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All the pieces I sell are either second hand, antique or vintage; their age and materials must be taken into consideration when they are worn. Their care is very important to avoid your item needing repair and for different items there are different factors that need to be taken into consideration. 

Like all significant purchases, in your item's lifetime, it will inevitably need some maintenance and repair, however, below is my best care advice to help avoid damage and  to help keep our jewels in their wearable and sparkly glory.

This is not a guarantee to keep your jewellery protected but simply the methods I have found successful from my own experience.

At this time, I do not offer any repair services and I do not cover the cost of any repairs unless the item has been damaged during the  outgoing delivery process. Although this case has never occurred, if you find that your item has been damaged in the post, please take as much photographic evidence as possible.


The care advice & repair policy of the Jewellery Box d'un Petit

Key Questions d'un Petit Cœur

Before I purchase a piece for my personal collection I always ask myself "how do I want to wear this piece; is it for everyday or is it for special occasions and do the materials and condition suit what I want?". 

What gemstone is it?


Is the setting backed?

Is the setting open?

How to keep it clean?

What metal is it?

How are the stones held in place?

When is it not appropriate to wear? 

The Dos d'un Petit Cœur

Here are my personal tips for keeping my jewellery safe and in good condition. 

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clean your  jewellery  regularly

Keeping your jewellery clean, not only keeps them looking sparkly and beautiful, but also helps to protect them from damage. A build up of dirt and dust can clog up settings and actually push stones out.

Read How to Clean Your Jewels to learn how to clean different pieces.

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spend time


& examining

your jewels 

Invest in a jewellers loupe and become familiar with your jewellery up close. Notice how the stones sit in their settings and how the setting  holds them in place. Check for missing claws, a build up of dirt or wear on the metal (if you wear rings stacked, it might be time to switch the order, if one piece is wearing faster). Read How to Examine Your Jewels for some tips.

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keep them in a  safe place when not being worn 

It is so important to be cautious of taking rings on and off! It is something we must do often, whether it is to wash your hands or do a gym workout. At home it is simple to have a little dish in your bathroom or jewellery box on your bedside table, however, out and about it can be tricky. A good idea is to carry a little pouch to pop them in, otherwise your pieces might be at less risk left on, but try not to make it a habit. Read How to Store Your Jewels for some ideas.

When NOT TO WEAR your Jewellery

This is honestly what I do, in some cases, I am even more strict! For example, I don't wear any jewellery to bed or to shower, however, I understand that, with a wedding set for example, I might feel differently so I've tried to accommodate that in to my advice!

just metal,
diamond, sapphire or ruby  
backed settings when showering
  take off      jewellery with hair or backed settings when washing hands
for  workouts  
studs & strong metal  bands
wear gloves or remove rings apart from metal bands
for gardening
     activities         when jewels   
vulnerable to getting knocked
take them off
don't apply cosmetics
to or with areas of the body wearing  jewellery
wear gloves
or remove rings

apart from metal bands whilst cleaning
only plain metal pieces 
no necklaces for swimming
In bed chains get knotted!

How I Clean my Pieces at Home

This is a quick and easy way to keep jewellery looking beautiful as well as actually keeping the stones safe; a build up of dirt can actually push out stones.

Remember cleaning can sometimes be a time when stones fall out. Doing this in a bowl means that you can find the stone easily. Always check pieces before pouring away the water. If a stone is missing sift the water into another bowl and voilà

Step One - Gather what you will need. For diamonds, sapphires and rubies you can have your water quite hot. With all other gemstones I like to be able to put my hands in the water comfortably. For a soap I use a gentle hand wash with minimal to no fragrance. 

Step Two- Add the soap and froth it up with the toothbrush. For open settings I let my pieces soak in the water for about 10 minutes. I do not submerge backed settings, or jewellery with hair, silk or paper. For empty lockets I take them apart to clean and let them fully dry before reassembling. 

Step Three- Change the water for clean water and add soap once more. Check all stones are there before pouring away any water always! 

Step Four- For an open backed setting  use the toothbrush to clean the piece gently, holding the piece in your hand. For tougher dirt, I soak my tooth pick so it is soft and won't scratch, then I use it to poke out visible build ups. Be super careful not to put any pressure on the setting or gemstone. For a closed back setting  or a piece with vulnerable materials I use the cotton bud, instead of the toothbrush, so I can be precise and ensure certain areas do not get wet. 

