Here are my Top 25 Tips for a jewellery audit
TOP FIVE TIPS BEFORE YOU BUY
1 – Thoroughly check each piece under a light before you buy in store. You never know if a stone will be missing, a piece will be broken, or elastic will be coming undone. And it doesn’t take long.
2 – Buy jewellery that fits. If you buy jewellery that’s too small or too big you may never wear it. If you can’t get it on, or it constantly falls off and you’re pushing it back on, then it’s going to get annoying really quickly and end up sitting there not being worn.
3 – Buy pieces you truly fall in love with at first sight. They will be the ones that bring the most joy and you will get the most wear out of. Buying jewellery you only “like” or think are “okay” will mean a waste of money and jewellery that doesn’t get worn.
4 – Don’t buy colours you don’t like. If you have no clothes in those colours then you will never wear them as you will have nothing to match it to.
5 – As much as you might love a piece of jewellery, you must weigh up whether the high price is going to be doable. Don’t go into debt for jewellery, regardless of how much you love it. Only real gold or silver jewellery is worth such high prices.
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR CARING
1 – Use Ziploc bags, or velvet lined boxes and containers to store your jewellery away from dust and dirt as the lining will prevent tarnish to your jewellery.
2 – Store jewels in drawers or on dressing tables in boxes as leaving on shelves can result in being dropped and damage.
3 – Leave a piece of chalk in your box or on the shelf near your jewellery. It will help soak up moisture and reduce the time it takes to tarnish.
4 – Clean your jewellery after wearing it. A quick wipe with a jewellery cloth will keep it clean and sparkly.
5 – Audit your jewels every six months or so for missing crystals, broken chain or tarnishing and give them a good clean and fix up.
TOP TIPS FOR EXTRA USAGE
1 – Mix and match your bracelet stacks. You can multiply your stacks and get many more combinations out of mixing up pieces.
2 – Download a colour wheel from the internet and learn about colour combining. You will find yourself mixing colours you never knew went together.
3 – If you have a long bead necklace, wrap it around your wrist for a bracelet effect. If you have a long lariat necklace, use it as a belt.
4 – Buy medium sized rings that fit your middle finger. In winter when your fingers shrink move the ring up to your forefinger. In summer when your fingers swell, move the ring down to your ring finger. This way, you can wear rings all year round. Better yet, buy elasticized rings to wear on any finger.
5 – Repurpose your broken pieces. If one earring breaks, use the other as a pendant necklace or a charm on a bracelet stack. If a necklace breaks, make a bracelet. If a ring shank breaks off you can use the top section on a flat pad bobby pin or brooch back.
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR REPAIRING AND RE-PURPOSING
1 – Keep some rolls of beading elastic in case your bead bracelets break or become too stretched. Re-threading is quick and easy.
2 – Keep a small container of jewellery findings for quick repairs.
3 – Bored with some of your pieces? Remake them! Add beads to a pendant chain, combine two necklaces into one for a new look and style.
4 – Repurpose chain bracelets into a necklace by whipping up a plain chain with a parrot clasp to hook up to your bracelet. Just hook the clasps to the opposite ends of each piece.
5 – Use fishing line for repairing long bead necklaces. Double loop it through, knot ten times, add a drop of glue and slip the leftover line back through the beads. Don’t cut!
TOP FIVE TIPS ON WHAT NOT TO DO
1 – Don’t hang jewellery on the inside of wardrobe or cupboard doors to bang and clang together every time you shut the door. You will lose stones and enamel and hook them on your clothes.
2 – Don’t hang multiple necklaces, bangles or bracelet stacks on the one hook, bottle or hanger as they will wear against each other and tarnish faster.
3 – Don’t use cork or other kinds of boards as the cork will tarnish your jewellery faster. Hanging elastic or strung necklaces or bracelets will stretch them out of shape and make them break faster.
4 – Don’t use plastic trays or containers unless you coat them in a soft fabric. The plastic will wear the pieces and scratch them. If you throw your jewels into them they could break.
5 – Don’t take your best pieces on holiday unless you’re prepared to lose them. Either wear your good gold or silver and don’t take them off, or buy cheap costume jewellery that won’t matter if they get lost or stolen.
All of these tips and more are in my book, HOW TO BE A JEWEL DIVA: Tips and Tricks to Buying, Wearing and Caring for your Costume Jewellery, available on Amazons everywhere.