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Posts categorized as 'Jewelry Care'


How to Size Your Engagement & Wedding Rings

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Question:

“I’m not sure my rings are the perfect fit.  They are a little loose, but I don’t like the way rings look on my hand when they are too tight.  What should I do?”

– Laura D. | Milwaukee, WI

Amy’s Answer:

That’s a great question, Laura! When it comes to jewelry and rings (among other things) there’s no such thing as a perfect fit. For many women, a good fit means comfortable most of the time. There are days when my rings are too tight, and days when they’re a little loose. So how do you know when you have a good fit? A good rule of thumb is that when a ring fits properly it should slide on easily, but resist when coming off. If your jewelry isn’t fitting correctly, resizing your ring may be necessary. Here are a few tips for a good fitting:

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED JEWELER

First and foremost, this is not a “do-it-yourself” project… you will want to have your ring sized by a professional. An experienced professional will be able to recommend a size based on your finger shape and style of your ring.

THE WIDER THE RING, THE LARGER THE SIZE

When resizing we use sizing rings, which are a set of example rings in various sizes and widths to help determine the size of your finger. To ensure a proper fit, the sizing rings should closely match the width of the ring being fitted. Narrow rings will typically require a smaller size than wide rings since they take up less space on the finger. Ring Sizing Tool

THE IMPACT OF FINGER SHAPE

Finger shape also plays a large role in determining the right fit of a ring. Some fingers are largest at the base and gradually taper without a prominent knuckle. On this type of finger, the ring should fit snugly at the base of the finger without causing bulges or a permanent indent. You should be able to push the ring up from the underneath side of your finger, and see a small space between the ring and the top of the finger, this gives your finger some breathing room.

RING SIZING WITH LARGE KNUCKLES

Sizing fingers that are largest at the knuckle can be a bit trickier. The key here is to size the ring so it fits comfortably over the knuckle without being too large for the base of the finger. If there is a large size difference between the knuckle and base of the finger, the ring tends to spin and turn on the hand– especially in engagement rings which tend to be top heavy. A simple fix for this is to add sizing beads to the inside of the ring. They prevent some of the spinning while still maintaining a comfortable fit over the knuckle.

Sizing Beads in Engagement & Wedding Rings

SIZE YOUR RING FOR COMFORT

Proper sizing is more of a personal preference than a perfect science. Different activities throughout the day and temperature variations cause the size our hands and fingers to constantly change, so it’s normal to have a ring feel tight sometimes and loose other times– often in the same day! But if you are in danger of losing your ring or it’s impossible to remove because it’s so tight, stop in and have our in-house jewelers size your ring… you’ll be glad you did!


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Amy Meyer HeadshotAmy shares her pearls of wisdom in her weekly column, Ask Amy. Her impeccable taste helps to select beautiful, current yet timeless looks for our clients in harmony with their own personal style. She believes that jewelry should have a story to tell about the person who wears it and is delighted to commemorate life’s celebrations. If you have a question, just Ask Amy! Skin tone images via ShadesDaddy

How To: Spring Cleaning for Your Rings and Jewelry

Cleaning Jewelry - Get Your Sparkle Back

The official start of Spring brings to mind many reasons to celebrate. We are beginning to think about packing away our winter apparel with the hopeful promise of warmer weather upon us. Before long our beloved flowers, trees and plants will all be back in full bloom. The beginning of Spring also kicks off all of the consistent reminders to fully-embrace a good and healthy dose of Spring cleaning. From windows and walls, to floors and furniture; the list of parts, pieces and place to sparkle seems to never end.

WHY SHOULD YOU CLEAN IT?

One of the most overlooked items that does require more then just an annual sparkle is your wedding ring. Think about it. This is one piece that is with you virtually all of the time, and partakes in almost every activity that you do. Your ring has been subjected to such a wide variety of places and products. There is a pretty good chance that it has also been exposed to not only a batch or two of Christmas cookies, but garden dirt, hand soap, lotion, every cleaning chemical in your home and perhaps even last night’s hands-on glitter glue craft project.

