Any surface finish on metals has a tendency to wear off. Especially very dark oxidation on smooth surfaces will wear off faster.Jewelry has to be handled with care and is not indestructible. It should be taken off during heavy physical work, showering, dish washing and swimming.
Exposure to chemicals (e.g. chlorine, soap, skincare products) should be avoided. Metal and gemstones can also change color due to skin contact, chemicals and cosmetics. This is a normal process and no flaw.
Bronze/ Copper: these metals may discolor the skin green. It does not apply to everybody but please be aware that this might happen.
CARE OF SILVER/STERLING JEWELRY
Fine Silver and Sterling Silver is a popular material for jewelry for its versatility and beauty. Over time, the metal can tarnish or corrode. It is important to properly care for Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver jewelry to keep it looking as beautiful as the first day you received it. Proper care includes being conscious of how you store, wear, and clean your jewelry.
WHAT CAUSES TARNISHING
Tarnishing, also known as oxidation, is caused when oxygen or sulfur comes in contact with sterling silver. It gives it a darker color. Sterling Silver comes in different levels of purity (i.e. 0.95 or 0.925, 0.950, 0.960), Fine Silver comes with a purity level of .999 FS and higher purity silver will tarnish more quickly. Sometimes, sterling silver/ fine silver is intentionally oxidized to create depth and certain details on a piece of jewelry.
STORING Fine Silver/ STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
Oxygen in the air will tarnish Sterling Silver, so properly storing your jewelry will help minimize that oxidation. Here are some storage tips:
- Store individual pieces separately.
- Store each piece in an airtight bag.
- Place in an area with low humidity.
- Keep clasps/closures unhooked.
- Place a packet of silica or piece of chalk in the storage bag.
WEARING Fine Silver/ STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
Wearing your Fine Silver/Sterling Silver jewelry regularly can actually help prevent tarnishing since the oils from your body have a cleaning effect. However, some activities can accelerate tarnishing or even cause corrosion.
You should remove your Fine Silver/Sterling Silver jewelry before doing any of the following:
- Using household cleaning supplies.
- Cooking with mustard, onions, eggs, or any other foods that contain sulfer.
- Spraying Hairspray
- Putting on Lotion and Makeup
CARING FOR STERLING SILVER
Polishing Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver is typically the best way to clean your Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver jewelry. Be sure to do the following:
- Use a special non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratching.
- Frequently rotate to a new section of the cloth.
- Avoid areas that are intentionally oxidized.
- Do not rub in a circular pattern, follow the grain of the silver.
- Avoid rubbing too hard on engraved sections.
If you have severe tarnishing or antique pieces that need extra care, considering sending your Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver jewelry to a professional for cleaning. Beware of commercial cleaning solutions as many present a health hazard or may damage your jewelry!
SUMMARY OF PROPER CARE FOR FINE SILVER/ STERLING SILVER JEWELRY
To properly care for Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver jewelry, give a little extra thought to how you store, wear, and polish it. Store your jewelry in a dry and air-tight place, separating each individual piece.
Wear your jewelry often, but be sure to remove it when working with certain chemicals or foods that contain sulfur. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to put on your jewelry last when getting dressed.
Polishing your jewelry before it becomes too tarnished will minimize the amount of work needed, but be sure to use the right type of cloth and stroke pattern. All of this will help keep your Fine Silver/ Sterling Silver jewelry looking brilliant for years to come.
Reactions to fine silver/ sterling silver :
Some people may experience a blackening of the skin while wearing sterling silver jewelry. This may be caused by highly acidic perspiration or contact with other chemical agents like perfume, makeup, hairspray or cleaning products. Since sterling silver may be alloyed with copper some people may also experience a green staining of the skin. While rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to one of the metals alloyed with silver, usually appearing as a reddening of the skin or itching. None of these conditions are to be taken as an indication of the quality of the fine silver/sterling silver. If you allergic you might talk to your doctor first.
COPPER (AND OTHER METAL) JEWELRY TURNING YOUR SKIN GREEN
Let's review some basic information about copper or any other metal turning your skin green.
If it hasn't happened to you yet, sooner or later a piece of jewelry that you may wear will turn your skin either greenish or some other unsightly color. The worst jewelry that stains your skin is plated jewelry, especially gold plated. It's because base metal (mostly the inexpensive kind) is plated with gold or silver, or copper. The plating will eventually wear off the metal; it's the metal which begins to oxidize. The better or thicker the plating the more time it will take to wear off.
So why can or does your skin turn green while wearing copper? It's known as the oxidation reaction. The copper reacts with oxygen in the air, your sweat and skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin. Relax; it shouldn't be anything to be concerned about, it just looks terrible. Most likely you're not allergic to the copper, very few people are. Simply keep your copper clean and dry and remove any oil or sweat which may be on your jewelry. It's as simple as that.
If your skin does turn color from jewelry, you may notice it more on different parts of your body. Rings which are worn close to the skin are the worst because of no air circulation between your finger and the ring. Your finger sweats and produces oils which are trapped between your finger and the ring.
Bracelets have air circulation between your wrist and the bracelet thus doesn't seem to produce as much discoloration of your skin. If you wear a copper bracelet or cuff that is tight against the skin, then most likely you'll have discoloration much like a ring.
