Jewelry is an integral part of your daily outfit. Whether you want to achieve a formal or casual look, beautiful jewelry accentuates your look and gives you an elegant and stylish edge. It is no wonder that since the earliest civilization, jewelry making has remained a major industry. The best jewelry is expensive, and the last thing you want is to damage it. If you are a jewelry lover, you need to learn how you can protect your precious pieces from the main causes of jewelry damage. This article looks at jewelry damage and offers suggestions to prevent it.
1. Water Damage
The best jewelry comes from natural materials such as gold, diamond, silver, gemstones and other materials. These elements undergo complex processes to create beautiful pieces. In the process, they lose the capacity to withstand continuous exposure to water. Exposing your inexpensive wedding bands to water or moisture can cause rusting or discoloration that in turn diminishes the appearance of the items. Salt water can cause discoloration. It is thus advised that you remove your jewelry when going for a swim. While storing your jewelry, choose an airtight bag or box to prevent moisture damage. If you always work outdoors, it is advisable to choose water-resistant metals and gems to ensure that your jewelry maintains its nice look.
2. Sun and Heat Damage
Exposing jewelry to direct sunlight can cause discoloration and dullness. Ultra-violet light can also lead to structural problems with your piece, leading to fast deterioration. Heat can also distort color in some gemstones. It is thus advised that you store your jewelry in a cool dry place.
3. Chemical Damage
Natural materials react when exposed to chemicals and this can ruin your beautiful jewelry. Whatever the type of jewelry you wear, it is important to avoid exposing them to chemicals. When going for a swim, take off your jewelry to avoid the effects of chlorine exposure on metal. Harsh chemicals not only lead to discoloration but also deterioration of the surface. Cleaning products also contain harsh chemicals and bleaches which can ruin your beautiful jewelry in no time. It is advisable to remove your ring when cleaning your house or doing laundry to avoid such damage. You can also choose to use organic cleaners, which do not contain harsh chemicals, to protect your jewelry.
4. Damage By Beauty Products
Most cosmetic products contain oils and other ingredients, the exposure to which can ruin your jewelry. Perfumes, hairspray, and lotions can all dull the appearance of your gleaming jewelry and it will take professional cleaning to bring them back to their former glory. If you wear your pieces first before applying makeup and treating your skin, it means that your jewelry may collect a lot of grime. Worse still, any chemicals in the lotions and hair sprays can have an effect on your jewelry leading to deterioration over time. To avoid this problem, always remember to follow the “last on, first off” rule. This rule states that you should not wear jewelry before using cosmetic products.
5. Physical Damage (Scratches, Dents, etc.)
Now that some jewelry pieces are part of your everyday wear, it is common for such pieces to suffer damage in case of accidents. If you work with machines or your work entails a lot of outdoor activities, your jewelry can suffer scratches and dents. To minimize such damage, it is advisable to take your jewelry off before getting down to work and only wear it when leaving. You can also opt to wear jewelry made of tough metals and choose a setting that protects any precious stones on your jewelry.
Scratches can also take place while storing jewelry. If you store diamonds and other delicate pieces in the same box, there is a risk of physical damage to the softer jewelry. It is advisable to choose separate boxes for harder diamond jewelry and other softer metals. Storing pearls and diamonds in the same box can cause costly damage and you need to find separate storage options.
6. Damage due to Age
Most people buy jewelry and never return it to the jeweler for professional cleaning. With time, such jewelry deteriorates to a point where restoration is impossible. With age, it is obvious that your jewelry will lose its allure but with proper care, you can slow down such deterioration.
7. Poor DIY Cleaning Techniques
Many people opt for DIY techniques when caring for their jewelry. It is possible to clean and wipe your pieces at home. However, if you use the wrong liquids or materials to do this, you might end up causing more damage. Some DIY solutions such as the use of toothpaste can cause discoloration and other forms of damage. Using bleaches might appear to work, but can also damage the surface of your item.
8. Tangling In Storage
Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets can suffer damage if they become entangled in storage. The last thing you want is for your pearl necklace to come undone spilling all the pearls on your bedroom floor. To avoid this, make sure you store these pieces in different boxes and clasp them before storage. If possible, find a solution to hang any pieces that can entangle in storage to prevent any damage.
By learning about these main causes of jewelry damage, it is possible to protect your precious pieces and avoid costly repairs. Before shopping for jewelry, make sure you understand how to care for the piece and always take your jewelry to a professional for cleaning, to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.