Holiday Catalog

cleaning tips for jewelry

  • How you could be unintentionally killing your jewelry...

    Like a new car, new jewelry eventually requires maintenance. This isn’t a suggestion, it’s a fact. When you love your jewelry, you wear it (as you should). When you wear it, you damage it. This fact is not so much about quality craftsmanship as it is about wear and tear.

    When you drive thousands of miles on your car, it is not the car’s fault the tires need to be replaced. The same concept can (and should) be applied to jewelry. Under elements of normal wear and tear your metals should last you the following number of years without requiring prong or shank maintenance.

    1. Yellow Gold – 5 Years
    2. White Gold – 8 Years
    3. Platinum – 20 Years

    This is under normal wear and tear. Below, I have created a list of activities that unintentionally kills jewelry. If you want to maximize the life of your jewelry and delay repair work as long as possible, please be (unofficially) advised to remove your jewelry when doing the following:

    1)      Cleaning:  Many cleaning chemicals contain chlorine – which is terribly harmful to most metals by causing porosity and weakening prongs and shanks. Even all-natural cleaning agents can do damage to jewelry. While they may not necessarily harm metal, they can damage most gemstones that have much softer compositional properties than diamonds. No, this does not exempt you from performing household chores! When it is time to scrub and disinfect your home, remove the jewelry on your hands first! Unlike your skin, jewelry does not heal and regenerate after chemical exposure.

    2)      Swimming: Just like with cleaning, more leisurely activities like, a soak in the hot tub or a quick swim before dinner, will damage your jewelry because of the chemical exposure.

    -Furthermore, when you swim (even in fresh or salt water) your hands are exposed to cooler temperatures. When your hands are cold your fingers constrict, when your fingers constrict your rings become loose fitting, when your rings are loose they fall off!

    3)      Yard Work: We have all had blisters from raking, weeding, chopping, stacking, digging, and/or harvesting. Am I right? We have all seen what yard work does to our hands (and muscles!), imagine what it is doing to your jewelry on a microscopic level. Over time, you will do damage that will bring your ring to our repair shop. May it be a broken prong, a chipped stone, or a missing stone, you will need it repaired, and it will cost you money.

    4)      Hiking: One of my best friend’s engagement ring was purchased from me. A month after the proposal, she texted me saying her platinum was terribly scratched (and it was!).

    The conversation went something like this:

    Her: “You said platinum was durable.”

    Me: “You climbed a mountain with your ring on.”

    Need I say more? (Sorry, Karis. I use your active lifestyle as an example on a regular basis.)

    5)      Sleeping: This is a big one. The biggest, really. Folks, take your jewelry off before bed. You’re not as delicate of a sleeper as you think you are.

    You may think you sleep like this:

    But you really sleep like this:

    When you toss and turn you are susceptible of snagging prongs in your blankets and stretching/tangling your chains. There is only so much of this that your jewelry can take.

    Eventually, something is going to give and it is going to either need repair or replacement.

    6)      Gym: Kudos to all of you who work out. Really, you put my couch-potato self to shame.  I never damage my jewelry sitting on the couch. Neither will you. You will, however, damage your jewelry at the gym. Whether you are pumping iron, practicing your left JAB, or using the rowing machine (all things, I have never done in my life) you are putting serious strain on your rings. Those of you wearing rings with stones are at the most risk. FYI: Activity that causes your ring to be pressed into your hand or against something else, even if it’s only at the bottom, will bend your ring. It may not be evident right away, but when your ring bends it effects the structural integrity of the tension holding your gemstones in. They will become loose and gold work will be required to strengthen your ring again. You may even chip your stones, requiring replacement. Yes, diamonds are the least likely to chip, but they can and will if under significant strain or impact.

    7)      Carrying heavy loads: If you’re like me, you hate making two trips out to the car to bring in groceries. To maximize your efficiency, I’m sure you carry all 17 bags and a gallon of milk into the house in one trip. This will bend your ring and snag prongs catastrophically. Reread the FYI from point #6.

     

    Jewelry is precious, delicate and valuable. While it deserves to be shown off, it deserves to be treated carefully to maximize its beauty and longevity. Please remove your jewelry before engaging in the activities listed above – they are the most frequent culprits of jewelry damage!

     

    When the time comes, and you need repairs, Day’s Jewelers has the most professional, talented, meticulous, caring, certified and accredited jewelers in the industry. I have had the pleasure of working with most of them, I trust and respect them completely. You will too!

     

    Author:

     

  • When Not to Wear Your Jewelry

    We interviewed the goldsmiths at Day's Jewelers and asked what the most common mistakes an owner can make when it comes to their jewelry.