Pendants worn over your clothes won't discolor because they aren't in contact with your sweat or skin oils. Pendants worn against the skin tend to move causing air circulation between the pendant and your skin. Unless you're a sweaty and oily person and jewelry tends to stick to your skin, you shouldn't have any discoloration.
There are plenty of people who wear copper pendants, chains, or bracelets almost every day and everywhere including the shower and seldom take their copper jewelry off. It doesn't turn their skin colors, why? Simply put it's because they are keeping the jewelry clean by showering in it; cleaning off any oxidation caused by your body.
Keeping your jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation turning your skin green. Take off your copper jewelry every night. Wipe your jewelry with a clean soft cloth when you remove it. Doing this will clean anybody oils or sweat off your jewelry. The cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor from oxidation.
How to take of your bronze, white bronze, copper jewelry:
Bronze is an alloy of copper and, usually, tin. Like brass, bronze will naturally tarnish when exposed to oxygen over time.
Some people like the patina that accumulates on bronze. Once formed, this layer can actually protect bronze from corrosion.
If you want to keep the patina on your bronze jewelry, do not clean it with any household cleaners.
Just use a dry cloth to wipe gently the dirt off the item, and then clean the hard-to-reach spots with a soft brush.
Before polishing your bronze jewelry, make sure it is completely dry. Apply a thin layer of paste wax on the surface of the piece (you can use a clean paintbrush).
After covering the item with wax, let it dry, and then buff your jewelry with a soft cloth.
Storing Bronze or Copper Jewelry
When taking off your bronze/or copper jewelry after wearing it, wipe the pieces clean with a soft cloth before storing them. This should be done to remove any traces of oils from your skin as they may speed up the tarnishing of bronze.
Since the tarnishing process is facilitated by the oxygen in the air, it is advisable to keep your bronze or copper jewelry in a plastic bag to slow down the formation of patina. You can also put an anti-tarnishing strip in the bag.
- Be careful of soft stones like Turquoise, Lapis, Pearl and Opal and many other stones. ANY CONTACT WITH ACID WILL DESTROY THEM!!!!!
- Keep turquoise away from high heat and chemicals such as oils, perfumes, and household cleaners. Even stabilized turquoise can be affected by a constant bombardment of chemicals.
- Clean your turquoise in warm, sudsy water and dry it immediately with a soft cloth. Avoid using commercial jewelry cleaners
General Care Of Jewelry :
Keep your jewelry in a clean, dry place such as a fabric-lined jewelry box or wrapped in a soft piece of cloth. Store pieces individually so they do not scratch one another and keep away from direct exposure to sunlight and air.
Avoid bringing jewelry into contact with perfume, hairspray or harsh chemicals such as bleach or chlorine. It is best to put jewelry on last while getting dressed and to remove while washing hands, performing housework, swimming, or engaging in other strenuous activity. It's not recommended to wear your gemstone jewelry around heat (stoves, ovens, saunas, etc) as it can permanently damage your gemstones.
Over time, silver, and to a lesser extent, gold, will tarnish with exposure to air, chemicals, and oils in the skin. Pieces are best cleaned using a soft cotton cloth or felt with mild, non-abrasive soap and warm water. Be very careful not to dislodge any stones or wires. Rinse pieces thoroughly and allow to air dry completely before storing. For best results, clean pieces periodically and handle with care.
Over time matte jewelry burnishes with wear. It can be re-matted by rubbing with a paste of baking soda and water, or gently brushing with a green 3M scrub pad. Blackened silver gradually fades with wear. While many people appreciate the unique patina, I can re-oxidize your piece for the cost of shipping.
Note: Do not use tissue paper or paper towel for cleaning, as their fibers can result in scratching. Do not use commercial cleaners on your jewelry. Use soap and water and a soft cloth.
Please note, however, that my handmade pendants/jewelry are not indestructible and are delicate. You can wear it freely. Please keep in mind that some Pendants from the Collection "Natural Crystal Gemstone Necklaces" are made of durable polymer clay still can break when not handled with care.
- My crystal pendant jewelry is not suitable for persons under age of 18.
- Please do not drop jewelry/pendant on concrete floor, tiles etc., also crystals and polymer clay can break when dropped/hit on hard surfaces and/or bang around.
- Please don't swim or shower with your jewelry. A little bit water from time to time won't harm your jewelry, but avoid permanent exposure to water as it will damage your pendant.
- Please, keep away from direct perfume, chemicals, such as skin care products, body lotions, oils, cosmetics, hairspray, deodorant, Water/ Salt water, chlorine, (swimming pool, hot tubs, ocean, lakes, rivers etc.), house cleaning supplies or any abrasives, such as chemicals or toothpaste.
- Also remove your jewelry before going to sleep, to exercise or performing household chores.
- Gemstones and crystals are as amazing beautiful but they can also be very fragile. Therefore careful and gentle handling/storage may be necessary. Do not throw jewelry into a drawer or pile with other jewelry or things that can damage it. Be careful with sweaters and other woven clothing items that could snag.
- Many crystals change their color or bleach out when exposed to direct sunlight for extended period. Avoid exposing crystals/gemstones to sunlight.
Jewelry should be the last thing we put on and the first we take off when dressing.