Heads up: We will be taking a sabbatical. Last day for made-to-order pieces is June 29th. More info here. Heads up: We will be taking a sabbatical. Last day for most made-to-order pieces is June 29th. More info here.

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Shopping for Fine Jewelry: Reflections, Considerations, and Maintenance

Shopping for Fine Jewelry: Reflections, Considerations, and Maintenance

With summer fast approaching, we are gearing up for wedding season. Shopping for engagement and wedding jewelry is definitely going to be on the to-do list. We’d like to share some reflections, considerations, and maintenance tips when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding jewelry.

Know Yourself
What kind of lifestyle do you lead? What are your overall style preferences? Are you hard on your jewelry or careful with your pieces? Asking yourself these types of questions play a key role in purchasing jewelry you’ll be happy with.

image of Comfort-fit Flat Simple Band and Narrow Hand Carved Classic Band
pictured above: (l) Comfort-fit Flat Simple Band, (r) Narrow Hand Carved Classic Wedding Band

I was recently talking to Aran and they gave me an easy to understand comparison between white sneakers and jewelry shopping. Keep reading - this will all make sense, promise! 

What type of white sneaker person are you? Are a few smudges no big deal? Do you like them to look lived in, or do you want to keep them pristine from year to year? If you prefer your jewelry like your sneakers - unmarred, consider an engagement or wedding ring with a more rounded shape. The more convex form is less prone to scratches, and makes those little scuffs from everyday wear less noticeable.

If a little smudge or two on your crisp, white sneakers doesn't bother you then maybe you're open to embracing a wide, smooth, flat band. Due to their flat, even surface area, these rings are a bit more susceptible to visible scuffing. For folks who don't mind that lived in feel, a couple light scratches on their ring from normal wear and tear can signify an object that's been worn with love.

Still prefer the look of a wide, smooth, flat ring but don’t love the visible scuffing? No worries. Just stay educated. Go into your purchase knowing you'll have to budget for repairs down the line to restore your preferences.

Another option – textured rings. Many of our rings, like the Europa, Ancient Bands, or Wood Texture Bands, are styled with hand-hewn impressions. Small scuffs on textured bands are much less likely to be noticeable.

image of Knife Edge Ancient Texture Band and Europa Moon Texture Hand Carved Bandpictured above: (l) 3mm Knife Edge Ancient Texture Band, (r) Europa Moon Texture Hand Carved Classic Band

Applying your style preferences and habits to your jewelry will make for a happier, more successful purchase. You’ll be taking home jewelry that suits your look as well as your lifestyle.

Caring for Your Sparkly Treasures
We consider all the jewelry in our Aide-mémoire collection fine jewelry. Our pieces are hand-crafted and made using only precious metals and gemstones. Like any precious object, you maintain it to keep it in the best condition possible. Jewelry should be treated exactly the same way. When not wearing your jewelry, keep it organized in a box, a stand, or case. Trust me on this one. I once tossed a couple necklaces in a resealable, plastic bag on my way to the airport. They were a tangled mess by the time I arrived to my destination. I was thirty minutes late to my event trying to untangle my chains. So take it from me, don't toss your jewelry around like a bag of airplane peanuts! 

It’s also a great idea to have your pieces professionally cleaned at a jewelry shop every once in a while. Alternatively, our Aide-mémoire shop carries a DIY jewelry cleaning kit you can purchase and use in the convenience of your own home.

image of stacked DIY ring cleaning kitspictured above: DIY jewelry cleaning kits, available at our shop

Tips for Buying Jewelry and Other Best Practices

  • Matte and Shiny Finishes
    We always tell people finishes change. Matte becomes shiny, and shiny becomes matte. Over time it sort of meets in the middle. Our recommendation is to start with what you like and embrace how it evolves over time.
  • Avoid Wearing Jewelry at Bedtime
    In a sleep state, our bodies turn, our hair gets mussed – things move around! Wearing jewelry, for example a necklace, overnight can damage your chain and clasp, create skin tags, and even cause hair breakage. Our best practices tip is to remove all jewelry before bedtime - rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. If you still prefer to wear jewelry overnight, totally cool. Just know that about yourself and accept that your jewelry will likely need repair at some point due to your lifestyle preference.
  • Inspect Your Jewelry and Take it for a Tune-Up
    Before putting your jewelry on, inspect it. Are the prongs in good shape? Is the clasp on my necklace loose? Are all the gemstones on my ring accounted for and securely seated? Oftentimes you can damage a ring or lose a stone without even realizing it. Taking a couple minutes everyday to make sure your jewelry is at it should be is a simple and effective way to maintain your pieces. If you suspect damage, contact the shop you purchased from. At Aide-mémoire, we repair jewelry (for a fee) if you’ve purchased the piece from us. If you cannot work with the jeweler you originally purchased from, research a local jewelry repair shop.
  • Change is OK
    Everything in life changes. Your jewelry is no different. As you wear it over time, it will change. And that is ok. Embrace this change as a sign that you love and wear your jewelry. Your jewelry has evolved to be a part of you!