Keeping Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Keeping Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Tick tock. Check your watch. Every 16.4 seconds, a home burglary takes place in the United States. That number is scary enough on its own, but it gets even scarier when you’re away on vacation, leaving your home vulnerable to opportunistic criminals who can spot signs of your absence from a mile away.

That’s one reason why having a solidly rated safe — and ideally, a security system to back it up — is so important. Often, seeing that your home and valuables are well-protected is enough to deter criminals from even trying. But don’t stop there: Use the following tips to help keep your home safe while you’re away.Continue reading

How to Remove Scratches From a Watch Face

How to Remove Scratches From a Watch Face

The watch crystal — that is, the glass front on your watch — is made to protect the delicate workings inside while still letting you see the time. But when scratches build up in the glass, your view of time starts getting fuzzy.

If the watch crystal is otherwise in good shape and you’re feeling brave, you can buff out most scratches on your own using a rotary tool, buffing wheel, and polishing compound. You’ll also need some masking tape and a soft cloth, and if the scratch is deep a sanding disk will make things go much faster.Continue reading

Remaking an Heirloom Piece of Jewelry

Remaking an Heirloom Piece of Jewelry

The memories in a family heirloom are always precious — but let’s face it, every so often the look of the heirloom doesn’t match its meaning. Styles change, tastes change — and sometimes even the loveliest of family treasures becomes worn down to the point that it’s in danger of breaking and must be rebuilt.

Think it through carefully

The decision to give a treasured heirloom a facelift isn’t easy — but if it’s important to you that those treasured memories be worn and displayed, sometimes having the jewelry remade is your only viable option.Continue reading

Resizing a Keepsake Ring

Resizing a Keepsake Ring

Sometimes, the most precious rings in your life won’t fit your finger — whether they’ve been handed down through the family or your own ring size has simply changed over time.

When that happens you can try these temporary fixes for a too-large ring or, if it’s too small, wear it on a chain around your neck. But if the heirloom is going to be worn regularly you may want to get it resized, so it’ll look (and feel) the best on your finger.Continue reading

How To Clean Vintage Jewelry

How To Clean Vintage Jewelry

Cleaning probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you pull your great-grandmother’s treasured heirloom brooch out of your jewelry safe. If you’re dealing with vintage costume jewelry, that’s actually a good thing; these relatively delicate pieces can be damaged by the strong cleaning solutions meant to tackle solid silver or gold.

If your vintage jewelry is made of fine metals, however, you can usually clean it just as you’d clean fine jewelry of any age — tackle minor tarnishing or soil with a high-end cleaner that’s formulated for use on the metal in question, then store carefully to keep your jewelry in pristine condition. Just keep in mind that if your keepsake includes gemstones, you must also take their care requirements into account. (Some metal cleaners will scratch delicate gems like pearls.)Continue reading

How To Replace A Watch Crystal

How To Replace A Watch Crystal

Replacing a watch crystal is a delicate, precise operation — not the best DIY project to tackle if the watch is in any way precious to you, antique, expensive, or otherwise difficult to replace. If that’s the case, the best course of action is taking your damaged watch straight to a professional watchmaker. (If you can’t find an independent watchmaker near you, inquire of a professional jeweler.)

On the other hand, if you like the challenge of doing things yourself or you’re working on an inexpensive watch you don’t mind ruining (in a worst-case scenario), learning to replace your own watch crystals is a case study in fun, delicate fiddling.Continue reading

How To Care For Vintage Watches

How To Care For Vintage Watches

A vintage, mechanical watch’s timekeeping may vary by as much as 30 seconds per day — but they’re still incomparable, functional works of art. Treat them right, and they’ll stay in your family for generations more.

As long-lived as vintage watches may be, they’re also surprisingly vulnerable. Some of their internal pivots are as slender as a human hair and, despite the labeling you may see on some older watches, they’re almost never shock resistant or waterproof. (The advent of consumer protection laws put a stop to these spurious claims.)

That’s why, as simple as it seems, one of the best things you can do for your watch is standing over a soft surface when you put the watch on or take it off. If you happen to drop the watch, that soft surface offers some protection against jarring. You should also protect your watch from dust, heavy rain, and any extremes of humidity or heat. That means no leaving it in a parked car or keeping it in the restroom while you shower.Continue reading

Tips For Keeping Your Pearl Jewelry Safe

Tips For Keeping Your Pearl Jewelry Safe

Pearls are more delicate than you might think: Contact with metal and gemstones, another pearl, or even rough textiles can scratch them. Exposure to chemicals, including everyday cosmetics, can mar or pit pearls. If allowedto dry out they may discolor, or even crack.

The good news is that caring for and storing your pearls really isn’t that complicated. All you have to do is follow a simple series of dos and don’ts to keep your pearl jewelry safe:

DO store strands of pearls flat. This both protects the fine silk they’re strung on and reduces the risk of strands bumping into each other, or into hard surfaces. If there’s a clasp on the strand, fasten it to prevent tangles.

DO separate strands of pearls by placing each in a different, lined section of your safe’s jewelry tray. You can also stack them, as long as you place padding between each strand.

DO wrap your pearls in a soft, breathable material, like linen, chamois, or tissue paper.   This protects them from bumping into other jewelry or hard surfaces. Often, new pearl jewelry will come in special packaging that’s perfect for this use.Continue reading

Some Things Are Just Too Special Not to Have a Jewelry Safe

Some Things Are Just Too Special Not to Have a Jewelry Safe

Regardless of what the weather is doing, you know it’s finally spring – with the promise of summer – when your mailbox is suddenly bursting with weighty envelopescontaining invitations, RSVP cards, and driving directions.

It’s an exciting time full of magic and romance as well as many bits of glitter and shine.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the iconic piece of jewelry that signifies love, union, and the promise of forever: the engagement ring.

For many individuals, this is the most expensive piece of jewelry they will own as well as the most precious. It’s also the most exposed and unconsciously neglected. More often set on a counter top – frighteningly close to drains – than tucked into a jewelry safe.

According to a detailed survey performed by XO Group Inc., in 2011 the average cost of an engagement ring was $5,200 (a luxury engagement ring ran an average of $13,500). Additionally, it took the giver around three months to choose it. Considering all of the emotion, time, thought and, if we’re honest, money that goes into choosing an engagement ring, keeping it safe is the most important thing we can do on its behalf.Continue reading

Preserving Grandmother’s Wedding Ring

Preserving Grandmother’s Wedding Ring

Dear Brown Safe,

You know how in romance books, the hero always has his mother’s or grandmother’s wedding ring passed down to give to his blushing bride? I am one of those lucky men,

blushing bride and all. It gets better:We were high school sweethearts and deeply in love even back then. Of course I had eyes for other girls because I was 16, and what does a 16-year-old guy do? He looks at 16-year-old girls. You know how it is. But there was no doubt in either of our minds that my heart was always hers, and when her father was transferred to another office and the entire family had to relocate, I was heartbroken.Continue reading