    #1. Sleeping in your jewelry
    Bed sheets are sold by thread count. The more threads, the softer the sheet- to us! Our jewelry, on the other hand finds any sheet a hazardous encounter. Imagine yourself having to cross through a grouping of thorny rose bushes. Most of us would rather not cross at all.
    Bed sheets again having all of the woven threads, can act like sandpaper on the tips and prongs on rings pendants, and bracelets. This leads to premature wear, requiring costly maintenance more often.

    The tips of the prongs have a tendency to become snagged and lifted when caught on threads. The more worn the tip of the prong, the more likely it will become caught, and possibly broken off. This can lead to loss of the stone it was holding. If the item was a linked item, like a pendant or bracelet it can become snagged and lead to link breakage. The best practice is to remove all jewelry before bed.

    #2. Household chores in your jewelry

    mom-with-tons-of-laundryThis might sound a bit repetitive, but folding laundry is a commonly heard task that involves many stories that start out, "I was just finishing a load of towels, when I noticed that my stone was missing." Those pesky threads are again out to snag stray tips or prongs.

    Precious metals have a malleable nature that lends them to being used in jewelry manufacture. This same quality also makes them have an increased susceptibility to being vulnerable to degradation when in contact with many chemicals, especially those use in common household cleaners. Certain stones are also susceptible to becoming damaged by them as well.

    These same average chores, like dishwashing tend to lead to bumps, scrapes and other mishaps that are often culprits of jewelry failures. The task you've accomplished 1000 times before in a bracelet without incident can become the pricey 1001st with a simple catch that pulls a link apart and has you scrambling for your beads!

    #3. Swimming in your jewelry
    This is really the same as the household cleaner’s category. Swimming pools and hot tubs are treated with a very potent version of bleach called shock. This chemical is a caustic agent meant to stop the production of algae and bacteria. It is strong enough to affect the structure of most metals, not only limited to jewelry. Since the prongs that hold our rings are miniaturized to not obstruct the view of our beautiful stones, the small amount of metal can be compromised in a very short amount of time. Swimming in the ocean presents a similar problem, with the salt water wreaking the havoc on the porous metals.

    cleaning-inspection1It may seem like we're insisting that you never wear your jewelry, when in fact this is not the case. A jewelry professional can, in fact, find styles that would best suit the intended recipient’s lifestyle. The above tips are more simple reminders that will offer the owner a much longer time between upkeep, therefore keeping overall maintenance costs down. The single best piece of advice we can offer to keep a beloved piece of jewelry on you, is to have it regularly cleaned and inspected.

    Blogger: 

    joe2011Joe, Assistant Store Manager,
    Waterville, Day's Jewelers
    Learn more about Joe!

    Joe began his career with Day's Jewelers in Waterville in September of 2009. Since that time, he has become an integral piece of the team at Day's. Joe believes that working with customers is very rewarding. He enjoys becoming a part of a couple's love story when helping customers purchase the perfect diamond engagement ring.

     

     

     

     

  • 4 Myths: How to Clean Your Jewelry

    There are many wives tales and myths explaining how to clean your jewelry. Some of these have some truth behind them and some will actually do harm to your jewelry. Making sure you know how to properly care and clean your jewelry will help extend the life of your pieces and help them to look their best while you wear them. There are simple ways to clean and care for your jewelry that are easy, fast and also safe.

    Myth #1: Toothpaste

     

    no-toothpasteA common myth is that toothpaste is a good way to clean your jewelry. This is actually false. Toothpaste can damage your diamonds, gemstones and gold. Gemstones have a certain hardness rating that explains a gemstones (or the metal type) ability to withstand scratches. Since toothpaste has a hardness around 3/4 Mohs, and 14k gold has a hardness of 3-3.5 Mohs, toothpaste can actually scratch damage your gold rings.

    Many gemstones have a hardness rating that is equal to or just a bit higher then toothpaste. Gemstones such as emeralds and tanzanite have hardness around 7/8 Mohs; these gemstones can get surface abrasions if toothpaste is used to clean them. Pearls and opals should never be touched by jewelry cleaner or toothpaste; it can destroy their color and luster. So unless you are cleaning a loose diamond, it is best to not use your toothpaste, and stick with a jewelry cleaner made to clean your specific jewels.

    Myth #2: Boiling Water

    Some people think it mimics the ultrasonic cleaners used in jewelry stores, this is false. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequency sound waves and heat to remove dirt from hard-to-reach places. The heat temperature in an ultrasonic cleaner is regulated and will never reach the boiling point of 212 degrees fahrenheit.

    Boiling can cause damage to your gemstones and not only that; extreme heat will affect the metal.  Heat can expand the metal and cause loose gemstones to fall from their settings.  Some gemstones can experience thermal shock when placed into boiling water then rinsed with cold water, which can cause a gemstone to form fractures or cleavages. These gemstones include emeralds, garnet, opal, peridot, tanzanite and tourmaline. Boiling water should be used to heat your food, not your jewelry.

