One of the biggest misconceptions about jewelry I regularly encounter is the idea that once you purchase a piece you're good to go, forever. It would be lovely if that was the case but in reality your jewels need care, just like you do. To what degree of course, depends on the piece.
Here are a few pointers that can help keep your jewels in great shape.
Clean your pieces. There are a few things you can do to keep your pieces like new with simple things you may have laying around at home. Be mindful here of what your piece is made of, stones like turquoise, pearls, and fluorite are very soft and can be easily damaged. (Best leave the deep cleaning of these pieces to a professional.) The metal around them however is easily cleaned with a soft polishing cloth. My personal favorite is the Sunshine polishing cloth, I have some that are dark grey and still work great! You can also use a gentle soap and soft toothbrush to gently scrub places where you might get a little buildup. This will help clean the gunk from under harder stones and keep them shiny and clear. This tip is a perfect 'at home' clean up for your wedding ring. Just think gentle here!! SOFT toothbrush and a soap with no abrasive granules. I like natural liquid soap ones because I know there aren't any strange chemicals lurking in there that might change the metal or etch the piece.
Toothpaste? Toothpaste can be an interesting solution to tarnish but be mindful here! Toothpaste works well because it scrubs your teeth right? Well, it'll scrub your metal too and in that scrubbing it can change the appearance by making little scratches on the surface. Turning your originally shiny piece into one with a satin finish. Ok, if you like that look but best avoided if you aren't sure.
Have your pieces examined. Most jewelers recommend that you have your pieces examined about every three months to make sure stones are properly secured. It's completely reasonable to ask them to clean your piece at that time too, if they forget to offer it. Who doesn't want their piece to come out looking bright, shiny and new?!
Stones can fall out. I was given an eternity band, and at the beginning lost 3-4 stones at various times over the first few months. Now, chances are, you aren't as hard on your hands as I am. However, learning little tricks like taking off your rings when chopping wood or doing yard work can save you a lot of hassle. (I have an idea about wearing jewelry as a a CONSTANT reminder of intentions, vows, etc so I like to wear it ALL the time. So this trick took me a while to get! oops!) Now, in some cases it means that the piece wasn't made properly but sometimes it's in how you wear things. If you're hard on things, be mindful and remove them.
Keep them in a jewelry box. Stones are funny little things and some can be very temperamental. A lot of stones that you'll encounter are treated for one reason or another. Some are heated to change their color, some having coatings (like the "mystic' variety of Topaz), some are dyed ( common in chalcedony). To make sure that your stones keep their color store them in a cool dark place. I like to keep my in small plastic bags in a jewelry box, that way you don't have to spend so much time worrying about tarnishing. 2 birds with one stone, gotta love that!
Hope some of these have helped you out! If you have questions, always feel free to write me and remember, err on the side of CAUTION here. Your jewelry is a great investment and you want to have it for as long as you can. Treat it gently and if you have doubts, take it to a professional.
These are just suggestions, please use common sense when handling your jewelry!
I'll be posting more articles about good jewelry care, traveling with your jewels and easy home repair. So stay tuned and if you aren't already a part of my mailing list please consider joining!
Digging on: Filtered water with peppermint essential oils. Very cooling for your body in the summer!
Rocking out to: Rioux
inspired by this combo. Pyrite and Emerald (Pantone's color of the year.) You might see a piece with this combo soon!