When you receive a valuable piece of jewellery, whether vintage or brand new, you should be aware of how to look after the gemstones and the precious metal employed to ensure longevity. High-quality branded bracelets from Cartier or a diamond item from De Beers need care in their storage, their cleaning and their wearability. In this article, we go through the different types of metal from gold, silver and platinum and the most popular gemstones found in jewellery and how to care for them.
Can I Wear my Gold Pieces Every Day?
We’ve been wearing precious metal jewellery for thousands of years. Scientists have uncovered civilisations wearing gold jewellery as far back as 4000 B.C. Gold jewellery is still the most popular choice. Other options include Platinum, Palladium, Sterling Silver, Titanium and Rhodium when choosing jewellery.
We’ve enjoyed gold jewellery for so long. Even now we enjoy wearing rings, necklaces and bracelets daily. The question is, however, whether we can wear these precious items every day? When you receive a new diamond ring from Tiffany & Co, do you still choose to wear it regularly?
Most precious metals are hardy and capable of withstanding daily wear. When we discuss gold though, we know that pure 24 karat gold is particularly soft and may lead to bending or tearing (or worse, the claws holding a diamond may loosen). This is why 24 karat gold is not used for modern-day jewellery. 18 karat gold (derived from added alloys) is very often used for making high class jewellery and provides a good solution when balancing the need for both purity and strength
Both 18 karat gold jewellery and 9 karat gold jewellery are strong enough for daily use. 9 karat gold is more affordable, and generally a lot more common for this reason alone. 18 karat gold is usually used for high end pieces such as engagement rings and wedding rings, as well as for luxury watch brands such as Rolex who exclusively use 18 karat gold or luxury jewellery brands like Cartier.
Do I Need to Take my Jewellery to a Jeweller to Check Anything?
Tiffany & Co recommends that you take your jewellery to a jeweller at least once a year, more often if you wear the piece every day. The jeweller will check many aspects of your piece. They will assess the clamps and rings on a bracelet or necklace. They also check the tightness of the claws which hold precious gemstones in place.
How do I clean jewellery?
Jewellers have the equipment and are well acquainted with techniques to clean and care for fine jewellery. Pearl earrings or a sapphire pendant would require different methods of care because the composition of each is unique and a professional jeweller would have that expertise.
Of course, you may want to clean your jewellery at home using one or several DIY at-home solutions, however, a jeweller is better suited to this to ensure the longevity of your jewellery.
Where Should I Store my Jewellery?
As young girls, many of us had a jewellery box with a spinning ballerina and a tune playing from within the box. However, if you own a collection of fine jewellery or a new luxury piece of jewellery acquired perhaps at a top end jeweller then perhaps the safe storage would need quite some consideration.
Most pieces of jewellery come in a storage box of some kind. Lined with soft finishes that would protect the jewellery from scratches and potentially tangling (which necklaces are notorious for). It would be best to store the jewellery in their original soft cases within a dedicated drawer (or safe) in a room that is dry and cool.
Some of the best Gemstones for jewellery
- Ruby, particularly the Burmese Ruby that is unheated
- Blue Sapphire, the rarest from Kashmir although none have been found there in 100 years
- Emerald, particularly Columbian emeralds as fine untreated specimens a valuable investment
- Spinel, the Black Prince’s ruby in the British Crown Jewels, is actually a spinel
- Tsavorite Garnet, an untreated gem from East Africa
- Spessartite Garnet, a remarkably brilliant gem known for its vivid orange colour
- Alexandrite, from Russia and measures high on the Mohs scale
- Jadeite Jade, a translucent green that is only found in Burma (Myanmar)
- Imperial Topaz, specimens with a pure red natural topaz are counted as extraordinarily rare (and valuable).
- Paraiba Tourmaline, Brazil produces the most valuable. It’s known for its distinctive neon glow
Precious gemstones (and semi-precious gemstones) create stunning jewellery pieces. We’ve listed some of these gemstones and compared their fragility against the toughest stone known to man yet – the diamond using the Mohs Scale.
A diamond is measured 10 on the Mohs Scale as the hardest gemstone. This is how other gemstones compare in toughness and why that is important:
Fragile stones will be more susceptible to scratches, cracks and possibly falling from the clasps that hold them on a piece of jewellery. This should be considered when considering your jewellery care and how it’ll affect the value of your collection and the possible longevity.
As with most valuable and precious items, when they are looked after and treated with care their value is maintained. This makes it important to take good care of the fine jewellery in your possession. Make sure that you make a list of the valuable jewellery you have and keep them in a safe place.
Can I Use My Fine Jewellery for a Pawnbroker Loan?
Jewellery can be used as security for a pawnbroker loan. There may be an instance where you need to access a loan for any number of reasons. This could be achieved through a pawnbroker loan and by using gold as security. Maxcroft offers a bespoke service if you are looking to pawn fine jewellery or pawn gemstones or gold. If you pawn gold or valuables the loan advance can be used for any number of things such as home improvement or towards a car or a holiday.
Visit this page to contact us or this page for more details about our pawnbroking service.