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How to make your jewellery last for generations

Part one – Tips when caring for your jewellery.

When you are investing in some beautiful jewellery most people expect it to last forever, handed down through the generations.

This is possible; jewellery ‘heirlooms’ have been enjoyed by successive generations of families for hundreds of years. However, the jewellery needs to be chosen carefully and then looked after.

Over the years I have heard some seriously strange views about how jewellery should last.

One example was when I quoted to remount an eternity ring that the lady had worn day in day out for doing everything. This included cooking, washing up and gardening, for over 20 years. The diamonds were fine - they are the best and hardest stones to have in an ‘everyday ring’ after all - but her husband was querying the cost of replacing the platinum setting. When I pointed out to him that he undoubtedly spent way more every year on servicing his luxury car, he saw my point!

Jewellery that is intended to last should be carefully chosen and maintained, something we can help you with.

Tips for keeping your jewellery in good condition.

Try to:

  • Consider the condition of your jewellery and that wear is possibly taking place. Have an expert look at it for you periodically. A broken setting can be mended before you lose the stones!

  • Store your jewellery in a bag or box where it can’t rub against other pieces

  • Take it off for doing ‘dirty’ jobs, or when it could get scratched or abraded, garden soil is abrasive!

  • Take it off applying hand cream and lotion, making pastry, rubbing marinade on the Sunday roast!

  • Don’t wear for washing up. The detergent and water is not suitable for all gemstones, and some gemstones should not be heated then cooled suddenly – particularly emeralds

  • If you wear several bangles or rings together they will rub against each other!

Final tip - keep Jewellery clean! I once remounted a ring for a lady – the only thing holding the stones into the worn mount was pastry dough!

With softer or absorbent gemstones like pearls, coral, opals, moonstones etc. be very careful about water and hairspray, sweat and lotions.

Clean jewellery will allow you to see any wear before it is too late and it will look more beautiful too!

Bring your jewellery into Bowerbird and we’ll have it looking like new and lasting for longer.

Part Two: alterations, remodelling and reincarnations!

Apart from caring for your jewellery and repairing it before it’s too late, we often get asked to redesign pieces to suit updated fashion, or simply fit in with the owner’s look and lifestyle.

Sometimes sisters or brothers split jewellery up and make a piece each so that they all have a memento.

Older jewellery is sometimes just not ‘wearable’: bar brooches can become pretty rings or pendants. With a little imagination, stud earrings can be made into dangly ones if that is what you like!

At Bowerbird we love good antique jewellery. As long as the item is not an ‘important'

or historic piece, they can be made to live on in a slightly different incarnation. Recently I altered an amethyst pendant my mother wore a lot. Another piece of amethyst jewellery I altered had half pearls all around a big cushion-shaped stone; I placed a pendant loop fitting in place of the pin. I now wear it as a pendant, and it can be changed back to a brooch easily later on if I so desire.

I nearly always wear my Bowerbird Starfish pendant, and didn’t like the Celtic setting of the pendant. I knew I wouldn’t wear it so I took the amethyst out and made it into a simple stacking ring with an 18ct yellow gold setting and silver shank – I wear it a lot, and will treasure it!

Bowerbird can revitalise your jewellery, so please get in touch and find out how we can give a new lease of life to your collection.

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