For all its sparkle and shine, wearing fine jewelry brings less-than-fine moments: clasps on bracelets or necklaces can break; prongs holding gemstones in place might become bent, or gemstones and diamonds might even fall out.
When it comes to your fine jewelry, it’s important to take proper steps to keep it in the best possible condition. When it does break, or if you would like to make a design or size change, it’s important to have a jeweler you can trust to take expert care of your treasured pieces. From resizing rings, to complex rebuilding and refinishing of pieces, to polishing gemstones or resetting loose ones, Coffin & Trout has the expertise to do it right.
Ryan Coffin, Vice President of Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers, tells us what to look for when having jewelry repaired, and offers advice for proactively preserving your fine jewelry.
Fine Jewelry Repair: What to Look For
When having your fine jewelry repaired or even cleaned, it’s worth the effort to take it somewhere where they manufacture their own custom jewelry. Why? For starters, that means they value craftsmanship and artistry.
“We have six full-time jewelers,” Ryan says, noting that a few of them have earned the designation of master jeweler and have been in the jewelry industry for more than 20 years. “We’re known for our craftsmanship and our quality in our jewelry, and that translates into our repair work, as well.”
Secondly, it means they’ll have the right jewelry bench equipment to properly care for and repair your favorite pieces. At Coffin & Trout, each jeweler has the latest pneumatic tools and torches, and access to a laser welder, which is an indispensable tool that “allows for a much stronger bond,” than soldering, Ryan points out. It also poses a lower risk for heat-sensitive gemstones, which could be damaged by a torch.
When you bring in your jewelry for repair, the experts at Coffin & Trout will provide an upfront estimate, so you’ll know what to expect.
Maintenance Brings Confidence
There’s value in taking proper care of your valuable jewelry — and not just for the sentimental hold that jewelry has on us. “Everyone has different wearing habits for jewelry, and like anything, it does require some maintenance and some care for the duration of the jewelry’s life,” Ryan says.
He recommends having most jewelry — especially things you wear often, like a bridal set — cleaned and checked about twice a year to maintain top condition. This can also prevent your pieces breaking unexpectedly or becoming compromised. “There may be some cracks starting to develop or you may have some loose diamonds that you weren’t aware of. We can tighten those before they fall out.”
Likewise for retipping prongs so they don’t have to be rebuilt entirely, or making sure the integrity of a clasp, connection or earring post is intact. Ryan says that being proactive, and coming in to Coffin & Trout for a complimentary clean and check reduces the overall cost of maintenance and can preserve the life of your pieces, not to mention protect against loss, for generations.
Plus, you’ll fall in love with your jewelry all over again after seeing the result of professional cleaning and buffing.
At Home Care
But what about at-home care? Ryan says the most important thing is not to keep your jewelry all in the same bag, where all the pieces can bump up against each other and cause damage. He suggests storing each piece in a separate box or bag.
You can freshen up your jewelry at home in between professional cleanings. For diamond, ruby or sapphire jewelry (not porous stones or pearls), you can use jewelry cleaner intended for home use (Coffin & Trout provides complimentary cleaner that comes with a little brush). He says you can even use the steamer on your coffee or espresso maker, or use dish detergent and a new soft toothbrush that you designate for jewelry cleaning.
You can delay tarnishing of your sterling silver by storing it in anti-tarnish bags or using anti-tarnish tabs, or a sterling silver cleaner or wipes.
Finally, take these steps to prevent wear and tear. “If you want your jewelry to last, it’s the first thing you take off when you get home and it’s the last thing you put on before you leave the house,” Ryan recommends. He says people don’t realize how much abuse jewelry gets just in going about our daily activities. He also suggests always keeping your jewelry in the same, safe place.
Do you have jewelry that needs to be repaired, resized or cleaned? Trust the experts at Coffin & Trout for all your fine jewelry needs. Stop in or call us today.