Holiday Catalog

heirloom 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!




  • What is Heirloom Jewelry?

    The word heirloom is defined as, “a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations”. What makes a piece of jewelry an heirloom? Value, quality and beauty are all important factors. For me, it’s the stories behind the piece. There are stories of love, dreams, accomplishments, and sometimes even loss.

    rwbd3049_1Jane is one of the very first guests I ever worked with at Day's. Over the past year she has become a very close friend. Jane is a single woman, no children, and she contends with some pretty serious health issues. She started buying jewelry to lift her spirits! It all began with a five stone diamond ring. Put on layaway for ten months, Jane came in religiously to make payments on her stunning new ring. Her three nieces all went crazy for the beautiful new bauble and Jane decided to buy two more, identical to the first, so that one day each niece could have one to remember her by. The girls are unaware that these rings are meant for them. Each has been engraved with the girl’s first initial inside the shank. These rings have become Jane’s trademark now. She told me recently that one of her nieces said, “Auntie, these rings will always remind me of you.” Fifteen lovely diamonds that are worn everywhere, each day—what lovely heirlooms Jane is creating to pass on to the next generation! Recently, a new great niece was born. Jane added the “baby ring” to the mix. This smaller version of the other three now tops off the collection nicely.

    My own family heirloom comes from my Nana. One of the most wonderful women I know. She is beautiful, smart, independent and strong. She has had a difficult life and didn’t always own many fine things. Over the past twenty or so years, her children and grandchildren have taken to buying her jewelry for special occasions. She loves every piece! On any given day my Nana will have 8-9 rings on and usually bracelets and necklaces layered as well. She often tells me that she is the envy of all of the women at the Senior Citizen’s Center (and that it keeps the men away because they assume she’s too high maintenance). “They all just love my jewels” she tells me. I have tried sharing my own personal motto with her, “less is more” and suggested wearing one piece at a time. However, she feels beautiful draped in her jewels. It makes me happy that they bring her such happiness.

    When I was in college, I remember asking her about one particular ring that she wore every day on her left middle finger. It was a very light purple amethyst. She told me that it was her favorite. “Nana, your favorite is MY birthstone” I told her. “I know” she said, “that’s why it’s my favorite!” Years later, after cleaning up from a hectic Christmas morning, I found a tiny, wrapped box underneath my tree. Inside was the amethyst ring; Nana’s favorite. To this day it is my only prized possession—my own heirloom. It may not have much value, but the memories of love and happiness it evokes is invaluable.

    A family heirloom is a direct connection to your history. If you already possess a family heirloom, it’s no doubt you cherish it. Perhaps you’ve thought about passing it on one day to the next generation. You probably have fond memories of the person before you who owned it and remember the day it was given to you. But what if you want to create a family heirloom? Jewelry makes the perfect choice and if chosen wisely, a quality piece of jewelry can be worn, enjoyed and cherished forever. Some good choices: diamond jewelry, platinum or gold rings, pearl earrings or necklace, charms and charm bracelets (engraving is a nice touch). If colored gemstones are your preference, chose sapphires or rubies for their hardness. When selecting an heirloom, consider quality and style. Solid construction and tough materials hold up best and classic styles will be worn throughout the years whereas fads will pass and be less desirable over time. The general rule: timeless, not trendy.


    About the Blogger: 

    kristin_kennedyKristin, Sales Associate
    South Portland Day's Jewelers 

    I have been with Day’s Jewelers since November 2012. I love sharing information about the metals and gemstones with the customers. People come into Day’s looking for something special and we get to help them find it. The most satisfying part of customer service is making our guests happy and having them return.



2 Item(s)


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.


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.


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.