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Quality jewelry is made of elements that will last a lifetime if they are properly taken care of. A family heirloom, a wedding ring, or anniversary pendant should actually last more than a lifetime. While the jeweler plays a role, with warranties, and maintenance, there are many things you can do to ensure your jewelry lasts.

Probably the most routine thing you need to do is clean your jewelry. You have to remember much of your jewelry, especially rings, are exposed to all the dirt and grime the rest of our bodies are. Your jewelry could have oil, cosmetic creams, powders, hand lotion, soap, dirt, and many other things on it. So, the removal of all these is somewhat complex. Using an ultrasonic cleaning machine will do all the work for you. But, most people do not have one, or want to buy one. All quality jewelers will have one.
So, when you are near your jeweler drop off your jewelry. Your jeweler should have you on a maintenance program anyway. But, look at your rings, earrings, or necklaces, and see if they are dirty. If so, drop them off anyway. You do not want dirt and grime underneath a stone, it could damage it or help wiggle it free. Cleaning your jewelry more frequently will not hurt.
Once your jewelry is at the shop, make sure they use the ultrasonic machine and a steamer. A steamer will help blast out any contaminants left in small crevices. The steamer should not be used in place of an ultrasonic machine. If your jeweler is, find another jeweler immediately.

Check Prongs and Stones
Once a week, check your jewelry for any loose prongs or stones. Again, this is something the jeweler will do when you bring it in for cleaning. But, many times, a prong will loosen, and the stone will be lost long before someone takes it to the jeweler for maintenance. As soon as you notice something make sure you fix it yourself, or get it to your jeweler.

Purchase a Selvyt cloth, or polishing cloth. This is a specially made cloth that returns jewelry to its original luster with a good hand-buffing. This will not take the place of cleaning, but will restore your jewelry in between check-ups.