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General Care and Maintenance

by Christos Alexandrou |

Remember, - Jewelry should be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first thing you take off at the end of the day. - Chemicals in makeup, lotions, hair products and even perfumes can harm your jewelry. - Chlorine and related chemicals in cleaning products (i.e. alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia) can severely discolor and dull or pit the surface on softer gemstones as well as loose stones and settings. - Petroleum-based products can melt amber if allowed to remain on the stone and can do significant damage to pearls.

Many of my customers ask me “Should I wear jewelry in water? How about in the shower or at the beach?”  The bottom line is DON’T. Saltwater can discolor and darken jewelry. Water gets into strings and cords and rots them over time. Avoid even getting your jewelry wet, and that includes exercising, bathing, and washing dishes. If you fold, spindle or mutilate your jewelry it will not look good when you put it back on. If you play golf or tennis, for instance, know that it is particularly hard on bracelets, watches, and rings, because of the force used to swing a club or racket. Be sensible about the activities you engage in when wearing jewelry as well as your career needs.  Extreme sports and jewelry do not mix well. Also, you will never see a chef or pilot wearing jewelry while on the job.

Find the jewelry that works best for you! Losing a special piece of jewelry can be heartbreaking. Long curly hair can wind around earrings and literally push them out of your ears, so always make sure that your earring hooks are tight to the back of your earlobes. Tighten the back of butterfly backs occasionally with your fingertips so that they fit snuggly over the posts. If you feel that you have specific needs regarding the earring backs, you may also consider replacing them with silicon or rubber earring backs. Examine your jewelry on a regular basis for signs of cord stretching or fraying and test clasps and hooks every time before you wear them to make sure they are still working properly. 

Bracelets and rings have reasonable flexibility and can take a certain amount of shaping to fit your arm, or finger even after it leaves the jeweler’s hands. However, any such modification should be done carefully using two hands and a constant even pressure. If not, the piece will bend unevenly at one point, leaving an irregular and unsightly bulge that may be impossible to remove. If in doubt, consult a professional for advice. Constant opening and closing of a rigid bracelet or ring can also result in stress that may cause your piece to snap in the future. Set your piece of jewelry to the smallest size that you can comfortably put on and take off, then leave it like that. 

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