    Myth #3: Alcohol

    There are rumors that alcohol, when used to soak or rinse jewelry will help remove the grease buildup. Alcohol contains chemicals and can leave a coating on your gemstones and metals. Some gemstones such as emeralds and opals are oil and water based, if alcohol was used on these pieces it would absorb the oils and cause the gemstone to dry out and crack.

    Myth #4: Chlorine

     

    no_chlorineMany people don’t think twice before jumping into a pool or cleaning their bathrooms while wearing their jewelry. This can cause significant harm to your precious pieces. Chlorine can break down the alloys in gold and cause pitting to occurs which can cause the piece to become brittle and break apart. Chlorine can also cause certain metals such as silver to change color and lose its shine. It is best to remove your jewelry before these activities, and never clean your jewelry with this substance.

    Fact:

    jewlerycleaner-1024x791The best way to clean your jewelry is to take it to your nearest jeweler and have them professionally clean it. The next best solution is to use soap and water and gently brush your pieces with a soft toothbrush. This method cannot be used for pearls which should be wiped down with a cloth. Pearls should also be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first thing you take off at night. Knowing how to clean your jewelry will extend its life and give you years of wear.

    About the Bloggers:

    katherineKatherine, Service Associate,
    Day's Jewelers Manchester

    I have been with Day’s Jewelers since June 2012. Working in the jewelry industry, I love the fact that we are able to help or be a part of someone’s special moments and occasions. By helping our guests find the right piece of jewelry, we are celebrating with them in a way and that makes me happy. I also enjoy working with estate jewelry. When I am taking some jewelry in to be serviced, I like knowing about the history and story behind the item. Learn more...

     

    Kimberly, Office Manager,
    Day's Jewelers Manchester

    Kimberly joined the Day's Team in Manchester, New Hampshire in April of 2012. She brings her jewelry experience from a large department store and is excited to work with the Day's family. Kimberly grew up all of the United States. Coming from a military family, she was able to move every few years to experience new places and meet new people. When her father retired from the military, her family settled in New Hampshire. Quiet, committed and funny, Kimberly helps to distress customers when they are trying to make an important jewelry purchase decision. Learn more...

     

  • How To Clean Sterling Silver without Chemicals

    Many of us like to help in keeping the Earth a clean place to live. We see it on Pinterest all the time; ways to make detergents and homemade cleaners and we pin them thinking it's a great idea. This stops us from having to buy the awful chemical items and we help lessen then amount of bottles in landfills.

    One of the common properties of sterling silver is that tarnishes.  Tarnish on sterling silver jewelry  is most often removed by with a specially treated polish cloth or by dipping jewelry into a liquid chemical  created especially for this purpose.  Here is a way to remove tarnish on your sterling silver jewelry with harmless substances found in just about every kitchen.

     

    zen-81. Put a heatproof glass jar in the sink

    2. Fill the jar about 2/3 full with boiling water

    3. Wrap your jewelry loosely in aluminum foil (you can put 2 or 3 pieces in the same packet)

    4. Drop the foil packet into the jar of boiling water

    5. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda

    6. Watch as the water foams up, possibly overflowing the jar

    7. When the foaming stops, use tongs to retrieve and rinse the hot foil packet

    8. Open the packet and rinse the jewelry

    9. If necessary, brush the jewelry with a toothbrush dipped in warm soapy water to brighten the finish

    (note: you can reuse your aluminum foil for future cleanings)

    This is sometimes referred to as a “redox” or oxidation reduction reaction. Electrolytes emitted from the foil adhere to the sterling silver creating oxygen which removes the tarnish.

     

    melissa_4_webLet us know how it works for you, or if you have any other household jewelry cleaning tips, please share them with us at info@daysjewelers.com.

    Day's Jewelers was established in 1914. We have educated professionals to help with any questions you may have. We are real jewelers, for real people.

    ~MKW

     

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If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

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All orders are fully insured and require a signature at time of delivery. Each item is cleaned, polished and inspected before it is wrapped and shipped to you. For engravings and ring sizing, please add an additional 2-3 business days to your order. Special orders or customizations may take 3-4 weeks. Please click here for full shipping information.

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Day's Jewelers requires suppliers to provide a written warranty, for every diamond purchased, that it was acquired from non-conflict sources. Furthermore, as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Day's is committed to supporting and promoting the highest level of social, ethical and environmental responsibility in our communities and in the areas of the world where our products are sourced. Learn more...

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If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Your jewelry purchased from Day's Jewelers is warranted for a lifetime against defects in materials and craftsmanship. To be eligible for this warranty, your piece of jewelry must be inspected at any Day's store at least once every six months. If you should live in an area where there is no Day's store located, we would be happy to recommend a reputable jeweler to perform the required semi-annual inspections. Day's also offers a low cost extended care plan that covers normal wear and tear of items not deemed as defective.

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Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.