Real jewellery is huge this year. Whether it’s a Tiffany T-bracelet set with diamonds, a Graff butterfly watch, or any of the diamond cross-ear clips, jewelled safety-pins, long rows of pearls or wide chokers on the autumn/winter catwalks, it’s a must to be seen in this season. So dig out your diamond engagement rings - or any other good gem-set band, bracelet, or earrings - and enjoy wearing them.
But whether they’re just-bought gems, ones you’ve been given, or heirlooms you’ve inherited, that box-fresh sparkle won’t last forever unless you take care of your jewellery and have it professionally cleaned from time to time.
Stones occasionally fall from their settings and any loose settings will be noticed during cleaning. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to lose a diamond, its replacement value may have soared since you first bought the piece, so along with cleaning, it’s important to keep specialist insurance valuations up to date too.
The National Association of Jewellers has an Institute of Registered Valuers with all members having at least five years’ experience and diamond-grading training. Visit jewelleryvaluers.org for more details and to find a valuer near you.
To further care for your precious pieces of jewellery, basic care and maintenance is easy at home. With gem-set items, avoid banging surfaces such as stone or metal. Diamond is hard but will still chip if hit the wrong way, while stones such as amethyst and peridot are much softer. Check gem-set jewellery by holding it to your ear and shaking it gently.
A rattling sound means a loose stone, so get it repaired. Also, avoid snagging the claws of rings in your clothes, as this can also loosen a stone. Instead, remember the old adage that jewellery should be the first thing off and the last thing on.
Pearls are having a fashion renaissance, but they are particularly soft, so don’t spray perfumes or chemicals near them, clean them by buffing gently with a lint-free cloth, store in a chamois or silk bag separate from other jewellery, and have them restrung and professionally cleaned every year or so, depending on wear.
To polish gem-set pieces at home between professional cleans, use a soft toothbrush, a touch of ordinary detergent and warm water. Rinse and dry gently making sure you don’t flush the now sparkling ring down the basin - it happens surprisingly often.
Many good jewellers offer a cleaning service - so ask. Experts at Asprey (asprey.com) recommend you take your Asprey jewellery to them every year to be checked, serviced, cleaned and polished. Boodles (boodles.com), meanwhile, will clean their own jewellery for free using an ‘ultrasonic’ process - while you sip Champagne. Nothing like making your jewellery sparkling while you enjoy something equally as sparkling…
This article was written in association with Hiscox Home Insurance, providers of expert cover for homes, art and your prized possessions. Tailored high-value jewellery and watch cover is available as part of your policy, so there is no need for separate cover. Visit www.hiscox.co.uk/home to find out more.
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