- 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.
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
- In addition to working with chemicals, never wear pearls while bathing
- 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.