Have you ever found an old piece of family jewelry or inherited a vintage watch from a late grandparent? Are you holding onto a piece that shined brighter in a past life? Maybe your watch or wedding ring requires cleaning, but you aren’t sure how often to have it done. We asked Kim and David Purdy from D&K Jewelers in Wheat Ridge, Colorado how to keep our watches, necklaces, bracelets, and rings sufficiently cleaned, as well as how to tell whether a piece requires reconditioning or complete repurposing.
Jewelry Cleaning & Maintenance
Kim recommends getting your regularly worn jewelry cleaned and inspected twice a year. That's easier to remember if you associate it with the special occasion by which you received it. An example is getting your wedding ring inspected six months after your anniversary or cleaning a necklace every December and then in the summer if you received it as a Christmas gift.
For custom or vintage pieces that tend to lie in your jewelry box, this level of maintenance may not be necessary. However, Kim and David get plenty of clients who need an old family brooch repaired or a dated ring detailed. For quality assurance, D&K typically requests that they see custom pieces or repair work for a final inspection a couple of weeks after the work is done. This is to make sure that everything is still in place and that it’ll hold in the future.
Reparations & Alterations
At D&K Jewelers, a sale isn’t the real objective. Kim, who manages the creative design process, often works with clients who’d like to completely alter vintage pieces of family jewelry or repurpose a piece for a brand new item. While most big name jewelers don’t question these requests, Kim chooses to discuss it. She gets to know her clients, what their jewelry means to them, and what style of adornments they tend to wear. Then she is able to draft a design and relay the vision over to David, who handles the cutting and casting himself.
While David and Kim will certainly repurpose your old family jewelry into something fresh, they just aren’t as quick to do so. Often it’s not a matter of preserving the soul of the jewelry but an issue of structural integrity.
Kim offered an example of a recent client who’d just inherited some pieces from her mother and grandmother. D&K Jewelers was asked to take it apart for a new project, however, the duo ended up recommending against that. According to Kim, if they attempted to remove some of the stones on the piece, the original filigree hand work would be destroyed. While many shops might disregard this and take it apart anyway, Kim convinced the client of the design’s importance, “If it’s in pristine condition, old, or vintage, I won’t recommend taking it apart, but most of the time, customers want to turn old jewelry into something else. In this case the customer was so happy that we made a few small changes to her piece and added a gemstone in place of a big diamond. She was so grateful that we talked her into doing what we did."
Tools of the Trade
D&K Jewelers is old school. David sits down with a piece of circular wax and cuts rings by hand, the old fashioned way, and he's an expert in hand fabrication. However, the shop isn’t without its technological charms. Kim is trained in CAD to design custom pieces, before building out jewelry with a 3D printer. Then she hands that piece over to Dave. He uses their own set of casting equipment to cast a piece and puts the treasure together. In short, there’s nothing that D&K can’t do when it comes to watches, rings, and all things jewelry.
The two jewelers have been in the trade for most of their lives. David has been cutting, repairing and casting for 44 years. In 2000, he met Kim, who started working at a jewelry store in 1999. They later formed D&K Jewelers and have made a name for themselves by earning the title of Most Popular Wedding Ring Store for three years on Channel 7’s A-List competition. Together, David and Kim have risen and remained within the Top Five Jewelers in Colorado for five years. Visit dnkjewelers.net, to browse their selection, as well as their watch repair, ring resizing, stone replacement, appraisal, and cleaning services, or you can call or text them at 303-421-4194. They look forward to seeing you!