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!
Tips To Caring For Your Sterling Silver
As women, we love our jewelry. We admire it. We wear it, and we always want it to look as terrific as the day we first bought it. Every type of jewelry, including gold and gemstones, needs to be cared for properly if it is to last a lifetime and sterling silver is no different. Also a precious metal, sterling silver is both durable and strong. When combined with the strength of cubic zirconia, jewelry lovers have one sparkling duo that is sure to last for years to come.
Tip # 1: Always put your jewelry on last.
When you're getting ready for work, school or just running daily errands, it's a good idea to put your jewelry on last. Why? Products such as perfume, hand lotion and even hair spray can cause residue to build up on your jewelry, especially rings, and can make it more challenging to clean. In addition, hand lotion can cause your gemstones to look cloudy, so make sure that it's dry before handling your jewelry and/or putting on your rings.
Tip # 2: Store your jewelry in small bags with a zip closure.
Sterling silver, over time, will tarnish. However, it's worth noting that gold can also become dull and require a quick polish, so the fact that sterling silver too will need polishing is no reason to shy away from it. One way to preserve the beauty of your sterling silver jewelry is by polishing it after each wear and placing it in a zip-loc jewelry bag. These small bags are available in all sizes, and can be found in 1" x 1" measurements and larger depending on your needs. When you're ready to enjoy your jewelry again, simply remove it from the bag and it's ready to wear.
Tip # 3: Keep your sterling silver and cubic zirconia jewelry out of direct light.
If possible, store your jewelry in the gift box that accompanied your purchase. You may be able to slow the tarnishing process by keeping your jewelry out of direct natural and/or indoor light.
Tip # 4: Separate your jewelry to prevent scratching.
If you own jewelry that features high polishing and/or bold designs with surfaces that would show scratches easily, store them separate from other pieces. For instance, earring posts and ring settings could create a problem for neighboring jewelry pieces if they were to be stored loosely in a jewelry box. Instead, store your jewelry in a zip-loc bag and in its original gift box as noted above. Not only is this method of storage ideal for preventing tarnish, but it will also help to prevent contact and unnecessary scratching from other pieces.
Tip # 5: Clean your jewelry with care.
When choosing a cleaner for your jewelry, make sure that it's specifically made for your type of metal and/or gemstones. For instance, some cleaners and polishing cloths are created for sterling silver and others for gold. In addition, some cleaners are not recommended for certain gemstones, so always make sure to read the directions completely before using any product on your jewelry. If in doubt, use only a combination of mild soap and water to keep your jewelry sparkling.
The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional advice on cleaning and/or caring for your jewelry.
Article by: Melanie Sparks