A Little Goes a Long Way...
Handcrafted using the finest metals + gemstones and designed specifically with the pleasure of carefree daily wear in mind, the vast majority of our artisan jewelry requires minimal maintenance. Depending on your lifestyle, however, the following tips will help maintain the brilliance of your pieces for many years to come:
- Salt water, chlorine and dirt are the bane of beautiful jewelry, so take off prized pieces when swimming, gardening, exercising, etc. This simple act alone will help mightily against tarnish, scratches, fading, and other inadvertent damage.
- It's also a good idea to take an extra few moments and allow perfume, lotions and gels to dry before putting on your jewelry. The chemical makeup of these particular products can definitely speed up oxidation/tarnish.
- At the end of the day, metal is metal. Over time, exposure to air, moisture, and skin oils will cause a natural patina to develop. To curtail this process, clean oft-worn pieces regularly and store in anti-tarnish pouches.
- Speaking of proper storage... necklaces have been known to tangle, earrings to break, and precious gems to get scratched. Using a well-made, padded jewelry case can minimize that potential -- and unnecessary -- heartache.
- Fact: sterling silver will tarnish over time. Also fact: ordinary toothpaste makes a great polish. Gently apply with fingers, soft cloth or old toothbrush; rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Tarnish magnets to avoid? For starters, excessive sunlight, humidity, wool, latex, and rubber bands. Acidic foods such as vinegar, mayonnaise, fruit juice, salsa, etc. And salt, which both corrodes and mottles silver surfaces.
- Oxidized (blackened) silver will also develop highlights over time -- but in a good way. Do not use chemicals, commercial cleaners or commercial polishing cloths as they will irretrievably alter the desired finish.
- Polishing 101: work in an up-and-down motion, not circular -- this will help de-emphasize fine scratches. Rotate your cleaning cloth/toothbrush frequently so tarnish isn't deposited back onto your piece.
- For almost all gems, a soak in a lukewarm solution of mild dish soap and warm water is generally a safe place to start. Gently scrub with a soft, non-metallic brush; dry thoroughly with separate lint-free cloth.
- Porous stones such as Opal, Lapis and Turquoise, however, should not be cleaned with soap or soaked in water. Instead, wipe with a damp cloth and dry immediately with lint-free cloth.
- Likewise, never immerse your pearls in water. Rather, carefully wipe each pearl with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Blow briskly on the knots and drill holes to help dissipate excess moisture.
- Pearls and perspiration do not mix. If worn against your skin, definitely clean before storing -- in a protective jewelry pouch, naturally -- to avoid potential discoloration.
- Diamonds are not soap, lotions, powders, or even natural skin oils best friend. They form a film and cut down on the "glow factor" due to diminished amounts of light entering the stone and refracting back in all its glory.
- Gold doesn't tarnish, but suffers from the same grimy culprits as diamonds. To keep both shining bright, soak for 20 minutes in warm water, a drop of ammonia + mild detergent. Skip the brushing tools; use your fingers instead.
- If gadgets appeal to you, an eco-friendly steam cleaner is also a good way to go. For extra large collections, a time-saving ultrasonic cleaner can also be a worthy investment.
- Above all, remember that gold is a soft metal. And diamonds have been known to chip when hit by an accidental blow. So no matter which cleaning/drying method you employ, go slow and be gentle throughout.
- Depending on your body chemistry, a temporary greenish black oxidation mark may appear on your skin when wearing brass. Don't worry, it's not harmful... but you may wish to avoid this metal if you are prone to this reaction.
- Unlike other metals, the patina that accumulates on brass/bronze over time can actually counteract corrosion. (And look good while doing it.) Therefore, it is best to avoid heavy commercial cleaners of any kind.
- To polish naturally, dip a lemon half in salt and gently scrub away grime without damaging the surface. Equal parts lemon juice and baking soda also makes an excellent cleaning paste.
- A generous soak in Coca-Cola also works wonders. As does ketchup.
- (Yes, really. To both.)
- Rule of thumb: organic components require more delicate care than harder metals. Although the allure is undeniable, throwing your pieces into the laundry with your clothes is not advisable.
- Water-resistant or not, removing waxed bracelets prior to showering pr swimming will help maintain long-term durabilty and structure.
- Friendship bracelets need a refresher course? A good soak and gentle rub in a baking soda + water solution (figure 3-4 parts to 1) will help remove stains and odor. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry before wearing again.
- Spot Cleaning: dip a cotton swab in the cleaning solution, then gently rub the problem area with one side of the swab. Dip the other end in plain water, and rub the same spot again. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.