HOW OFTEN?

In general, we recommend a professional cleaning of your ring every six months. However, don’t let that stop you from bringing it in more often! The before and after sparkle difference will leave you impressed enough to consider making it a routine habit.

MAINTENANCE

A consistent cleaning schedule of your jewel is important for several reasons. Every time it’s at our store, our goldsmiths thoroughly inspect the ring for loose diamonds, worn prongs, and other signs of needed repair or maintenance. At this stage, they are often able to provide preventative suggestions for repairs for your jewelry to help protect diamonds and gems from loss. A little bit of maintenance here and there will help extend the life of your ring for years to come.

OUR PROCESS

The cleaning process here at our store is one that cannot be replicated at home because of the required equipment necessary for professional cleaning. Although you can’t get follow the same process as we do in store, a little bit of at-home jewelry cleaning is never a bad idea to keep that ring sparkling bold and bright!

  1. Inspection
    One of our goldsmiths will thoroughly inspect the ring for needed maintenance such as loose diamonds or gemstones, and worn prongs.
  2. Polishing
    After inspecting the ring for repairs and loose gems, it is then sent to polishing. The metal of the ring is applied to a high-polishing wheel, which brings the luster back to its almost original bright finish. In extreme cases where a ring has deep gouges, it might also be necessary for it to be polished on an additional wheel.
  3. Ultrasonic Cleaning
    From there, the ring soaks in a bubbling ultra-sonic bath to help remove the polishing compound and any additional residue.
  4. Steam & Sparkle
    The final step is placing the ring under a high-pressure steamer to add that last bit of brilliant sparkle!

This year as you begin to plan your spring cleaning checklist, don’t forget the importance of adding your ring as the final step to kick-starting the new season!

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JESSICA from Wixon Jewelers

Jessica is our resident fashionista-in-chief and more formally our Diamond Department Manager. Helping guide our clients through life’s big milestones by helping them find  the perfect piece of jewelry  to last a lifetime is what she loves best! She is a Graduate Gemologist who has been infatuated with jewelry since she was a little girl, spending countless hours at her grandmother’s jewelry store.

Watch Care and Cleaning

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Do you have a question about diamonds, gemstones or jewelry? Submit your question here and you may be featured in Amy’s weekly column!


Question:

“My wife bought me a new watch as a gift from your Watch Fair last weekend. What advice can you give me on how should I care for it?”

-Greg B. | Wayzata, MN

Amy’s Answer:

Congratulations on your new timepiece, Greg! Many people don’t realize that watches require the same amount of attention as fine jewelry and there are some rules that should be followed. Here are a few simple care and cleaning guidelines to keep your timepiece in tip-top shape.

GENERAL CLEANING

Seeing as timepieces and jewelry require similar amounts of attention, I recommend that when you bring your rings in to be inspected and cleaned, have your timepiece done as well. Our in-house watchmakers will clean the bracelet which will remove the dust and dirt that can get trapped in between the links.

To keep your timepiece looking its best in between visits, clean the bracelet often using an old toothbrush and rinsing it under warm soapy water. Be sure the crown of the watch is fully secured during the cleaning to prevent moisture damage to the movement. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch case and not the strap. If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the case with a soft slightly damp cloth and then dry.

Never wind your timepiece when it is on your wrist. It can bend the crown.

CARE FOR MANUAL WIND MOVEMENTS

For timepieces with a hand-wound mechanical movement, be sure to wind the watch once a day. It’s important to note to be careful so that you don’t over-wind the watch. Stop winding the timepiece as soon as you feel resistance; this indicates the spring has reached maximum tension. A complete service is recommended to be performed every three to five years for manual wind timepieces to maintain accurate time-keeping ability.

