A Matter of Brilliance is a professional jewelry appraisal company based in Newton, MA, founded by Aimee Berrent, Graduate Gemologist. Our appraisals can be used to:
With back-to-school right around the corner, it’s time to get to basics — and to brush up on the ABCs of taking care of your jewelry. Whether your gems rival the crown jewels or heirlooms from a loved one, proper care can keep the sparkle in those jewels and in your eyes.
A is for antique jewelry. Whether an heirloom or a beautiful piece you found at an estate sale, you’re holding a piece of history in your hand. If it has stones, a dramatic change in temperature (especially heat) can cause them to fall out. You can certainly polish your pieces, but use gentle cloths and dish soap. Make sure your jewelry is dry before you store it away; leave it out at least 20 minutes to fully dry out.
B is for bright light. As the GIA notes, “Light and heat can fade or damage some gemstones, such as amethyst, topaz, and shell cameos. Pearls and other delicate materials, such as ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.”
C is for careful cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaners are generally not recommended. For colored gems, use warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft brush. Again, the GIA notes, “Be sure to rinse your jewelry in a glass of water to remove cleaning solutions since you risk losing loose stones—or even an entire piece of jewelry – if you rinse directly in the sink.”
D is for diamonds. Even though they’re very durable, they can still break under extreme pressure. Be careful of chemicals, especially when you’re using bleach and other strong toxins; they can discolor the setting, so wear gloves. And don’t leave your diamond ring on the sink as you wash dishes—it can slip down the drain.
E is for evaluating precious pieces. If you haven’t had your jewelry appraised and evaluated within the past few years, this is the time to do it. Even if your insurance policy doesn’t require it, imagine how you’ll feel if you do lose a ring or pendant and get a much lower insurance reimbursement.
The bottom line? Take care of your jewelry and you’ll have many years of happiness and pride.
Do you need help with E—evaluating your gems? If you’d like to have your jewelry, watches, silver, and other precious items appraise, let me know. We can go over value, care, and any other concerns you might have.