Fine jewellery, meaning pieces made with gemstones and expensive metals and not cheap jewellery you might buy at a mass market retailer, is often meant to last for many years and even decades before it needs repair. However, once that piece does need some attention, you want to ensure you find a jeweller you can trust for this work. Note a few commonly asked questions about repairing or cleaning your pieces, so you know the work will be done right and your piece will be in good shape for many more years to come.
How do you keep a jeweller from swapping out a gemstone?
It's not uncommon for someone to hesitate to bring a ring or other piece to a jeweller because they're afraid that person will swap out the gemstone for something of less value. This is a very rare occurrence, as this type of theft is considered very serious and has severe penalties.
However, if you are still worried, take your piece to one jeweller and have him or her show it to you under a microscope, and help you note identifying characteristics. Tell them that you're going to have the piece repaired or cleaned, so they know why you're having it identified. Once you get the piece back from the servicing jeweller, you can then have it checked again by the identifying jeweller to ensure that it's the same gemstone.
Why choose a jeweller who specializes in a certain watch brand or designer?
Jewellers may advertise that they specialize in certain watch brands because the design of that watch may be very specific and unique. This is much like taking your car to a mechanic who specializes in its make and model; they will have the tools that fit its pieces and the experience needed to work on that model specifically. Using such a jeweller can ensure your watch is properly cleaned and repaired, and that broken pieces are replaced with those that are completely compatible with that model.
Will having jewellery cleaned or repaired lower its value?
Antique jewellery may actually be more valuable if it has developed a patina over the metal, and some signs of wear are actually appreciated by collectors. You also want to avoid obvious repairs that detract from a piece's appearance, such as using plastic pieces to replace a broken clasp on a gold chain. However, most repairs and cleaning work will actually increase the value of a piece, as cleaning will bring out the sparkle of gemstones and metals, and repairs will mean that a piece can safely be worn and displayed!