How to Care for Your Vintage Jewellery Part 4: Prevent Wear and Tear

See this beautiful ring? It was a gift from my mother in law. I love her, but she wears her jewellery to a nub. She is not alone. My mother has taken her wedding ring off, like, twice in 20 years.

You need to give your jewellery a break every now and then. Metal, no matter how hard, can wear down. Stones, no matter how hard, can scratch and chip. Stress from sleeping on something the wrong was can cause chains to snap. And you don’t want to hear the story about the incredibly gross story of Jezebel editor Dodai Stewart and her diamond studs.

I try to remove all jewellery before bedtime to give it a little rest. To extend the life of my gems, I also try and rotate my bijoux so that I don’t wear the same thing every day. One time I watched a documentary about how every material needs some time to repair itself. It used microscopes and time lapse photography of leather couches and metal doors slowly and literally “Bouncing” back into their original shape after use. I’ll never forget it (nor will I remember the name of the documentary).

It’s especially important to remove rings before before washing up, or doing manual labour. Even superhard diamonds can scratch, so imagine what would happen to a soft stone, like opal, if it was set in a ring. Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine. Just click on the picture above and look at the stones in that ring. At one point they were crystalline. Now the surface is semi opaque from wear and tear.