Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's BEAUTIFUL! But, how do I keep it looking that way?

Jewelry is beautiful!  However, jewelry needs a little proper care to help it stay beautiful.  Here are some simple tips to help your jewelry investment stay looking brand new:

  • Sterling silver, copper, brass, and other metal alloys will tarnish if the metal isn't sealed (lacquer, wax, paint, etc.).  The metal will tarnish (also called oxidizing) when exposed to the air. To reduce tarnish, store your jewelry in an air tight container, like a zip-top bag, or with an anti-tarnish strip in your jewelry box. 3M Tarni-Shield and Hagerty are popular brands.
  • Before storing your jewelry, take a moment to wipe body oils, lotions, make-up, or other chemicals off your jewelry pieces with a clean soft cloth. This is especially important for delicate gemstones like pearls, opals, and turquoise.
  • Not all metals and gemstones are created equal.  Some metals and gemstones are more durable than others.  I highly recommend storing each piece of jewelry in its own place/space/compartment.  This will eliminate scratches and dings.
  • Despite your best effort, tarnish may still develop.  If this is the case, a commercial silver polish can be used.
  • Finally, what if I want or like the oxidized look?  What if my jewelry is suppose to have an oxidized or "antiqued" finish?  Simple.  Just buff your jewelry with a soft cloth from time-to-time.  The oxidation will remain in the recesses of your jewelry, keeping the antiqued look.

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