Interesting fact: pure water by itself doesn't damage sterling silver, but most of the water we're exposed to in our daily lives is not purified. Chemicals and contaminants in the water can result in tarnished and dull looking silver, so it's best to know what's what when it comes to water.
You need appropriate storage for your stunning pieces. And, you need to be diligent about maintenance.
Air exposure can wreck havoc by tarnishing your delicate silver. Don't just leave it lying on your nightstand or in an open jewelry chest. And, don't just leave it in your purse or drawer!
It's best to store silver in individual, air-tight bags with anti-tarnish properties. These types of bags keep air exposure out, and keep the shininess and brilliance intact.
Unclasp and unhook the jewelry to avoid potential scratching. Do NOT bunch several pieces in the same bag to save time or space. This can create tangling, scratching, tarnish, and that is exactly what we are trying to avoid here!
For additional preventative efforts, silica gel packets provide anti-tarnish protection. Throw one in each bag for extra care.
Finally, if you are traveling with your jewelry (because we know you want to look glamorous when in paradise), be sure to use a special case for protection!
Yes, we know how much you love your gorgeous necklaces. And, we know it can be hard to take those babies on and off again. But, it's critical, and here's why.
Strong chemicals, sulfur, sweat and perspiration, chlorine, and harsh sunlight can tarnish and corrode the brilliant shine you love in your silver.
Don't take your chances. Preventative care is significantly easier than dealing with damaged jewelry!
It is optimal to remove jewelry during the following times:
Preventative care is ALWAYS easier than aftercare!
Silver is delicate, and, despite our best efforts, it can still get dirty. Fortunately, sterling silver care can be as easy as a fast rubdown.
To do this, use a simple microfiber cloth or special jewelry cloth (not paper towels or toilet paper) to clean your goods.
Focus on maintaining long up-and-down strokes to clean the jewelry. Be sure to use different parts of the cloth to avoid spreading any tarnish. Do not use circular motions here, as it can actually make the tarnish or dirt worse. Be sure to avoid polishing any part of the jewelry that is intentionally oxidized.
Note: these are natural cleaning methods, as the harsh chemicals in professional cleaning products can be incredibly taxing on your jewelry.
The easiest and safest cleansing method is to apply any toothpaste with fluoride on the silver. You can gently use a soft toothbrush. Then clean it with a soft, dry cloth and finally wash it in lukewarm water. Dry the necklace and the gem with another, clean cloth perfectly. Do not apply toothpaste on the gem!
You will need 2 parts water to 1 part baking soda (use a bit more water if the jewelry has delicate features). Stir into a paste. Use an old toothbrush or cleaning wand to apply this DIY cleaner in gentle motions and movements. Avoid the gem!
Proper caring and maintenance is necessary for any fine jewelry.
If you follow these recommended tips, sterling silver care is incredibly easy! These methods will help prolong the longevity (and beauty) of your necklaces for years to come!
Gems should be stored separately and away from other gems and jewelry. It is recommended that your gem jewels are wrapped individually in a soft cloth and placed inside a fabric-lined jewelry box for extra protection.
When cleaning your gems, it's best to use lukewarm water and a mild soap or detergent. Use only a soft cloth or brush to wipe down stones and rinse well afterwards to remove any soapy residue. As with most gemstones, it is best to avoid ultrasonic cleaners and heat steamers. Do not use any harsh chemicals or cleaners, including bleach, ammonia or acid. Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your gems and jewelry, since chemicals can cause corrosion.
Most stones will be OK in freshwater (or even tap water), but some stones will dissolve in water (such as azurite, angelite, phenakite, selenite, and the like. It doesn't apply for Serendib gems). Some will dissolve or scratch in saltwater, including: amber, turquoise, hematite, imperial topaz, red coral, opals, pyrite, lapis lazuli, moonstone, and calcites. Don't clean rough or raw stones in saltwater or those with a hardness level less than seven (see at the gems).
Make sure any cloth that you use is soft and won't shed fibers. A soft-bristled toothbrush is an option as well, especially for water methods.
Sun, our primary resource of energy is supposed to recharge the gems with universal energy. So, after cleansing your gem, you can gie it a sunbath. However, certain stones will fade if left out in the sunlight. Amethyst is one example. Keep your amethysts out of direct sunlight if you want them to retain their vibrant purple hues. Other stones that will fade include aquamarine, citrine, fluorite, rose quartz, and smoky quartz. Moonlight cleansing can take several hours or days.
You can read more about the specifics of the gems on their own description site.
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