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5 Warning Signs That Your Jewelry Is More Damaged Than You Realize

Written by Gabrielle Brulotte
April 6, 2022

Wear and tear are unavoidable on the wedding rings, watches, or favorite bracelets that we wear daily, so those pieces deserve special attention. Knowing how to read the warning signs that your jewelry is damaged will help you keep the jewelry you love most looking great and working as it should for the long term. Here’s how to identify the subtle signs that indicate it’s time for a repair so you can address potential damage before it's too late.

Watch Warning Signs to Look Out For

Running Behind

If your watch isn’t keeping time, that’s definitely a sign it’s time to have it serviced. Poorly lubricated or worn-down parts are common issues that can cause your watch to run slow. If you’re unsure of what’s going on, an expert will be able to identify the precise cause of the problem. Having your watch serviced regularly will help you avoid any permanent damage and make sure your watch is running the way it's supposed to. That’s especially true if the piece is vintage — collectors, take note!

Odd Sounds

Another sign your watch may need servicing is odd noises. It's a good idea to get into the habit of listening to how your watch sounds when it’s running smoothly so you'll be able to identify when something's not quite right. A professional watchmaker will be able to make sure that nothing's out of place and tighten anything that has come loose or been knocked out of whack.

Your Everyday Rings Show Signs of Wear Too


Center Prong Retipped

We often forget to tend to the rings we wear every day, because getting them cleaned and serviced would require us to take them off! Building a routine around regular cleanings can help you avoid serious and even irreparable damage. Still, there are plenty of warning signs to look out for that are specific to rings. Notice if your ring is catching on fabrics as you move throughout your day; that may be a sign that the prongs are damaged or your stone is loose. If you end up losing a stone, don’t stress — just hold onto the stone and a professional jeweler can reset it for you. If that stone is gone forever, there's a solution for that too: custom jewelry services allow you to pick a new stone or design something brand new to replace it.

Warning Signs Specific to Metal Jewelry

If you wear metal jewelry, the most important sign to keep an eye out for is discoloration. Changes in metal coloring usually indicate some kind of erosion or fatigue, which can be quite common. Exposure to the elements and substances like water, perfume, lotions, and oils on the skin can all impact the appearance of metals. Vintage and older pieces are particularly vulnerable to this because the metal alloys that were popular in the past can be more reactive and volatile. Getting your metal jewelry cleaned (or even re-plated) by a professional is a good way to make sure it gets exactly the attention it requires.


A Tiffany's necklace that was polished to remove discoloration.

How to Detect Damage on Pearl Strands & Beaded Jewelry

The strings that hold together beaded jewelry—especially something as valuable as authentic pearls—need extra attention. Imagine what would happen if the string snapped unexpectedly at a luxurious restaurant or a big gala — your precious pearls would spill out everywhere like in a movie! Avoid that kind of a scene by periodically checking to see how your jewelry strings are holding up. The frequency with which you need to restring or service your beaded jewels depends on how often you wear them. With pearls, 24 months is a good rule of thumb. You can check the integrity of the string on a beaded piece yourself by looking in between the pearls to see if the string itself or the knots between each bead are starting to look frayed.

By the time your jewelry is showing the obvious signs of damage, the harm is already done. Paying attention to these warning signs will help you avoid serious problems and keep you wearing your favorite pieces for years to come. When you’re ready for the professional touch, we’re here to help. Get started with the jewelry repair services you need here.

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