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General Jewelry Care Tips

November 5th, 2013 11:28 pm

When you first buy a piece of jewelry you are taken by its charm, shimmer and stunning beauty. However, when you take that piece out, after some months, you find it lacks luster. What will you do now? You have kept it in the closet but still it has lost its glaze. What you should have done is taken care of it, right from the beginning. Proper maintenance preserves the shine. Often people complain of this problem without realizing that the fault has been theirs in neglecting proper care of their jewelry. You can take care of your jewelry with the following tips:

Protect all jewelry from scratches, sharp blows, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and sunlight.

Do not roll or push bracelets onto your hand while clasped. This puts stress on the stringing material and may break it over time.

After each wearing, gently wipe each piece of jewelry clean of make up and skin oils with a 100% cotton cloth.

Clean jewelry regularly with mildly sudsy water, rinse well, and pat dry with a soft cloth. Let it air dry if any moisture remains. Polish metals gently with a jewelry polishing cloth. Use chemical cleaners and polishes very sparingly and be sure that the type is safe for your jewelry, particularly the stones.

Remove jewelry when doing household or handyman tasks such a gardening, cleaning and household repairs or any strenuous activities.

Apply makeup and hairspray before putting on your jewelry. Makeup and hairspray contain chemicals that may affect your jewelry.

Remove jewelry before getting in a swimming pool or hot tub or bathing. The chlorine or other chemicals in the water can damage various gemstones and metals including gold.

Do not store jewelry in high heat, including next to heating vent, window sill, or in the car.

Store jewelry away from sunlight. The sun may fade some gemstones or over heat the jewelry.

Store jewelry flat to avoid stretching or twisting. Always store bead necklaces strung on silk (such as lapis, pearls, etc) flat because silk stretches over time.

Store jewelry separately so it doesn’t scratch other jewelry.

Store jewelry in resealable or special jewelry bags or pouches with anti-tarnish paper to retard tarnish. Jewelry with pearls or opals, as well as some other stones, must be stored in fabric instead of plastic as they need to “breathe.”

Key Elements of a Vintage Watch

August 24th, 2013 4:26 am

When looking for the available selection of vintage watches, you need to understand the language of this kind of timepieces. Various parts comprise the classic wristwatch, and there are helpful tips for what to look for while shopping for the right wristwatch.

Brand
There are more than 50 different brands of vintage watches to choose from, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. When researching brands, it is important to understand the ‘best years’ for the different brands. For instance, many vintage dealers believe that Hamilton watches peaked in the mid-1930s, so buying a 1970 Hamilton watch may not be the best choice for that brand. Each watch owner has his or her own preference in brand and style, not to mention budget. Regardless of the brand, a vintage watch can be identified by shared, timeless components.

Case
The case refers to the casing of the actual timepiece. It may be circular, square, or rectangular in shape. The bezel is the frame around the case that encloses the crystal and the watch’s dial. The key to analysing the case of a vintage watch is to look for poorly-aged cases that may show rust, discolouration, or a rough and uneven texture. Some scratches can be polished out, but deeper blemishes or dents may be expensive to repair.

Crystal
The crystal of a watch, although it is not actually made of crystal, is the clear piece of glass, acrylic, or synthetic sapphire that covers the dial of the timepiece. Fortunately, scratched crystals are easy and inexpensive to repair. Synthetic sapphire crystals, which are the most durable and also the most expensive, may be worth the investment.

Dial
The dial is the actual face of the timepiece inside the case and crystal. When shopping for a vintage watch, be sure to check for any discolouration, oxidation, or cracks, although these are all easily repairable. For a vintage watch, there should not be any fancy additions on the dial, meaning the piece should only tell the time and not the moon phases, month of the year, or the time zone. For more affordable watches, buyers can avoid watches with gold or special detail on the dial, as these options can cost hundreds of pounds more.

Movement
The movement is the actual mechanics of the timepiece. What many antique dealers define as a truly vintage watch is dependent on whether the movement is battery-powered, known as quartz, or self-winding. For vintage watches, it is highly recommended to purchase a self-winding watch. While this means that the watch must be wound from day-to-day, it ensures that the mechanics of the timepiece do not depend on a battery. Furthermore, the mechanical feel of a self-winding watch echoes the feel of the last century and is truly vintage.

While stainless steel watches are the sturdiest-looking timepieces, the movement within the watch consists of delicate craftsmanship. Time, water, and the elements can cause the fine pieces of metal to rust or break, and repairs can cost you much. If this is the case, it may be wise to find another watch rather than invest in repairs.

Strap
For a vintage stainless steel watch, the strap should also be made from stainless steel. However, if the stainless steel case is the only part a buyer cares about, then it is possible to obtain straps in different colours, leathers, fabrics, and styles. Most straps are removable, so the watch can actually be quite versatile, depending on the occasion. The benefit of the stainless steel strap is that it can match any and every outfit, from black-tie attire to beach attire. While other metals, such as platinum and white gold, are considered more vintage than stainless steel, this invincible metal’s durability and its ability to match any outfit, from suit to swimsuit, makes a vintage stainless steel watch a prime accessory.

Documentation
According to experts, obtaining the original documentation that states when a watch was manufactured adds value to a cherished timepiece. This is not necessary for a watch to be considered vintage, but, for collectors, the inclusion of authentic documentation is a valuable addition to a watch’s overall worth. As a result, it is always beneficial to ask sellers about the available documentation for a watch.

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