Bridal jewelry is one of the most important investments we make as adults. Not only does it signify our commitment to our husbands and wives, but it can hold great value emotionally, sentimentally, and financially. We take great care to nurture our relationships with our beloved, but are we taking the same amount of care for our jewelry?
You may not realize it, but we hit our rings around 70 times per day, each time causing microscopic damage. Over time, metal begins to wear, prongs are pulled open, stones loosen, hairline fractures occur- all nearly impossible to notice until one day: BOOM. You look down, something’s missing, and you’re devastated.
Horrible to imagine, right? Totally. However, with a little preventative care (and I really do mean only a little), you can avoid damaging (or losing) something as irreplaceable as your love.
Get your jewelry checked by a reputable jeweler, and get it checked often. Many independent jewelers employ on-site bench jewelers who can look at your ring and check it for any problems while you wait. An added bonus? They might clean it for free.
If there’s a problem, you really do need to fix it. Little problems turn into big problems faster than you can say “I Do.” Be sure to follow the advice of the jeweler if he/she recommends a repair. If you purchased your ring from a corporate store, they may insist on sending it away. Consider calling around to see if there may be a shop than can do it while you wait. You really shouldn’t have to wait 2-3 weeks to have a prong tightened or the ring sized up/down.
Forget the warranty. Didn’t think I’d say that, did you? It’s true. The cost of most repairs is negligible and if there’s a serious issue like a lost stone, an insurance policy will pay for it’s replacement. Instead of spending your money on a warranty, spend it on a formal appraisal (usually around $85) and some insurance.
Get an appraisal and get insurance. I recommend insuring any piece worth over $1500. Most homeowner policies have a certain amount set aside for jewelry. However, just relying on that may not cover you completely if you lose your ring or damage it significantly. A formal appraisal will provide details that allow the insurer to replace it with a piece of the same value (sometimes even better!). Don’t own your home? Rental policies may cover jewelry, and there are independent policies you can purchase by the piece.
Jewelry isn’t cheap. A little preventative care now can help you to avoid a ton of heartache later. My best advice? Find a local, independent jeweler that you trust. Any time you’re in their neighborhood, pop in and have them check and clean your ring. Develop a relationship so they get to know you and your tastes. After all, your engagement and wedding rings aren’t the only jewelry you ever want to receive, right?
A few more hints: Don’t wear your gold in chlorine (it weakens it). Dirty diamond? A simple 50/50 mix of ammonia and water works wonders as long as it is set in gold or platinum. If you see hairs caught in the prongs of your ring, it’s time to have the stone tightened. Questions you need answered? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to answer whatever questions you may have regarding your jewelry!
Sara K. Graves lives in the Cape Fear Region, and has been a jewelry obsessive since 1977. She's has worked with PGAJ since 2005 and is Founder and Creative Director of TidePool Marketing. Most days, you can find her researching, writing, designing advertisements or getting distracted by sparkly things.