How to Prevent Damaged Jewelry with Routine Maintenance

By Erin Ollila

You're a jewelry girl, and you look forward to every chance you get to show off your high-end jewelry, especially the more elaborate pieces you simply can't wear every day, such as your diamond bracelet or wedding-day drop earrings. However, even when you do get the chance to glam up, you're hesitant to wear them too often because you don't want to end up with damaged jewelry.

Don't worry about dulled sparkle or lost gemstones. If you keep up with proper jewelry care and get regular maintenance on your collection, you'll feel confident donning your best accessories for a night out on the town.

Avoid Certain Situations

The first step to preventing damaged jewelry is avoiding many items in your environment while wearing it. When you're cleaning, be sure to remove your jewelry and store it somewhere safe. Why? Well, there are harsh chemicals in your cleaning products that can react with both your stones and the metals. And it isn't just chemicals you have to be aware of—your jewelry can easily get lost, or worse, fall down the sink drain or toilet.

Cooking is another situation that can make for messy jewelry. Your rings and bracelets could get mighty messy as you're making meatballs, rolling dough, or doing any other meal preparation that involves the heavy use of your hands.

Also, make sure not to expose your jewelry to any beauty products. Take your rings off before you apply lotion. Don't put your earrings on until you've finished using your hair products. The same goes for necklaces and bracelets with perfumes.

Buy Professional Cleaning Products

When you first buy your jewelry—or the first time you get it cleaned, if it was a gift—ask for your jeweler's recommendation on professional-grade cleaning products you can buy and use yourself. Your jeweler might even have cleaning supplies for sale. While you're there, ask for instructions on how to use them. Don't just assume it's as simple as immersing jewelry in the liquid and drying, especially because different jewels may have different needs.

Don't Wear Your Jewelry

Hold up. What? Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to prevent damaged jewelry, don't wear it in certain situations. Depending on where you work and what you do for fun, it might be better to leave your necklace, earrings, bracelet, and rings safe at home.

One prime location that can wreak havoc on your jewelry is the gym. Make sure not to punch anything or lift heavy items while wearing expensive rings or even bracelets. Another potential troublesome location is work. If you work in an office, be sure you don't lean too closely to the shredder or else your necklace could get caught between the blades. Know your environment and make an educated decision on whether you'll don your best accessories.

Make Friends with Your Local Jeweler

The bottom line is that you need to bring your ring to your jeweler regularly to get it cleaned and inspected. The jeweler will check it to make sure none of the stones are loose or chipped. He or she should also check to ensure the metal holding the stones is strong enough and hasn't worn down over time.

Remember, routine maintenance will prevent damaged jewelry, so you'll have years to enjoy your earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets.