Are the earrings, necklaces, and bracelet clasps secure? These are typically the least durable part of those types of jewelry and because they have moving parts are subjected to considerable force with your fingers.
Are the stones tight? If they wiggle under the prongs, get the prong tightened before the stones come loose. Often you can hear a loose bigger stone rattle by shaking your hand before you even see it is loose.
Is the ring shank still round or is it bent?
- If the ring shank has small diamonds on it, a bend can cause them to come loose. Rings are round when new but forces are applied they can get more oval shape, something not easily visible when on the finger.
- If metal continually gets bent, it can weaken and break. Gold, silver and platinum are the most commonly used jewelry metals. These metals are malleable (ability to bend or be shaped), but repeated or very strong forces can result in bending and ultimately breaking.
- If a ring has been resized, the bottom of the shank has been soldered making it more likely to break. Once the bottom of the shank breaks, the rest of the shank and any small diamonds on the shank are prone to damage.
Is the metal scratched?
- Beware of rings worn together that can scratch each other, especially if they have diamonds close to the edges.
- Minor scratches on the metal can be polished. At home, you can use a polishing cloth to remove minor scratches and return the shine. For more visible scratches, a jeweler or repair shop can provide professional polishing. The problem with too frequent polishing is that the process removing a tiny layer off the surface of the metal.
- White metals like 14-karat, 18-karat gold, and even platinum can be rhodium plated for a smoother, whiter, shinier, and harder surface. Rhodium is a precious metal, a member of the platinum family. Rhodium electroplating is used, especially on jewelry, to provide a surface that will resist scratches and tarnish, and give a white, reflective appearance. Rhodium plating is most often found on white gold. The plating can be done with diamonds set, lasts 2-5 years depending on wear, and the price is typically about $60 or more depending on the item and jeweler.