Wendy AdelerWendy is a third generation jeweler and is a Diamonds graduate of GIA, The Gemological Institute of America. She is the daughter of renowned Jewelry designer, Jorge Adeler and his wife of 42 years, Graciela Adeler. Together with her sister Valentina Adeler Armour (Graduate Gemologist from GIA) and her father they run Adeler Jewelers in Great Falls, Virginia. She has honed her skills in the industry from a very young age and has worked with her family, in the jewelry industry, full time for over 20 years. She is frequently consulted by local media as an expert in her field and writes a jewelry column in two magazines in Washington DC, Elan Magazine and Washington's Finest.
Hi. Im Wendy from Adeler Jewelers and today were going to talk about how to assess the security of the pieces or the safety of the pieces in your jewelry box.
One of the most common problems that I encounter on a daily basis is the loss of earrings. This is a problem that can be easily avoided if one has the habit of checking the security of the ear nuts. The first thing you want to look at is to make sure that the backing to your earring is in proportion to the size of your earring. Many times, they will give you a very small backing for a larger earring and this, in itself, is a recipe for disaster. So, you want to make sure that the earring back is durable enough to sustain the earring. These types of earring backs tend to work on a pressure system that would indicate that they are curled in this fashion and when you insert the post inside, the pressure of the two curls will hold it secure. The more times that you insert the post the more you will lessen the pressure between the ear nuts. So, in order to fix that dilemma, you can take similar pen like this or a pencil or a pair of tweezers and you will just simply pry these circles open and by doing that you will again institute the pressure between the two curls. The other area that you want to look at, are your rings. Your rings typically will be holding your center stones or all the little stones in a prong mechanism. Prongs should have a nice amount of gold on the top and should be tightly holding the stone.
A 14 carat ring in gold, white gold or yellow gold, will typically have a life expectancy in the prongs of 8 to 12 years. If youve worn that ring on a daily basis for 8 to 12 years, youre going to start to notice that the prongs have worn off on the top and that will cause the stone to fall out, as is the case with this ring. This ring had this stone inside and had been worn very, very often and all the smaller prongs, as well as the prongs on the center stone had worn away and eventually had pulled off and the stone had been lost. So, this problem could have been prevented if they had come in and simply re-tipped the prong. So, you will want to see your jeweler if youre noticing that your prongs are starting to wear thin, catch hairs or fibers in your sweaters. That is sometimes an indication that they are wearing.
The other area that you are going to want to check are the clasts on your chains or your bracelets. Therere two kinds of clasts; one kind of clast is called a spring clast. These spring clasts work on a mechanism of a spring inside this tiny clast and sometimes with age that spring mechanism is not going to work any longer. So, youre going to want to every once in while to check that and make sure that it is secure. The other type of clast is a lobster claw clast and one of the common problems that we find with lobster claw clast is that they get pulled open as is the case with this and because thats pulled open, people think that its broken but in actuality, if you would just take a simple pair of pliers, you can actually close that so that there is not a gap any longer between that and then it will work again the way that it should work.
When assessing your chains, you also going to want to make sure that the chain -- similar to the situation with the earrings, is adequate for the pendent that youre hanging or wearing from it. Many times when you purchase a pendent it will come with a display chain similar to this one or this one here. That is very simply for display for the person that is receiving that piece of jewelry to be able to put on that very day but then you want to make sure that you purchase or that you have a chain that is more durable for every day wear with that pendent such as this one.
When assessing your pearl strands, first of all, we highly recommend or I highly recommend that they be strong and knotted in between each pearl. When they are knotted correctly there should be no gapping between these knots and no gapping between these pearls. When the silk naturally decomposes from wear, youll notice that there is quite a great of space between the knots and the pearls. Youll also notice that the knots are fraying, so youll find that theyre little fibers sticking out, as is the case with this piece. This piece is ready to be re-strung and to be taken to your local jeweler for that.
Another aspect to assessing the safety of your gems is knowing the purpose for which that piece of jewelry was manufactured. Very commonly, pieces of jewelry are given to a person and that person mistakenly believes that piece of jewelry should be worn on a daily basis. Some stones that are not recommended to be worn on a daily basis in a ring would be emerald or opal and even coral and even tanzanite. A better way to mount these pieces for daily wear would be independent or in earrings. So, knowing the simple fact of how that piece was engineered and what is the purpose for its wear will also help secure the safety of these pieces of jewelry. I hope you find that information useful in assessing the security of your jewelry.