Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring De-Ox

Spring Fever is infectious! Longer days and forecasts of warmer temps have inspired us to spruce up our accessories with a Spring-cleaning. Jewelry can last a lifetime, but preventative care is of utmost importance. We have prepared a few simple cleaning tips to drastically improve the condition of your favorite pieces.

General Jewelry Care
  • Store jewelry separately to avoid scratching.
  • Store jewelry away from heat or direct sunlight.  
  • Apply make-up, hairspray, and perfume before putting on your jewelry.
  • Remove jewelry before doing strenuous activities.
  • Remove jewelry before using household chemicals.
  • Do not wear jewelry in a swimming pool or hot tub.  Chlorine and extreme heat can damage many gemstones and metals.
  • Keep in mind that the harsher the cleaner the more likely your jewelry will be damaged. 

Gold Vermeil Jewelry Care 
Our vermeil jewelry is 14K gold on .925 sterling silver. This ensures a quality metal as opposed to base metals under your gold. We also do not use any nickel to avoid any potential allergy.  The gold plating is sensitive to scratching and cleaning so if you need to polish your jewelry, use only a dry, soft clean cloth. Again, preventative care is the most important tool against tarnish so we always recommend keeping your jewelry an airtight jewelry box.  With vermeil earrings, hanging them in a jewelry box is also a great way to avoid having them scratch themselves. If your jewelry has a water spot, spray Windex on a soft cloth and wipe the spot. For severe tarnish or cleaning, you can lightly use a gold polishing cloth, but repeated use will ruin the surface of the jewelry. DO NOT use a silver polishing cloth, as it will remove the 14K vermeil from the silver. 

Sterling Silver (.925) Jewelry Care
Anti-Tarnish papers help prevent tarnish and corrosion on jewelry by absorbing damaging moisture and other atmospheric dangers. If your jewelry shows signs of tarnish, lightly scrub the surface with a thick paste of baking soda and water using a soft bristled toothbrush.  If the tarnish is more severe, try silver cleaner like Wright's Silver Polish.  

Sterling Silver Matte Finish Tips 
Matte (or "brushed") Sterling Silver can be cleaned with the same methods as standard high-polished jewelry, but to have its brushed finish restored from scratches or tarnishing, use a small piece of Scotch-Brite pad.  By lightly brushing the pad in the same direction as the original strokes, you’ll see the gorgeous matte look reappear with little effort and no chemicals or polishing.

Things to avoid when cleaning
  • Do not use liquid cleaners on stringed necklaces; these may eventually rot the string.
  • We do not recommend prolonged soaking.
  • Do not clean your jewelry over a sink or you may find yourself frantically sourcing a plumber.
  • Rough cloths may scratch metals and softer stones, use soft lint free cloths only.
  • Do not under any circumstances use harsh chemicals on porous like pearls, coral, opals, malachite, ivory, turquoise, shells, amber, marcasite, glued fittings, painted surfaces, or other porous materials
  • Cleaning expensive vintage jewelry is probably a job best left to the professionals.
  • Do not use pins, tweezers or other sharp objects to remove small particles of grime; you will only scratch the metal setting of your jewelry.
  • Abrasive chemicals in certain cleaners can easily damage many metals and softer gemstones. It is always best to start your cleaning with relatively gentle methods before tackling any remaining grime and tarnish.

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke