Your shopping is done, and the little box is in your hand. The excitement of a new shiny piece of jewelry is in the air. Now all you have to do is wear it, right? Well, not quite. There are some important things you need to do before the work is done. (I know. More work never sounds like fun.) These simple things will help you safeguard your new treasure and also increase the lifespan to make sure it will be a family heirloom for generations.
First things first, get it appraised. You may be asking me why an appraisal is so important, wouldn’t a receipt work just fine? Receipts are good to hang on to, but often they don’t give the full details of the piece such as gemstone measurements, diamond color or clarity, and style of settings. All of this information is critical if you have a loss or theft. Often a receipt just isn’t enough information for us to go off of for an accurate quote for replacement.
Another important reason to have an appraisal by a trained gemologist and appraiser is that they will use the current insurance industry standards to complete the evaluation. National industry standards will figure the correct replacement value, not just local markets or a sale price. You can find a good deal on an item that has been discounted, but if you ever needed to replace the jewelry the cost is sometimes much higher than the initial purchase price. So don’t miss out on this important step and lose in the end. Before you make a jewelry purchase ask if a free appraisal is included. It may save you some extra time and cash also.
2. Insure that Baby
Proper insurance is so important and often overlooked by new jewelry purchasers. Don’t think that a guarantee from the store you made a purchase will cover all issues that may come up. If your new engagement ring slips off your finger because you haven’t been able to have it sized yet, that will not be covered by a guarantee. Good insurance is worth the extra expense if there is going to be any. Most homeowner policies do include jewelry as part of your home’s contents, yet the amount of coverage might be little. Make sure to contact your agent as soon as possible to check on price rates for additional policies. You may want to check with other insurers that specialize in jewelry coverage such as Jewelers Mutual.
3. Take pictures
Ok, if you just got engaged, I’m sure already have it on your phone. But this is a good practice to do with any new piece of jewelry you receive as a gift or a self-purchase. A picture is worth a thousand words and boy is that true when it comes to jewelry! In the case of loss or theft, you will be so happy you did. The little details that made you fall in love with your new necklace might not be so easy to convey when you meet with someone to replace it. So on this one, I say snap away.
4. Make sure it fits
Imagine a honeymoon in the Bahamas. You are swimming in the ocean on a bright sunny day when you notice something catching the sun. As you watch the glinting dazzle dropping down into the deep it hits you, THAT’S MY RING! Yes, this is a true story of a dear loved one and no his ring didn’t fit. When sizing your finger make sure that it isn't so loose that it slips off with complete ease and not so tight you want to make an emergency trip to the ER (P.S. We have tools to remove it for free). You want your ring to have a little resistance going over the knuckle. In the case of a pinky ring, error on the size of smaller because these little guys like to run away far away from home. Keep in mind that with the heat and humidity our hands tend to swell and cold they tend to shrink. Find a happy medium for fluctuations and you will be satisfied in the end.
5. Let it Shine! Let it Shine! Let it Shine!
Nothing shines like a clean diamond! Home cleaning is safe to remove the gunk that comes from just normal activities. Be mindful of the cleaners you choose to do the job. Never bleach……never bleach. Some gemstones are soft and porous which can be damaged by some chemicals and abrasive cleaners. Also, the alloys used to make karat gold more durable can be destroyed as well. Your best option is to take your jewelry to a professional to be cleaned properly. We recommend that you have your jewelry inspected every six months to help lessen your chance of stone loss and prong damage.
An often overlooked piece is your watch. It's nice to have the external case and band cleaned yearly to remove dirt and sweat to keep the metal parts from being corroded along with slowing down the wear on the band. It’s good to have the batteries changed yearly, if a quartz, which is an excellent time to have the case cleaned.
Alright, that wasn’t so bad, was it? After you complete all of these steps there is just one more to do, wear that beautiful piece!
3rd Generation Jeweler and Sales Manager for Wirt’s Jewelers