Step Five- Dry your clean jewels with a cloth.

Step Six- Once fully dry polish them up with a polishing cloth. Sparkle!!!


Drying Cloth

 Soft Toothbrush

Bowl of Warm Water

Polishing Cloth

Gentle Soap

Cotton Bud

What you will need to clean your Pieces

at Home

How to Examine Your Jewels

All you will need is a loupe, good lighting and a keen eye. Loupes are very affordable online. Top tips for using the loupe - 1. keep your elbows steady on a surface or pressed against your body 2. keep both eyes open 3. have the loupe just touching your eyelash and the piece about 1.5cm from the glass of the loupe on the other side (draw in and out until focused).

This is a really important one. Losing a stone is not only a pain, but also upsetting, especially if it is a 150 year old rose cut diamond or an antique cut sapphire. Old stones are harder to replace and are also often very unique, even if replaced with a similar stone of the same era.

For a claw setting it is important to ask - How many claws are there? Are any missing? Are they all touching the stone? Do any look damaged or worn?

For a rub over- Is there any dents or damage? Does the lip run around over the stones girdle or edge? 

For a calibre or channel setting - Are the stones flush and supporting each other?

For a backed setting - Is their metal supporting the stone? If not it's possible that the stone, like a split pearl, would be set with plaster of paris or an epoxy resin. If this is the case the most important action, to avoid loss of stones, you can take is to wear the piece only when it's appropriate (please see "when not to wear" above or scroll below to view details on particular gemstones and how to keep them safe) 

Notice if it is at an angle or straight. With an older piece sometimes it is the stones that are cut wonky making it seem off. This why it is important to know how they sit normally so you can notice a change. 

If it is loose in the setting a great way to check is to give it a little shake next to your ear...did you hear a rattle? Or touch it with a finger nail or tooth pick... does it move? Remember not too hard! We don't want to cause the damage...

Once a stone is chipped or worn there is little that can be done apart from replace it, re-cut it or simply just learn to love it like that. However, we can learn from it and take preventatives to prevent damage in the other stones in the piece, or for future pieces made from the same gemstone.

Cabochon opals can easily be brought back to life with a little polish in the setting if a bit rubbed!

Noticing the early signs of loss of details to the engraving or enamel can prevent further damage.

Switch the order of your rings, only wear it solo or wear it less. Another option is to let the wear become part of the rings history; it is up to you to do what you feel comfortable with.

This will happen over a long period of time. Even thin rings still have lots of life left in them and replacing a band is usually possible. However, if you want to avoid this for as long as possible then wear it solo or only next to metals of the same grade (this will not stop it wearing but just ensure both rings wear slower at the same rate rather than one more rapidly). 

With chains, notice if loops look more worn than others; spotting one can avoid a break and the potential loss of a pendant! I leant this one the hard way...

Perhaps the most important. Check the setting.

Check how the stone sits in the setting.

Check for thinning of the band or metal.

Check for a loss of detail in the engraving.

Check for chips or wear on the stones.

How to Store Your Jewels

Well nobody is perfect and this area is most certainly the one where I will say I do not do all of what I know I should. However, I do know what I should be doing! I believe that the storage of jewels can be divided into four sections; at home not being worn, at home being worn but being taken on and off, travelling distance and lastly, daily out and about.

At Home Not Being Worn

- Protect From Theft

Unfortunately this is necessary. Get yourself insurance and follow their guidelines or at a minimum invest in a secure safe.

- Jewellery Boxes

Inside the safe use jewellery boxes or containers to keep items organised and protected. The containers just need to be soft on the inside and hard on the outside.

At Home On & Off

- Somewhere to pop them quickly

Key places; sink areas, shower or bath and bedside table. Anywhere you often feel the need to take off your jewellery have a safe place to pop pieces in. The main rule is to always use it so you don't misplace items.

- A go to Jewellery Box

If I'm planning  to wear the same jewels the next day I have an overnight box. However, never do this if your insurance policy requires you store your jewels differently.

Traveling Distance

- Protect From Theft

Consider where you are going and what you are doing and make choices about what you are taking based on that. For the journey itself, spread your jewels out! Wear some and then decide the safest place in your luggage to keep the rest. I always keep mine with me at all times. 

- Travel Jewellery Box

Keep Jewellery separated and organised to avoid en route damage. 

Daily Out & About

- A little pouch makes a big difference

For whether you're going to the gym or having a bite to eat it is always a great idea to have a little pouch to keep rings in when you need to take them off to wash hands or to protect them from an activity. Don't take them off and put them on the side or in your pocket! If you have nowhere to put them... keeping them on and washing hands is less risky for a one off!

What is it made from?

The type of gemstone or the metal used can affect how often and for what occasion a piece of Jewellery is worn. These are not rules as I believe that it is up to you what risks you take with your items, however, it is important to at least be aware of what the risks are so we can make conscious choices and avoid disappointment and nasty shocks.

What about metals?

Gemstones to be more conscious of...

Vulnerable Materials

Metals rubbing on each other or hard surfaces wear over time. The only difference that wearing two items of the same metal together will make is that they are more likely to wear evenly, but they will still wear.

To avoid...

If you want to avoid or slow the process of wear then wear pieces solo, switch the order, turn rings around or simply wear less often.

Be careful of...

- Enamels rubbing on hard surfaces or other pieces of jewellery 

-Engravings rubbing on hard surfaces or other pieces of jewellery. 

First thing is to look up a few facts about your chosen gem. Remember if it is super hard like diamond or corundum this means it is (and sometimes extremely) less susceptible to scratches and rubbing, however, that doesn't mean indestructible! Toughness describes a gemstones resistance to breakage. For example, Emerald scores 7 1/2-8 on the Mohs Scale of hardness which goes up to 10 (although with a huge jump between 9 and 10) but with only a toughness rating  of poor to good. This makes emerald a gemstone to be extremely careful with. Nephrite Jade has only a hardness of 6 to 6 1/2, however, is the toughest known gem with a rating of exceptional. In other terms it can be carved but it is extremely resilient. 

Gemstones to be more careful of which are commonly used...

Emeralds, Opals, Pearls, Coral, Amber, Lapis Lazuli, Malachite, Moonstone, Shell, Topaz, Marcasite. 

Sometimes other vulnerable materials are used in jewellery, especially antique.

Vulnerable materials include...

Hair used in mourning or sentimental pieces, photographs used in lockets, paintings used in miniatures, silk or fabric also used in lockets, glass used to cover lockets or even faceted and polished to resemble gemstones, other gemstone simulants, foil backing sometimes used in backed settings.

Be careful of...

- Getting hair, fabric, photographs, foil backing or paintings wet.

How is it constructed?

How it is constructed can affect how we care and look after an item. This can include what type of jewellery item it is or what setting techniques or form a piece has.

What is it?

How is it made?


The most prone to damage due to the fact they are worn in the place we use the most. Take them off for any activity they might be at risk and be aware that they are on (this means try not to lean on your knuckles and so on)

Necklaces, chains and bracelets...

These are at risk of getting caught or tangled. Again, take them off for certain activities and spend some time just untangling throughout the day. Weak links or damage to clasps are areas to pay attention to.


Probably in the safest place, however, be careful with delicate wires when hooking on and off... I know i've snapped a few...

Take off dangly earrings for sportive activities.


Be careful opening and closing lockets and keep parts together so they don't get lost. To clean a locket take apart sections and clean individually,

I personally would not take apart anything original or disturb something precious like hair or artwork, . Make sure it is fully dry before reassembling.

What is the setting type?

Claw settings and rub over settings are very safe and secure. Things to keep an eye on are weak, damaged or missing claws or dents or damage to a rub over.

For a calibre or channel setting the stones can rely on each other to stay in. Ask yourself 'are they flush and supporting each other?". If you lose a stone, don't wear the piece until a jeweller has checked the piece and replaced the stone or secured the setting.

For a backed setting try to keep them dry and dust free. If held in by metal check the claws or lip is supporting the stones.

How is the stone held in?

Split pearls, marcasites and pastes can be held in by plaster of paris or even epoxy resin. These types of settings do dry out and lose stones over time, however, are often easier to replace.

Is it proud or flat?

Flat pieces sit closer to the body and therefore are less likely to get knocked or caught. If you have a super spectacular proud art deco ring it is likely to need to come off more often than a flat band for certain activities.

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