There are a few points regarding the well-being of your jewelry that are especially important at this time of year.

Travel is often part of the agenda for the holidays, and you should exercise extra care with your jewelry if you plan on being away. First, try not to make it obvious that you’re not home. At the very least, leave a light on. Even better, have some lights on timers. Have the newspaper and mail held, even if it’s just for a few days, and if you live in a house, arrange for someone to shovel (or plow) your walk or driveway as needed. Failing that, ask a neighbor to walk up to your door and out to the street several times after a snowfall. It may sound elementary, but do remember to lock your doors and windows.

Even if you will be gone for only a day or two, it is strongly recommended that your jewelry not be kept in an obvious place in your home, such as in a jewelry box left on top of your dresser, or “concealed” in a top drawer. (Never leave jewelry out in plain sight.) Fine jewelry should be carefully hidden when it is not being used, particularly at this time of year if your plans include travel. If you will be using public transportation or staying in a hotel, you should make every attempt to minimize the amount of jewelry you bring with you, and never leave jewelry unattended in a suitcase, whether it’s in your hotel room, an airplane, or your car.

Staying home and preparing a special meal, or baking holiday treats? Remember that jewelry worn on the hands (especially pieces containing stones of any type) is not impervious to damage, or to becoming caked with dough or other food substances that may prove to be very difficult to remove by normal means. Always take off rings or bracelets when preparing food, and never wear anything loose (such as a long neckchain or bracelet) when working with powered kitchen equipment such as a mixer— it’s a recipe for trouble.

Visiting the grandchildren, or young nieces or nephews? Try to avoid wearing dangling earrings when in close contact with infants. It only takes a fraction of a second for a child to grab a sparkly earring and give it a surprisingly strong yank, and a torn earlobe is no laughing matter. Think ahead, and keep yourself (and your jewelry) safe.
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Joe Brandt is a local resident, and President of J.L. Brandt Company, offering diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public. Questions or comments may be directed to JLBCO@hotmail.com. All inquiries are confidential, and responses are provided as a public service.