How to Care for Handmade Jewelry
FOLLOW THESE SUGGESTIONS TO KEEP YOUR TREASURES LOOKING LIKE NEW.
You’ve scoured the Internet, the local craft fair and the independent boutique downtown, and finally found the piece of handmade jewelry that was destined to be worn by you and you alone. The color matches your eyes, the dangle on the earring is precisely the length you prefer and that bracelet is the ideal accent to your favorite dress. In short: One of a kind perfection.
Now that you’ve found this oh-so-ideal soul mate accessory, how can you ensure that it lasts for years to come? Most women simply make the purchase and then give nary a thought to properly caring for an item to make sure it lasts. Though handmade jewelry can be delicate, a few extra precautions means you’ll be wearing it for years–or at least until you find your next soul mate.
That tangle of necklaces, bracelets and earrings on the top of your dresser isn’t doing anyone any good. It will only frustrate you when you’re trying to accessorize before dashing out the door and it will ruin your beautiful baubles. Do yourself a favor and get into the habit of properly storing jewelry, both handmade and otherwise.
Anything silver should be kept in a jewelry box or sealed container to prevent air and moisture induced tarnishing. Hang non-silver necklaces or bracelets on a hook to prevent tangling, a small earring stand or even the rim of a cute teacup can be used to hold and protect your earrings. Rings and broaches should be placed in a jewelry box or drawer; avoid piling them in a basket or bowl as this will only scratch and damage the items.
You may have never thought that the oil from your skin, the residue from your perfume or simply the dust in the air could be lurking on the beads and in the nooks and crannies of your favorite necklace or bracelet. But it is there and may be slowly damaging your treasured accessories. Avoid this scenario by lovingly and regularly cleaning items you wear the most.
A good rule of thumb is to always use a cleaner meant for the item you are cleaning. Gold cleaner for gold, silver cleaner for silver, etc. Be careful with gemstone and beaded jewelry, as harsh cleaners meant for metal can damage the shine and polish on delicate gemstones and beads. When in doubt, lukewarm soapy water and a gentle cloth will do the trick to ensure that your jewelry doesn’t slowly decay in your drawer when you least expect it.
Protecting your handmade jewelry before it gets damaged or dirty is the key to its longevity. Never wear handmade jewelry when swimming or sunbathing, when cleaning with harsh chemicals or when doing strenuous activities that produce excessive sweat. Also, be aware when lifting or pushing heavy items (even your suitcase!), wrists and fingers bend and flex which could wreak havoc on handmade rings or bracelets. If you’re unsure, take it off and save yourself the disappointment of a broken bauble.
- The Handmade Jewelry Boxes on this page are designed & crafted by Jim Fiola of DC Wood Boxes. what a beautiful way to store your handmade jewelry in beautiful handmade jewelry boxes made in New Jersey. Thank you Jim for allowing us to use these pictures. Your work is stunning!