A Lifetime of Looking Good

Repairs, storage, shipping and more TLC tips for your jewelry

By: Terry Schade

Jewelry, no matter how well crafted, requires regular maintenance and, at times, general repair. Some designs are more high maintenance than others, but you should know that if you want to keep your jewelry looking good for a lifetime, you will need to give it some TLC.

Some jewelry repairs may be completed while you wait; however, most repairs will probably have to be left for a short period of time, depending on the repair. If you must leave your pieces, make sure the jeweler documents the items with as much detail as possible. This is important not only for the jeweler to protect themselves, but also for the client. You will want clear documentation on exactly what work is expected to be completed and a description of the items left. Your jeweler should be fully insured to cover any losses or damages to jewelry while it is not in your possession. If you have any doubts, you should ask your jeweler about their policy.

Not all jewelry stores have a bench jeweler (repair person) onsite; many will ship your precious items off to a third party. I recommend you find a store with a bench jeweler on location, and that you ask about that bench jeweler’s credentials. We have a Gemology Institute of America (GIA) graduate jeweler gemologist with 20 years of experience on staff. Although there are other training institutions out there, GIA is considered the best of the best.

An accurate and fair price quote is another really important aspect to consider. I think it is important to find a jeweler who will quote you from a price book rather than give you a best guess off the cuff. Good jewelers have researched and performed enough of the common, recurring repairs that they know what they will cost and have a price sheet or book.

When you pick up your jewelry, inspect it! Make sure it is clean and that all repairs have been completed as expected. If you have any questions or concerns, have them addressed immediately.

The best way to reduce costly repairs and maintenance is to appropriately store your items. Don’t leave jewelry laying around on the bathroom vanity or the bedroom dresser – that’s a surefire way to scratch or fracture a precious gem (and yes, you can chip or even break a diamond). Most luxury jewelry items come in nice packaging from the store, which can be a great place to keep them. Sterling silver should be stored in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth. There are many great jewelry boxes available, depending on your jewelry collection.

I know many folks like to keep heirlooms or high-dollar items in a safety deposit box or safe. This can be a great place; however, it can be harmful to delicate opals or pearls, which draw moisture from the air. If you have any doubts, visit a jeweler you trust who will be happy to lend you more specific advice.

On rare occasions, you might find the need to ship jewelry. Make sure it is packed tightly and that the items do not rattle. It is best if you can pack a small box within a larger box. This not only helps protect your jewelry, but also deters theft; it is much more difficult to conceal and steal a larger box than one that will fit in the front pocket. Insure your package for the applicable amount.

Lastly, eliminate any information on the package that refers to jewelry or a jeweler. An unsavory individual can be tempted by the possibility of expensive goods in the package.

I hope you find this information informative and helpful. We are available at our store to answer any questions you may have regarding these specific topics or anything else jewelry related.

The Schade family founded Casa de Oro Jewelers in 1979, and the company remains locally owned and operated. Terry Schade is a vice president and owner. For more information on this topic or other jewelry-related questions, you may contact Schade at 361-991-7054 or terry@casadeoro.net, or visit www.casadeorojewelers.com




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