jewelry care

As with any handmade work, a bit of extra care needs to be taken with my jewelry. I craft pieces with sturdy components and the intention that they be worn often, but they are not indestructible. Below are a few tips and tricks for keeping your pieces in good shape.

Storage

  • First off, silver likes to be worn! Our skins natural oils will help prevent tarnish and the pieces you wear often will keep their luster longer.
  • Sterling silver will tarnish naturally, it is simply a chemical reaction with the copper in the metal and the oxygen and sulphur particles in the air. This process can be slowed by storing in a cool, dark place. It will be happiest in an airtight container (ex. plastic baggie) but I know most of us don't do this, so a bit of extra cleaning down the line may be necessary. 
  • Storing jewelry in your bathroom isn't advised as the humidity will tarnish pieces quicker.
  • Pieces with beaded work should be kept hanging or laying flat to keep the strands straight. If you must store them for travel etc, make sure to lay them out flat when you get to your destination -- if thread is bent for too long it can become permanent.

When to take your jewelry off  

As I mentioned, I craft my work with the intention to be worn -- but it's best to remove them when showering, exercising, whitewater rafting, climbing, scuba diving, or any other vigorous exploration--especially pieces with stones. :) This also goes for doing the dishes and gardening, but that mostly applies to rings. I have heard of all too many buried with the carrots or sent down the drain.

Avoid water treated with chemicals such as pools and hot tubs, and know that the natural sulphur in hot springs will cause silver to tarnish sometimes instantly (although that doesn't stop my own father from taking his pieces in to get "nature's patina"). I won't advise this -- do so at your own risk, it does indeed look cool. If you go my Dad's route, it's best to only do so with metal pieces--stones dipped in sulphur may change color! Many stones, including turquoise, are fairly soft and may crack if mistreated, so take special care especially with your hands. It's best to put jewelry on last, after applying  makeup, lotion, perfume etc.

I do hope that your pieces can join you on many great adventures, so when to wear/not wear your jewelry is a personal choice -- just be responsible and know the risks!

  • Earring note: I purposefully make my dangle earring wires extra long to keep them safely in your ears. I do not include rubber stoppers but you may purchase these independently if you prefer to use them.

Cleaning your jewelry

I work mostly with sterling silver, but also use fine silver, gold-fill, 14k gold, and brass. Sterling silver tarnishes naturally, and other metals also darken over time--so every order comes with a polishing cloth to use whenever your piece needs a little extra love. Keep in mind I patina the majority of my work, so avoid polishing the darkened areas too much as this may remove the intentional patina.

If the polishing cloth just isn't doing it, I like to use a very fine feel wool to lightly buff out tarnish. This will keep the matte look that I use on most of my work but may remove a bit of patina. You can also use a bit of warm water with natural dish soap and clean gently with your hands. Avoid stones if possible, and dry with a cotton or paper towel. Do not use harsh jewelry cleaners as these may damage the stones and remove intentional patina. 

There are many methods to clean tarnished brass, including soap and warm water, lemon juice and baking soda, etc. I advise a quick google search to find the method that works for you. My preference is to buff it with a very fine steel wool, which will leave a matte finish.

If something happens to your jewelry - see my FAQ page for info on repairs. And feel free to reach out if you have a question I haven't answered here!