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Guide to Jewelry Care

Summary

  • Sterling silver is a natural material and will tarnish
  • You can take steps to mitigate the effect by storing your jewelry properly when not in use, for example, in air-tight bags
  • Our silver jewelry is 925 "sterling" silver (not plated with rhodium), which makes it safer to polish
  • Be careful not to rub oxidized and gold-plated finishes. Polishing an oxidized finish too briskly will remove the blackened effect.
  • For thorough cleaning, we recommend dipping your sterling silver jewelry in a solution like Sambol, which we use in our store

 

Maintaining one’s prized collection of jewelry is a must if we want to keep them in tip-top condition and preserve the majestic, wonderful look they had when you just first laid eyes on them. A lot of people even believe that jewelry care is also an extension of self-care. In this article, we will outline the different steps involved in the general jewelry care and also some tips for specific types of jewelry that you might possess in your collection.

General Jewelry Care

Every day, things such as lotions, soaps, and dust can clog up your jewelry and make them appear dull and lifeless. The good news is that in the majority of cases, you don’t have to visit a professional to regain the fabulous shine that your jewelry had and keep it looking beautiful longer. Here are some general tips when it comes to jewelry care.

Remove Jewelry Before Sleeping

This may be an obvious thing to do, but many of us forget or don’t bother to remove our jewelry before heading to bed due to various reasons such as having had a rough day. Necklaces, chains, and earrings are especially left on all night. The constant movement when sleeping can entangle necklaces or chains and may even damage them.

Remove Jewelry Before Swimming

Whether it be in the hot tub, the sauna, or even the sea, always make sure that you have removed all your jewelry before taking a dip in the water. Many if not all jewelry can be permanently damaged when exposed to chemicals found in pools, the heat of saunas, and even seawater.

Remove Jewelry Before Exercise

Exposure to excessive amounts of sweat during exercise can damage jewelry by oxidizing them or changing the color of the metals. Additionally, rings can also be damaged or bent when worn while using exercise equipment such as dumbbells and might even have a chance to damage your finger too. Always be sure to remove them before hitting the gym for you and your jewelry’s sake.

Properly Store Unused Jewelry

Having proper storage for jewelry such as a jewelry box is integral in keeping your jewelry in top condition and to also avoid misplacing such expensive items. It is recommended to keep your jewelry box away from direct heat such as sunlight as it can damage the jewelry inside. Make sure to store the jewelry inside separately as to avoid chains or necklaces getting tangled and fragile pieces colliding with each other.

Specific Jewelry Care

Different types of jewelry will require specific steps or measures to ensure that they retain their beautiful look. This section will list a type of jewelry and some tips to keep them in top condition.

925 Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is quite beautiful and with this beauty comes fairly high maintenance, this is especially true depending on where you live. Areas near the coast or areas with high humidity will tarnish silver jewelry much faster compared to other areas. However, if you take measures to properly care for your 925 Sterling Silver jewelry then it will last longer.

One of the main causes of silver tarnishing is it being constantly exposed to air. The less air that comes into contact with your silver, the longer it will take before tarnishing. Make sure that your jewelry case is air-restricted. However, not all jewelry cases will be 100% airtight. Alternatively, you can also place them inside air-tight zip-lock baggies.

Keeping your silver jewelry far away from items containing sulfur is also a must. Some common items that contain sulfur are onions, latex, rubber, and wool. For cleaning and general maintenance, you will only need a cleaning cloth such as microfiber, anything else might be too rough and cause scratches.

925 Sterling Silver Oxidized Finish

Also known as blackened silver or oxidized silver, a 925 Sterling Silver with an oxidized finish is still true sterling silver with a surface that has been blackened through a chemical process. This is basically speeding up the tarnishing process but only on the exterior of the metal to give it a cool, dark look. Caring for this type of jewelry will be the same as taking care of normal 925 Sterling Silver. Take note that aggressive polishing can strip off the black finish, any cleaning should only be done with mild soap detergent and soft brushes.

18k Gold Plated Finish

Gold plated jewelry may not be made out of solid gold but it still looks like the real deal while not draining your entire bank account. Gold plated jewelry has a base of another metal such as silver that is coated with a magnificent outer gold layer. However, gold plating can still be tarnished and become worn out without the proper care and attention it needs. The general care tips will still apply for gold plated jewelry such as removing them before swimming and exercising. You will want to wipe your gold plated jewelry after every use to remove any gunk and dirt. You can also soak them in soapy, warm water, and then dry them with a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth. Use a soft toothbrush when cleaning between crevices.

14k or 18k Yellow Gold

General jewelry care procedures still apply to gold jewelry. Because gold is a fairly soft metal, it is very susceptible to bangs and scratches, especially the 18K variants. So be careful and try to remove your gold jewelry when performing rigorous physical activities. To keep its beautiful shine, it is highly recommended to regularly clean your gold jewelry by soaking it in warm soapy water and brushing it using only soft toothbrushes and drying with microfiber cloths.

14k or 18k White Gold

White gold jewelry is one of the hottest trends today, it is one of the top chosen metals for engagement rings. To keep that beautiful silvery-white shine, white gold jewelry needs to be routinely cleaned and cared for. Following general jewelry care and soaking them in warm soapy water like other gold jewelry and avoiding wearing them during physical activities will ensure that its beauty will last for a long time.

Bronze

Bronze jewelry, like any other type of jewelry, will tarnish with time. You will know that your bronze jewelry has tarnished when you see a greenish-colored layer developing on the surface of the metal. By following general jewelry care you can extend the beautiful bronze shine of your jewelry. It is recommended to wipe down your bronze jewelry with a soft cloth after use to remove any excess oil from your skin which can expedite the tarnishing process.

Microfiber Cloths

Last but not least, a microfiber cloth is one of the most important things you should have in your jewelry care kit. Microfiber cloths will help wipe all the dirt and debris off your jewelry and not scratch them in the process. When cleaning microfiber cloths, use cold or warm water. Avoid using hot water.