CARE FOR AUTOMATIC MOVEMENTS

If you own a watch with a self-winding mechanical movement, be sure to wind the watch every week even if it is worn daily. This ensures that the mainspring has built up a sufficient power reserve and will function properly. Service on automatic watches is recommended every five to seven years and will extend the overall life of your investment. To learn more about servicing your mechanical timepiece, visit our website.

Always make sure your winding stem is screwed down. This will prevent water and dust from getting in.

CARE FOR QUARTZ MOVEMENTS

Timepieces with a quartz movement are powered by a battery and will need to be replaced when the battery dies. Be sure to stop by and have the battery replaced either before or shortly after the battery inside of your watch has expired. Old batteries left inside the timepiece can leak or corrode, sometimes causing irreparable damage. Our watchmakers can replace the battery in almost any watch while you wait and they will inspect the gaskets for integrity and complete a pressure test when necessary to ensure the proper water resistance.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt “do-it-yourself” watch repair or battery replacement. It’s imperative that you have your watch serviced by a professional watchmaker. With proper care your new watch will become a family heirloom that will last generations. If you have any questions about the care of your timepiece, please call or stop by– one of our in-house watchmakers will be happy to answer any questions you have.


MORE: WATCH REPAIR & SERVICE AT WIXON JEWELERS


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Amy Meyer HeadshotAmy shares her pearls of wisdom in her weekly column, Ask Amy. Her impeccable taste helps to select beautiful, current yet timeless looks for our clients in harmony with their own personal style. She believes that jewelry should have a story to tell about the person who wears it and is delighted to commemorate life’s celebrations. If you have a question, just Ask Amy!

Bringing Life Back to Your Jewelry

Ask Amy Header - Wixon Jewelers

Do you have a question about diamonds, gemstones or jewelry? Submit your question here and you may be featured in her weekly column!


“I’ve noticed that my jewelry no longer shines like it did when it was new. How should I care for my pieces and get them sparkling again?”

-Alexi M. | St. Louis Park, MN

The best advice I can give you for caring for your jewelry is to treat your pieces as you would any other valuable possession. I don’t wear my rings when I’m doing yard work, active sports, cleaning, etc.

Jewelry Cleaner

As far as cleaning, when I’m not in the store, I use our little red jar of jewelry cleaner to keep my pieces looking their best! Stop by and I’ll get you a jar; it works great! In a pinch I’ve also been known to use Windex, but jewelry cleaner is always your best bet. Hope Wixon carries small alcohol wipes with her when she travels, she talks about it in her jewelry travel tips article.

My approach

Wixon Jewelers Jewelry CleanerI let my pieces soak for a while and brush them with a soft toothbrush to get behind the settings. Rinse and let the pieces dry. I have to remind myself not to do this by the sink, no need to have a scavenger hunt! It is best to avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasives (no toothpaste) which can be damaging.

If your watch is water-resistant and on a metal bracelet, give it a dip too! Just remember to be careful around tile floors. Dropping your watch onto a tile floor can shatter crystals and damage mechanical movements.

Take extra care with Pearls, Emeralds, Cameos, Opals, Coral, and Enamel pieces which can be easily damaged by perfume, hairspray, and the like. I suggest wiping these down with a soft damp cloth.

Let us help!

I recommend a professional cleaning at least twice a year. Simply bring your pieces into our store and we’ll thoroughly inspect each piece to ensure everything is wearing well and all gems are nice and tight, at no charge. Your treasured jewelry will receive a nice polish to remove light scratches in the metal and a steam cleaning that will leave your pieces looking brilliant!

Join our eNewsletter

Be the first to know about tips, tricks and trends in jewelry

Amy Meyer HeadshotAmy shares her pearls of wisdom in her weekly column, Ask Amy. Her impeccable taste helps to select beautiful, current yet timeless looks for our clients in harmony with their own personal style. She believes that jewelry should have a story to tell about the person who wears it and is delighted to commemorate life’s celebrations. If you have a question, just Ask Amy!

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