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How to Care for Heirloom Jewelry: A Simple 3-Step Guide

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Jewelry pieces that are passed down from generation to generation are some of the most significant and special items one can own in their life. Many times, it’s an item we only wear on special occasions, but often, it can be a token of a life well-lived that we’ve chosen to wear, day in and day out. It is important, however, to assure that whether it’s an item of jewelry that’s more used to the inside of its box than the outside world or a piece that has never left your person, your precious heirlooms are well taken care of treated with respect.

Here are a handful of ways to make sure you’re giving your own personal bit of history the love it deserves.

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”
Whether you’re currently wearing that rose-cut diamond ring that once belonged to your grandmother or you decided it was too precious to risk damaging because of its delicate design, you should always make sure that you’re doing all that you can to keep it clean.

Image courtesy of Gem Trove.

We suggest having it done professionally at least once per year if you don’t wear it often, but two to three times per year if wear it more regularly. However, if you can’t get to a local jewelry store to give it the steam treatment, you can still keep it shining by dipping a soft bristle toothbrush in a mixture of hot water and glass cleaner and giving it a good scrub.

Storage is Key
If you wear your heirlooms regularly, you should still take them off when sleeping, showering, or doing anything that would be rough on your hands (if the piece is a ring or a bracelet), so make sure you have something (a small dish will work) that you can place your jewelry item in so that it stays safe and that it doesn’t get lost.

For pieces not worn regularly, invest in a well-made jewelry box, or get a jewelry roll if you store your more expensive items in safety deposit boxes. These will keep your pieces separate so they don’t scratch each other and end up sustaining damage.

Be Sure to Insure
Another way to take care of the jewelry that was passed down to you is to have the items appraised and insured. Companies like Jeweler’s Mutual offer plans that cover damage and loss, so in case your precious jewelry is lost, stolen, or otherwise becomes the victim of some terrible accident, you’re at least able to get the pieces repaired or replaced at a relatively minimal cost to you.

The other thing that insurance does is reminds you to have your items professionally checked from time to time, which is critical to the longevity of a piece. You’d want to know if a prong is broken or a stone is loose so that you can have the jeweler repair it before getting the piece reappraised, if necessary.

These three simple steps can help make your important jewels last until the next generation gets to enjoy them.



Main image courtesy of Blue Maize.