General Jewelry & Watch Education
8 Tips for Jewelry Care and Maintenance
- Store jewelry pieces separately to protect from scratches, sharp blows, harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures and sunlight.
- Always remove rings and other finer jewelry before household tasks such as gardening, cleaning, polishing and moving furniture or other heavy household items.
- Always put jewelry on after bathing, washing hair, applying makeup and body lotions, perfumes, fragrance oils and other beauty or hair care products.
- Remove jewelry prior to swimming in chlorinated water from pools, hot tubs, or Jacuzzis.
- Always store jewelry at room temperature and away from direct sunlight or other hot surfaces to keep gemstones or precious metals from fading or coming loose.
- Always lay any beaded necklaces, such as lapis and pearls, on a flat, cloth surface.
- Polish Sterling silver by buffing it with a Sunshine or other soft cotton cloth before storing it away in sealable plastic bags.
- Always keep a close eye on stones mounted in rings, necklaces and other jewelry pieces to insure they are not loose, broken or rattling.
- As you continue to care for your jewelry throughout the years, periodically bring your most treasured pieces to us at Brinker’s to have it inspected, reset and repaired as necessary to preserve and maintain it’s security and value.
Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a birth month. Each one has a unique meaning and historical significance. Long thought to be the source of luck, health, prosperity and other magical powers, birthstones are highly regarded as the perfect personalized gift for someone special. Learn more about each month’s gemstone below.
Courtesy of American Gem Society
The birthstone for June, the third and thirtieth wedding anniversary gem and the symbol of a happy marriage, the pearl is a beautiful gemstone designed into stunning jewelry creations that are the perfect gift for any occasion. Once thought to be the tears of God and often referred to as the “Queen Gem,” the pearl is a symbol of love, success, purity, chastity, modesty and happiness. Natural pearls are formed in shellfish as a reactant to an irritant such as a piece of sand.
Cultured pearls are created by adding a piece of mussel or shell inside of an oyster or another mussel. This then creates a pearl as layers of the inside of the shell grow over the added substance. Pearls come in a variety of unique colors and shades which does not affect the value of the stone. Most people buy pearls that best match their skin tone but the selection of the perfect pearl is completely in the eye of the beholder.
Caring for Pearls
Pearls are more sensitive to acids, dryness, and humidity which makes them less durable than most gems. Always put your pearl jewelry on after any cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, etc. Upon removal, always wipe your pearls with a dry, lint-free cloth. If necessary, clean your pearls with warm soapy water being very careful to not get water into the drill hole to prevent discoloration.
Dry your pearls flat on a soft absorbent lint-free towel and store pearl necklaces on a flat surface to prevent silk stretching. Store pearls in a dry environment separately from other jewelry to prevent scratching. Never store pearls in plastic bags, moisture may get trapped and cause damage.
“Precious” metals are gold, silver or any of what are now called the platinum group metals (PGM). Part of the precious jewelry mystique is tradition: Silver and gold have been valued as decoration and currency since ancient times. They are easy to work with and they don’t rust. The platinum group joined the precious category because their properties are similar to gold and silver, and they are also very beautiful.
Gold: Gold has a magic all its own; rare is the person who does not react when hearing the word. Since man’s earliest records, gold has been the ultimate mark of wealth and remains the hallmark precious jewelry metal. The purity of gold is most often measured in fineness, but Americans still use the karat in fine jewelry and designer jewelry. Karat is frequently abbreviated with a “k” after the number. Pure gold is 24k gold, and it is too soft to use in jewelry. Commonly used in fine jewelry, 18k and 14k gold are 75 percent pure and 58.3 percent pure, respectively. Commonly used in fashion jewelry, 10k gold is 42 percent pure; 10k gold is the legal minimum for gold jewelry. Gold-plated jewelry is quite common and allows jewelry lovers on a budget to indulge in this fantastic precious metal. In plating, the gold layer is chemically bonded through electrolysis onto a base metal, such as silver or nickel.
Silver: Silver is the most plentiful of the precious metals. It was the money standard until the 19th century in most countries, and almost every 21st century home has some silver jewelry, a set of silver-plated candlesticks or a silver coin. Silver must be alloyed for hardness; the best silver used to make jewelry is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent base metal. Nickel is the most common sterling silver base metal. Sterling silver jewelry is a growing fashion trend, mainly because sterling silver is often the most affordable precious metal.
Platinum: Platinum and PGM’s including: platinum, iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium have a short history in jewelry. Brought to Europe by the Spanish Conquistadors, its chemical properties made it difficult to work with until the 19th century. Platinum that is at least 95 percent pure may be sold as platinum. Anything lower must be marked and described as platinum alloy. Platinum jewelry stays white, and it also develops a patina that many think gives it a vintage jewelry feel and makes a great background for diamonds. Platinum is heavier, denser and more durable than gold, holds gemstones securely and is hypoallergenic. Perhaps most important, platinum will not wear away; the platinum bracelet, earrings, necklace or ring you buy today will be the same when you hand them down to your granddaughter.
Industrial metals: Used in manufacturing for many decades, the industrial metals are recent additions to the jewelry market. Stainless steel reflects a brilliant shine when it has a polished finish, making steel jewelry very attractive. It resists tarnish and chipping while maintaining its appearance with minimal care. Titanium is durable, yet it is surprisingly lightweight. Tungsten carbide resists scratches and damage better than any other jewelry metal, so a piece of tungsten carbide jewelry maintains its polish for many, many years. Tungsten is darker in color than titanium, though both have a grey hue and both are hypoallergenic. The industrial metals are especially popular in contemporary men’s jewelry, and many men choose these metals for attractive, durable wedding bands.
Regular maintenance saves you money. A car should be washed and waxed periodically to prolong the life and good looks of the paint. Your watch is no different.
Everyday pollutants, lotions and perfumes become embedded in the bracelet. This can cause excessive wear and require premature replacement of the bracelet. We recommend that your watch case and bracelet be cleaned on a regular basis. At Brinker’s we offer full case and bracelet cleaning. This also gives us a chance to check and replace any worn bracelet pins before they fail and potentially cause loss or damage.
Of course, you would not want expose your watch to moisture without first checking the water resistance. This is why Brinker’s has invested in the very latest technology that allows us to safely test the water resistance of your watch. Most people don’t know that every time a watch is opened for any reason it should be tested to ensure that the manufacturers standards listed on your watch are maintained. This not only protects the watch from accidental exposure to water, but also prolonged exposure to the moisture in the air. To protect your investment and avoid unnecessary repairs your watch should be sealed against moisture in all forms. We also recommend having the resistance checked once per year.
Owning and maintaining a fine timepiece ensures that it will remain a treasured piece for many years or generations. Brinker’s Jewelers operates the most advanced and well-staffed watch repair service facility in the Tri-state and we continue to educate ourselves in the latest advancements in our field. Whether you need a new battery or a complete service, Brinker’s Jewelers is here to offer the very best watch service possible.