Wear and Care
Gold is traditionally used in jewellery because it is a rare, attractive metal that is easy to work and does not corrode. The same can be said for silver and platinum. In their pure state these metals are too soft to be used in jewellery. This is why we alloy the noble metals (precious metals are known as noble). Metals such as copper, tin and zinc etc. are known as base metals. Copper is added to gold along with silver to make it harder. White gold alloys are more difficult to achieve because the colour has to be changed from yellow to white. This is one of the reasons why white gold is more expensive than yellow gold.
Through the years, we have been presented with jewellery that has been worn regularly for ten, twenty even thirty years that needs extensive repair work. Frequently it is suggested by the client that the original manufacturer must have done a poor job for the jewellery to be in such a bad state.
Noble metal alloys are soft and will scratch, dent and wear away over the years. Also, your jewellery can be damaged by many hard objects in day to day life e.g.: shopping trolleys, metal shelving, cans, metallic handles, safety belts, in fact any metal object can cause damage. If hit in the right way, wooden objects can also cause damage, as can any hard material. Fine claws can get caught on edges and lifted causing loosening of a stone. If a piece of jewellery looks fine and delicate it is best to assume that it is.
Precious stones can be scratched chipped and broken. One of the advantages of noble metals being soft is that they can be used to set precious stones into them without damaging the stone. Even a diamond can be chipped during the setting process if the metal is too hard. Although diamonds can’t be scratched, they have a perfect cleavage which means that when struck with the right force and angel can chip. A diamond may symbolize everlasting love but nothing lasts forever if it is not cared for and well maintained.
In short, a piece of Jewellery is not a miracle product that can be used endlessly without wearing out; however if looked after properly, a well-made (and well thought out) piece of fine jewellery can last you a life time and become a family heirloom if proper care and maintenance is observed.
Think of your jewellery as you would a car. If you constantly drive a car and never have it serviced would it last? Yet we see beautiful vintage cars being driven around because they have been cared for.
At RARE EARTH design studio we give a free yearly clean and check to any piece of jewellery we have made. We are sure any good manufacturing jeweller would do the same.