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Sterling Silver Jewelry
Gold Jewelry
 jewelry care    
jewelry is vulnerable while it's being worn, but it can also suffer damage if it isn't stored properly and cleaned. Here are some tips to enhance the life of your jewelry:

  • Last On/First Off: Do not apply makeup, perfume, or hairspray while wearing your jewelry. Wait for them to dry before putting on your jewelry.

  • Remove rings when working with your hands, such as performing household tasks, gardening and using abrasive particles.

  • Try to protect all jewelry from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, sunlight and extreme temperatures.

  • Do not leave your jewelry lying in the sun, which can cause discoloration or fading.
  • Do not pull, tug, or twist your jewelry, especially by the jewels or pearls. Sterling silver wire is a delicate filament and will stretch and break if subjected to too much stress. Silk, satin, leather and even stainless steel will also stretch. It's best not to hang your jewelry. Place it inside a pouch or jewelry box instead.

  • Most of the time, all you need to do to keep your jewelry clean and ready to wear is to use a soft, 100% cotton cloth to gently wipe each piece clean after wearing. To help retard tarnish between wearing, store your jewelry in a cool, dry, dark place. A zip-seal bag with the air gently pressed out of it will greatly prevent tarnish.

  • To remove fingerprints, oils or dirt, add a small amount of mild soap to a half cup of warm water, soak for 2-3 minutes, rinse thoroughly with clean water and use a soft cotton cloth to pat dry your pieces. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them.

  • Never use toothpaste or other abrasives to clean metal or stones, and avoid abrasive commercial jewelry cleaners or “dips,” especially on pieces with an oxidized finish or patina. Silver polish can remove the color, and harsh polishing cleaners will alter the antique look of your jewelry.

  • Never use dips on gemstones or pearls. To remove excessive tarnish on silver, polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a non-abrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any cleaner from the gemstones and rinse carefully with clean water.

  • Avoid soaking porous materials such as cloisonné, pearls, amber, lapis lazuli, turquoise, emerald, malachite, or onyx. These may absorb chemicals, which can cause discoloration in the stone. Wipe them gently with a moist cloth until clean. Never place cloisonné or stones in an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia, or chemical solution.

  • Do not soak opals. Wipe them clean with a soft cleaning cloth.

  • Hematite is a soft ore of iron which can rust if left damp. It should be cleaned with just a soft polishing cloth. If you must clean the silver on jewelry bearing hematite, rinse the stone in water as well, and then blow it dry in high heat and leave it out overnight to completely dry. Remember, the stone will be hot to the touch.

  • For metals, you can use rubbing alcohol to dissolve some of the stickier grime. However, don't use alcohol on any kind of pearl jewelry. Soap and water and a soft brush will take care of most of your cleaning needs. Make sure the brush is VERY soft when used on metal, especially gold, which can be scratched relatively easily. Use a soft cloth that won't leave fuzz or threads behind to dry and buff your jewelry once it's cleaned.

  • The surface coating or "nacre" of cultured pearls is a soft organic material which requires special care to prevent chipping, cracking or discoloration.
  • In addition to working with chemicals, never wear pearls while bathing or swimming.

  • Use a clean, soft, dry cloth to wipe your pearls clean after wearing, and store them in a soft pouch or cloth. Do not store pearls in plastic; in addition to deleterious moisture levels, many plastics emit chemicals which are damaging to pearls.

  • Wash pearls in a mild soap solution and rinse well. Allow them to air dry laying on a soft towel.

  • If your pearls become more heavily soiled, have them professionally cleaned or restrung. You should have this done approximately every two years and more frequently if you wear them often. Wear and pollution weaken the silk fibers on which they are strung.

  • Sterling silver tarnishes naturally and requires occasionally cleaning. Storing your jewelry in plastic bags with an interlocking seal when not in use slows the tarnishing process. Never store pearls in plastic bags. Polish sterling silver and other precious metals carefully with a Sunshine Cloth. Polish both metal and gem beads carefully with a suitable polishing cloth.

  • If you are sending jewelry somewhere, package your jewelry securely in an appropriately sized box. When possible, use a box designed to hold the specific type of jewelry you are sending, since this will hold it securely. Otherwise, wrap each piece individually in cloth, not plastic, and fill empty spaces in the box to keep the jewelry from shifting too much.

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