It's that time of year again! With family and friends traveling to visit for the holidays it seems that there will be quite a bit of preparation, a ton of cooking and of course, what may seem like endless cleaning to be done.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your jewelry clean and safe this holiday season:
- Take your jewelry off while baking and cooking. This is a must. Let's face it, we're all preparing delicious treats using lots of butter and oil and if you're like me, the only way to mix properly is with your hands. Truth is, all of those oils will get stuck in the crevices of your jewelry which isn't easy to get out and clouds your jewelry. Make sure to take off rings, watches and bracelets before preparing your dishes to ensure they'll shine brighter than the Christmas lights strung on your tree.
- Consider leaving your valuables at home when traveling. Every time I leave for a trip, I gather all of my jewelry and anything valuable and store it in my safe. We have enough to worry about like catching flights, beating traffic and with the hustle and bustle of holiday traveling - sometimes I feel like a chicken with my head cut off. The last thing you want is to leave your precious ring in the restroom at the rest stop or have a bracelet fall off after going through the security line. TIP: After my fiance proposed, my mom bought me a faux version of my ring. I thought it was a strange gift but I'd rather make sure to leave my ring in a safe spot at home and rock my mock ring than ruin the holidays if anything were to happen to my real version.
- Make sure to remove jewelry before cleaning. We all want our house to sparkle before guests arrive so we bust out the vacuum, detergents, carpet cleaners - anything we can get our hands on to make the house look pristine. While all those cleaning supplies will loosen dirt and grime, they could do a number on your jewelry. To be on the safe side, store your jewelry in a safe spot while you get to work.
- Have your jewelry appraised. Despite being jolliest time of the year, we must face the facts, an FBI study found that more than 400,000 burglaries occur in the United States during the months of November and December each year (have you seen Home Alone?!). On top of storing your valuables, make sure that your have had all your jewelry recently appraised and added to your insurance plan (most policies require an appraisal). I use Jewelers Mutual who covers loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance. Its a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing that if the unthinkable happens, your jewelry is covered. TIP: Our certified appraiser* recommends to have your jewelry appraised every 3-5 years. The reason for this is -- the market changes constantly especially for gold and diamonds - who knows, your jewelry could be worth more than when you originally purchased it!
- Have your jewelry checked and cleaned from a professional. No matter what home cleaning solution I use, there is nothing quite like getting your jewelry cleaned by a jeweler. Jewelers should be checking your jewelry before cleaning to make sure that there aren't any loose stones or loose clasps. I am guilty of being rough with my jewelry - I wear my ring to the gym and am constantly catching it and banging it on any and everything. This will loosen the prongs and distort the shape of your jewelry. Stop by any ten Connecticut Michaels Jewelers locations and have one of our pros check out your jewelry to make sure they'll shine bright this holiday season.
We hope these tips help give you peace of mind over the holidays and keep your diamonds sparkling!
*Our appraiser, Donald Walsh is an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist Appraiser.