diamonds, pearls, colored stones and gold to some of these upcoming gatherings.
Like I said, jewelry can be one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. Understanding how to care for and protect our treasured jewelry can make a world of a difference in maintaining its beauty, while keeping it dazzling for generations to come.
First, let me tell you why I’m not just a random woman pretending to know what I’m talking about. My love for diamonds, colored stones and pearls really became apparent to me during my time working at Tiffany & Co. During the time I worked for the company known for its famed blue box, I wanted to become a Gemologist (I still want to, but have put it on hold to be a stay at home mommy). I took courses with the Gemological Institute Of America to get the ball rolling on a process that can be quite lengthy. Although I have yet to become a Gemologist, I did receive my certificate in diamond grading and can call myself a GD, or Graduate of Diamonds.
This picture shows me in action when I was with T & Co., and yes, I got the sale:
Why do you even care? Well, I have gained the skills to grade the color, clarity, and cut of diamonds. I’ve learned to determine proportions and estimate diamond weight. I have also studied diamond treatments, synthetics, and simulants, and understand the effect of fluorescence on diamond body color.
Mind you, I haven’t actively done this since my daughter, Gia, was born, so I have some brushing up to do. Looking at diamonds and knowing what to look for is a practiced skill that requires the right equipment too. Even though I don’t get to work with diamonds everyday as of now, I am still constantly reading and learning more on my own with the materials I have been given from the G.I.A. (It’s a complete coincidence that my daughter is named Gia, by the way.)
Anyway, I digress. Now let’s get back to caring for our jewelry.
Be careful around light and heat with your jewelry. Light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s color and durability. Over time and in excess, some colored stones can fade and their durability can be compromised.
Pearls, which are very delicate, can bleach if exposed to extreme light. When heat is excessive or if there are sudden extreme temperature changes, some gems can actually fracture.
Look at these gorgeous aquamarine earrings:
This next tip is kind of a no-brainer….keep your jewelry away from chemicals! Chemicals can damage and discolor your precious metals, like gold, silver and platinum. Chemicals can even damage some gemstones.
Even everyday items like hairspray, perfume and lotions can permanently damage the surface of your pearls or other porous stones, like turquoise. As a rule of thumb, you should always remove your jewelry before washing dishes, jumping into a chlorinated pool, spritzing with perfume and setting that hairstyle with spray. It can be tough for some to break these habits, but I’d much rather take the extra time to make sure my jewelry is safe from damage.
Use ultrasonic cleaners with caution! Not many people have these machines in their home, as they are a bit of a luxury to have. Your local jeweler will probably have more than one though. Not all gems and jewelry can safely be cleaned in an ultrasonic. Organic gems such as pearls, coral, ivory and amber absolutely CANNOT be cleaned in an ultrasonic.
The vibration generated by the machine can also shake loose your stones if they aren’t mounted properly. Ultrasonic machines are great for your tarnished silver pieces. It’s best to let a professional decide what can and cannot be cleaned by using this method.
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so let’s make sure we always show them the love they deserve. I hate when I see people handling their diamonds the wrong way. What I mean by the wrong way is that they are touching the stone itself, instead of holding the band that the stone may be mounted on.
Diamonds attract the oil that’s naturally occurring on our hands and fingers. If you touch the diamond, the oil from your fingers will make dirt and dust adhere to it, dulling the fire and brilliance. Minimal handling of the diamond will keep it sparkling much longer.
Ultra classic round brilliant:
The key to a diamond’s sparkle lies in its facets – which work like a series of many tiny mirrors reflecting light in and out of the stone. Regularly cleaning the facets will keep your diamond sparkling and your diamond jewelry in gleaming condition, ready to shine for your next special occasion.
Pictured below is a gorgeous 2.69ct pear shape, D color and internally flawless. (I sold this ring a few years ago – It commanded a $155k price tag.):
If you have additional questions about how to care for your jewelry, feel free to comment or shoot me a message! I’m happy to help!
May your holiday season be bright and merry, just like your jewels!