Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keepin It Clean ... Caring for Your Jewelry


Caring for Your Jewelry

You can just never have enough jewelry!


Jewelry is one of our favorite and most personal accessories. But did you know that chemicals found in everyday substances like hair spray, lotions, perfumes and other cosmetics can permanently damage the luster of pearls and the shiny finish of silver and gold? Exposure to chemicals, even household cleaners and chlorinated swimming pools, can damage and discolor precious metals and may harm some colored gems. The sulfides in air pollution will cause silver to darken, and the more humid the climate, the faster sterling will tarnish. Knowing how to care for your jewelry can make all the difference in keeping it beautiful for generations to come.

Perfumes & lotions can be very harmful to jewelry, especially pearls ...

The most difficult is cleaning jewelry that includes gemstones within the piece. If your sterling silver jewelry begins to show signs of tarnish, simply wipe it clean with a silver cloth. Most cloths come in two parts: a cleaning cloth and a polishing cloth. A chemically treated cloth, makes the job a lot easier and faster. The Sunshine Cloth is one of the best known and is great for sterling silver and won't harm gemstones. I would avoid silver dips because some may take the color and polish off many gemstones. Special cloths are also available for cleaning gold.

Considered the best ... Sunshine® Polishing Cloth for Sterling Silver, Gold, Brass and Copper Jewelry

Some stones are notoriously delicate:
Amber
Coral
Drusy
Emeralds
Foil-backed glass stones
Malachite
Mother of pearl
Opals
Pearls
Peridot
Unstabilized turquoise

These delicate gems need VERY gentle cleaning. They should not be exposed to silver dips, ammonia, hot solutions, ultrasonic cleaning or any abrasives. Due to their organic nature, these gems are both soft and porous. Be careful about chemicals in hair spray, cosmetics or perfume. They can damage pearls in particular. Opals also require special care. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or ammonia, and avoid heat and strong light. Opaque gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise and malachite require special care because they are rocks, not crystals. They should just be gently wiped clean with a moist cloth. These gemstones can be porous and may absorb chemicals, even soap, which may build up inside the stone and discolor it. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia or any chemical solution.

Compact-size Ultrasonic cleaners are available for at-home use ... but Be Careful what you use them on!!!

Liquid silver jewelry is very difficult to clean. You can use a soft cotton cloth or a Sunshine Cloth. Avoid dips. They leave residue deposits between each bead and make the necklace stiff. A good alternative is to take dry baking soda (or baking powder) and rub it on the liquid silver beads. Then pat and brush off the dry powder.

Now that your beautiful jewelry is clean, the question is how to keep it from tarnishing and becoming dull again? Put your jewelry on after applying makeup,lotions, perfume and hair products. In a perfect world, after wearing your silver jewelry, take a few seconds to wipe it off with a soft clean cloth. But that's in a perfect world . . .

I recommend keeping jewelry tightly sealed in ziplock jewelry bags with no-tarnish strips (available from most jewelry suppliers) inside with the jewelry. Change the strips every 3 to 6 months, depending on where you live and how fast jewelry tends to tarnish. Common blackboard chalk will also help prevent tarnish, as well as activated charcoal. Pacific silvercloth is embedded with thousands of particles of silver. These silver particles absorb tarnish-producing gases, keeping your sterling silver clean and shining between uses.


May be cut into squares and stored with individual pieces of jewelry in a plastic baggie

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked. Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or thrown on top of a dresser - that's just asking for scratches and cracked gemstones. Almost every gemstone is much harder than the metal it is set in. Gems can scratch the finish on your silver and gold, and the harder stones can scratch the softer ones. By storing each piece of gemstone jewelry separately in an airtight baggy, you can prevent scratches and wear, as well as tarnish.

Keep your special jewelry safe for generations to come!

WOW!!! The Ultimate in Jewelry Storage ;D


Contributor: Jill Q of jQ jewelry designs




36 comments:

  1. Great information for all jewelry wearers!

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  2. Lots of great info. Thanks! And I LOVE that jewelry storage!

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  3. What great info!! !I needed this!!

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  4. Wow, very informative! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thanks for all the information, I am going to reference this when I get a ring ;)

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  6. Great article! I have a white gold ring that is starting to look dingy, so I will be referencing this when I decide to finally clean it!

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  7. This is a great post! I have some jewelry that are waiting to be cleaned :)
    As a blogger, I need to mention one thing about the images used: if you did not take those photos or don't own them, you should link back to the source of the images (or where ever you found them). This is a safer way of avoiding legal trouble should the owner of those images find this post and contact you about it.

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    Replies
    1. Jill always finds clip art that is free :))

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  8. What a fabulous and useful page. I am going to share!

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  9. Great post! and clever advices !

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  10. This was a good read, and I totally need that dual purpose mirror!

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  11. Wow...great information... I thought as long as I used those dips I was ok... I do not own much as I can only wear it for very short periods of time therefore it sits for long periods of time...It all needs cleaning NOW!

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  12. Wonderful post with lots of useful info. I love the mirror jewelry case :)
    Amy

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  13. Great information. I've used white chalk for years and keep things in sealed bags. Of course, this means things aren't always where I can see them. LOL I love the treated cloths.

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  14. Great post plus, interesting information! thanks!

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  15. What a very informative and helpful post, I didn't even know the information listed here. Thanks, this will come in handy.

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  16. What a great article. The whole world (at least the female part) should read this.

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  17. Thanks Jill, I learn so many new things! One of them is that I really need the storage in the last picture:))

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  18. What a great article and tons of wonderful tips! Thanks so much for sharing! *Ü*

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  19. Thank you Jill for writing an article for our blog!!! Very informative !!

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  20. Jill, this is so informative. Thanks so much. I love the storage unit.

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  21. Wow - great information!! I am on the naughty list for jewelry storage for sure!

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  22. So clever and informative! I use boxes with non-tarnish lining for my sterling silver jewelry.

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  23. Love this post! Such great info. Thanks!

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  24. Wow, this is a great post Jill!! Great information.

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  25. Great information on how to care and clean your jewelry. I don't wear a lot of jewelry (just my wedding ring and a pair of earrings), but this will be handy to keep for future information....in case one day I DO wear oodles of baubles. ;-)

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  26. Great advice Jill !! Thank You :)

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  27. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

    Jewelry Cleaning and Polishing Products

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  28. I think this utterly useful, because people often buy jewelries and go on increase their collections but they forget that the older the jewelry gets it should be taken care off ore efficiently. I think i just loved your tips.

    Sterling Silver Jewelry

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  29. Weddings are never complete without the favors, or trinkets that serve as thank you presents given to guests who attended the couple’s nuptials...
    Make your jewelry clean

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  30. Good information dear. jewelery care is very important, some interesting stuff aboutBrass Jewelery Cleaning Tips to share

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  31. I LIKE ONES POST DUE TO THE FACT IT IS EXTREMELY GREAT FOR ME PERSONALLY.

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