Every time you wash the dishes while wearing your gold and diamond wedding set, you’re actually causing a film to build up on the gold, dulling the luster of the metal and potentially clouding the appearance of the precious stone. All of these contaminants become lodged in the tiny crevices of the piece, and, due to the size and intricacy of the pieces, can become very difficult to clean out.

In order to ensure that your favorite accessories are always red carpet ready, be sure to take them to a professional to get them cleaned periodically. Generally, 2-3 times per year will suffice. This may sound excessive at first, but it is a preventative measure that can help protect your prized possessions. A professional jeweler will have the right tools to get to the parts of the jewelry that a small brush misses. Professional Jewelers also have the right tools to check on the stability of your jewelry’s settings. For instance, if your grandmother’s wedding ring is finally starting to show its age, Your jeweler let you know, and give you a reasonable estimate for how much it will cost to fix the problem. After all, even jewelry settings made of the finest metals will weaken over time.

With biannual cleanings and jewelry “check ups” like these you can catch issues before they become a real problem, because no one ever wants to look down at their antique engagement ring to the discover, to their horror, that the stone has fallen out and become lost. Granted, everyone is busy, and no one wants to add something else to his or her to-do list. But taking your jewelry to a professional periodically is a smart investment of both time and money because you are taking care of some of the most valuable items that you own.