Jewelry. We all love it but we don't love to clean it! Caring for your jewelry correctly is the most important step in maintaining the luster and appearance. The patina can change over time and this can be caused by everything from the air you work in to the chemicals you expose it to.
Here are some easy tips to slow the process as well as some tips on what to do and what not to do with your precious metals:
DO keep a soft polishing cloth on hand. Rub your jewelry with this & do it often. It will turn gray/black and this is normal so don't be alarmed. There's a lot of "yuck" on there that you can't see. Our favorite everyday and inexpensive polishing cloth is the Sunshine Cloth. They're great for sterling silver as well as golds and other precious metals.
DO store your jewelry in a treated jewelry box or jewelry bag when not being worn. This will limit the exposure from the air (yes, the air can cause tarnish) and help to maintain the luster.
DO keep an eye on clasps and prongs. Take them to a jeweler for inspection and repairs, if needed. The small parts on your jewelry can get bent doing your everyday activities. Noone wants to lose their favorite thing!
DON'T use a liquid cleaner without testing it and reading the bottle. Many liquid cleaners are not safe for gemstones and some are not safe for all types of metal.
DON'T use anything rough to clean your jewelry. This will scratch it.
DON'T expose any jewelry pieces to chemicals. Everything we use is filled with chemicals...this is why we suggest you clean it often. Wearing gloves is a great idea when you're cleaning or doing dishes. Eventually (if not immediately) those exposures can turn your something beautiful into something that looks like it was dropped into something awful.
DON'T polish your intentionally oxided jewelry (darkened) without taking extra care to avoid the darkest, recessed areas. Jewelry cleaners will remove some of the oxidization and change the look of your rustic pieces.
Different metals may require different cleaning. Tumbling by a jeweler is another great way to get them sparkling like new. We will cover more details about specific metals in our next post, but until then, feel free to reach out! We are happy to help.
P.S. Did you know that your Ph balance can change the patina of your jewelry and cause discolorations of green and black on your skin? Have you ever paid a hefty price for a gorgeous piece that quickly disappointed you? I sure have. You think you've purchased a low quality piece of jewelry when it's not the jewelry at all. Your acidic ph levels can cause this. If this happens, often a sealer/plating can be put on your metal to act as a barrier between your skin and the metal. This can also happen simply from the lotions and hand sanitizers you use, even makeup and hairspray or colognes and body wash. We always advise that you remove your jewelry, all metals, prior to exposing them to chemicals.
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time...