Charm Bracelets and Real Jewellery
Categories: Jewellery 10101 Oct 2019
These days it is reassuring to know that some things are still real. Oh My Giddy Aunt has been keeping it real with real jewellery, made by real people to tell real stories since 2003.
We believe it's better to give a little gift of value, rather than a gift of little value, especially if you'd like the investment and the sentiment to last. Sterling silver and solid 9ct or 18ct gold jewellery has intrinsic value, and while it costs more than fashion or costume jewellery, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
The Right to Repair
Have you heard this phrase before? The growing 'right to repair' movement in Europe is a protest against the astronomical amounts of consumer goods, particularly electrical products, going to landfill because they're outdated or broken and can't be repaired. Due to the value of sterling silver and solid gold, real jewellery wearers have always been aware of the 'right to repair'. With the help of a qualified jeweller, real jewellery can be repaired, restored, regifted or eventually if needed, recycled. Real jewellery should never, ever, ever be landfill. Ever. However, the same can't be said for plated or costume jewellery.
Caring for Real Jewellery
While real jewellery can be repaired, it is preferable to care for fine jewellery appropriately so repairs aren't necessary. All jewellery can break or wear out depending on how it is worn, cleaned and stored, but treating and wearing with care is the solution.
Wearing Fine Jewellery
Fine or real jewellery made in sterling silver or solid gold can break or bend if it is not worn appropriately. Delicate jewellery, or jewellery with moving parts, can catch on clothing or furniture and pull or break. Moving parts on jewellery, such as dangling charms or links, will eventually rub or become worn. Of course this doesn't mean it shouldn't be worn but simply that some thought should be given to the appropriateness of the jewellery to the situation.
Rings with a thick, solid bands will stand up to a lot more than thinner rings or rings with stones or a lot of fine detail. Solid bangles can be worn in just about every situation. Charm bracelets should be worn for dress wear as fiddly bits can catch and damage. Busy, active hands mean more wear and tear as links and joins rub with each movement. All jewellery should be removed when swimming, bathing, playing or exercising and checked regularly for signs of wear and tear so it can be repaired as required. A stitch in time saves nine!
Cleaning Sterling Silver and solid Gold Jewellery
All jewellery needs to be cleaned or polished at different times just depending on when and how it is worn. Solid gold rarely tarnishes, but dirt and grime will still need to be removed occasionally. Find more information about caring for sterling silver jewellery or gold and silver jewellery in the Oh My Giddy Aunt Blog.
Storing Real Jewellery
Real jewellery should be stored with care too. If jewellery is tangled in a box or jiggled around in a bag there's a good chance it will be broken as it is pulled out or caught up with other jewellery and bent out of shape. Felt-lined jewellery boxes, or individual bags or boxes are fabulous solutions. Even wrapping jewellery in soft cloth will prevent it from scratching against other pieces and keep it away from air, moisture and other elements that can cause tarnish.
A Special Little Word on Special Little Jewellery
Real jewellery is not a toy. Fine signet rings, little lockets and charm bracelets are memorable ways to teach children to value and care for precious keepsakes.
Bangles, chains and rings can easily catch on play equipment or furniture and cause damage to the wearer as well as the jewellery so it is essential that children remove jewellery whenever they are playing or exercising. Jewellery should also be removed when children are sleeping as children can roll onto jewellery or catch it in hair or bedclothes.
Little children who can't quite manage tricky clasps have been known to use their teeth to help! Biting lockets or clasps to close them doesn't often end well for the jewellery. Children can be taught to ask for help - even if it requires a little patience.
Charms are miniature figures and characters and often have little details such as legs or wings that can snag on a jumper unless the bracelet is put on after the child has dressed. The old expression "last on, first off" applies to charm bracelet jewellery as the last thing to put on after dressing and the first thing to take off when undressing.
Most importantly, no small child should ever be left unattended with any jewellery as small pieces may break or cause choking hazards.
With a little care and thought real jewellery will last a lifetime and will only ever need three of the 4Rs - Restoring, Regifting or Repairing worn jump rings or clasps - but in the case of irreparable damage it is good to know that precious metal can be Recycled - but keepsake jewellery is forever jewellery and should never ever end up in landfill - ever.