Saturday, March 7, 2009

Caring for your handmade jewelry

I was hoping to write about these awesome new charm necklaces that I wanted to work on this weekend...but my charms haven't come in yet! I'm kinda bummed because I'm soooo looking forward to working with them, and I got some new peruvian opals (gorgeous!) in that are going to look great with them! Hopefully, they'll get here soon. Until are some tips on caring for your handmade jewelry so that you can enjoy it for a lifetime!

1-Jewelry should be the last thing you put on when you get ready in the morning. It should definitely come after hair spray, lotions, and/or perfume.

2-Store your jewelry individually to avoid scratches, reactions to other metals, etc. I use these storage bags that you can find at retail stores, and I love them. I can see everything. They have zippered closures. And my pieces are safe and secure from harm. Also, sterling silver, copper, and brass jewelry will actually tarnish slower if stored in sealed plastic bags.
3-Do not sleep, shower, swim, or clean with your jewelry on. Soaps, chlorine, perspiration, and cleaning products can all cause harm to your jewelry.

4-When caring for gold filled jewelry (which I use a lot), simply wipe it with a soft cloth. Never use a paper towel, tissue paper or kleenex though as they might scratch your jewelry.

5-Sterling silver will tarnish. You can slow down the process by storing it in sealed bags, but tarnish occurs when it is exposed to air so, at some point, it's going to happen. Use a commercial sterling cleaner when this happens, but be careful if your piece contains gemstones. I recommend researching the particular gemstone to be sure that what you do to one part of the piece, is okay for the entire piece. (Be especially careful not to put any of these in chemical cleaners: coral, jade, opal, pearls, or turquoise. There are other gemstones that won't tolerate chemicals...but these are ones that I use commonly and that I know for sure will be damaged by chemical cleaners.)

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