Sunday, August 2, 2009

Taking Care of Your Jewelry

Here are some tips for taking care of your jewelry. These tips apply to all jewelry, not just my handcrafted silver and gold pieces.

Don't exposre your jewelry to perspiration and dirt. You should remove your jewelry before working in the garden or engaging in other physical labor, exercising, swimming, bathing, etc. Avoid exposure to household cleaners and chemicals that can damage your jewelry - remove your jewelry before dealing with chemicals. It seems logical that pearls and other porous stones can be damaged by chemicals, but even karat gold can be discolored by chemical exposure (to chlorine, for example), even from something like a soak in a hot tub.

Apply your cosmetics, make-up, hair spray, and perfume before putting on your jewelry. Remove bracelets and rings before applying hand lotions and creams. Remove earrings when you have your hair done, especially if you are having it colored.

Jade, turquoise, malachite, and lapis are among porous soft stones that should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or soaked in jewelry cleaner solutions. Softer, more porous stones such as these require extra careful treatment. Avoid using hot water on these stones.

Remember that pearls are precious gems, too. No ultrasonic or soaking in jewelry cleaners – just wipe off with damp soft cloth. If more cleaning is required try soapy water (Ivory flakes) on a soft cloth and dry thoroughly.

Jewelry often comes in a protective bag or box. Store your jewelry flat in a plastic bag. Store pearls in soft bags away from other jewelry which might scratch the pearl’s surface. Never put your jewelry away wet – wipe it off with a damp cloth and air dry.

Store your jewelry in a clean dark dry place. Don’t just toss your jewelry loose into a jewelry box or drawer. Your pieces will scratch each other. A fabric lined jewelry box is ideal and individual bags and jewelry boxes are excellent, too. Store your silver jewelry in a tarnish resistant bag.
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