Five Ways to Protect Your Heirloom Jewelry

May 21, 2018

Five Ways to Protect Your Heirloom Jewelry

All jewelry should capture your personality and enhance your natural sense of style, but there are some pieces that have even more significance such as family heirlooms that have passed down over the years. Nearly everyone has precious gifts that served to commemorate an occasion such as graduation, first communion or a significant anniversary.

Some jewelry has a high sentimental value that cannot be replaced because its worth is tied to the experience or memory. As custom jewelers, we realize that heirloom jewelry has a special meaning, and it’s vital to protect it.

We’ve outlined five ways to safeguard your favorite pieces.

1. Make sure your jewelry is adequately appraised and insured.

There are several reasons to insure your jewelry. It is valuable protection in the event of theft and for documenting your fine jewelry collection for estate purposes. We offer professional appraisal resources and recommend that you have your most valuable items appraised every 3 to 5 years. With up-to-date documentation you can properly insure your items for current replacement value. We can recommend resources for getting adequate insurance coverage.

Remember that there is a difference between the price you paid for an item and its current worth. Over time the value factors may fluctuate such as the precious metals prices and the replacement costs of the gems. This is why it’s imperative for an appraiser to be familiar with both the item being appraised as well as valuation science.

2. Keep it in good repair.

Snagging a loose prong can become a big problem later, risking the loss of your diamond. At our Spectrum “Jewelry Spa”, we can inspect and identify any maintenance issues before they become a problem. Then, our skilled jeweler will tighten loose settings, repair faulty prongs, replace worn ring shanks, and even restore antique settings such as broken filigree, just to name a few. 

3. Store your jewelry properly so you don’t damage it.

When you aren’t wearing your jewelry, store it carefully. Do this in such a way that items don’t scratch each other, chains don’t get kinked or crimped, and gems aren’t chipped by harder materials.

Store necklaces flat so that they don’t become tangled with other chains. If you have the original boxes for your rings, that will keep those items in “like new” condition. We often see repairs that could have been avoided and in some cases are sadly un-repairable, such as dented hollow bangles and kinked chains.

4. Take care of your jewelry when you travel.

Place your jewelry in a padded box or a pouch with separate pockets. That way one piece will not damage or scratch another. Always make sure your jewelry is with you in your carry-on, and never place it in your luggage.

It’s also a good idea to photograph the jewelry you’re taking with you on a trip, just in case a piece gets lost or stolen. Having documentation can help prove that it’s yours and help ensure its safe return. It can also prove invaluable when trying to replace the item. We’ve often had to re-create jewelry from a photo and description. Obviously the better the information (several clear photos from different angles and a detailed appraisal description), the more likely we can closely replicate the item.

5. Summer can be hard on your jewelry.

People often don’t realize how much damage frequently exposing your jewelry to harsh chemicals can cause. The pool, the ocean and chlorine based cleaners can harm your gold rings to the point of causing the prongs to break and your diamonds to fall out! Body lotion, sunscreen, hairspray or perfume can also cause harm. Do your best to limit exposing your jewelry to these products.

Not sure? Ask us!

Every piece of jewelry is different and requires a specific care. Ask us about how to best protect your heirloom jewelry -- all your jewelry, actually!

If you own items that are well loved to the point of requiring restoration, please bring them to us to review. We will give you a detailed recommendation of what work is needed to ensure the item can continue to be enjoyed for generations.

We invite you to visit our store and see why we are one of the most trusted and renowned custom jewelers in the Southeast.

For more than 20 years, Spectrum Fine Jewelry has been renowned throughout the Southeast as a premier source for exceptional and unusual custom-designed jewelry by our award-winning team of designers and master goldsmith. With an emphasis on fine-colored gems, Spectrum hosts regular events from private round tables to weekend gem shows. Other events include designer trunk shows, diamond sales, custom restyle events, and appraisal clinics.







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