Handmade personalized jewelry care guide - The Silver Wing
Handmade Personalized jewelry
Sterling silver does tarnish, a darkening that occurs when sterling silver reacts with gases in the air or with other substances that it comes in contact with. It is a simple fact of nature. Other sources of tarnish include hair spray, lotion, perfume, other beauty products and even natural body oils. It’s best to put jewelry on last after using these products.
Over time sterling silver develops a mellow patina which often results in an appreciated antique look. Often a black oxidation builds up in the fine details which give your jewelry piece a beautiful and unique look.
When storing your sterling silver jewelry you want to avoid scratching the jewelry piece and you want to minimize the oxidation process. It would be best to store your sterling silver jewelry in an air tight container when it is not being worn. When I don't wear my jewelry I place these in my jewelry box : https://www.riogrande.com/Product/silver-guard-anti-tarnish-blocks/401710
Sterling silver when worn often with have minimal cleaning required, making it very easy to care for and lots of fun to wear.
Avoid storing your sterling silver jewelry directly on wood surfaces, because wood usually contains acids that can mar the finish. Oak seems to be the worst for this. Also, avoid storing your sterling silver with other metals, like pennies, and rubber, copper, brass, bronze these too cause tarnish and damage.
This is a new product out there to prevent tarnish but I have not yet tried it : https://www.riogrande.com/Product/silver-glory-anti-tarnish-protective-solution/335031
Interestingly, wearing your jewelry is a good way to help keep it in good condition as long as you take some measure of care while wearing your jewelry. But, your sterling silver jewelry does need to be cleaned from time to time. This is where it is important to understand your piece of jewelry.
Personalized hand stamped jewelry has been treated with a patina to antique (oxidize) the piece in order to enhance the lettering and designs stamped on the piece. For this reason, it is very important not to use silver cleaners, baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste or any strong cleaner. They will remove the antiqued finish along with the tarnish. However, sterling silver chains, that haven’t been oxidized, can be dipped in jewelry cleaning solution to remove tarnish.
There are two ways to remove tarnish from your hand stamped jewelry without damaging the antiquing finish.
1) Using a polishing cloth intended for sterling silver, such as Sunshine polishing cloth, Connoisseurs Silver polishing cloth, Brilliant polishing cloth, etc. Some of them come in a two in one system, which means that 2 cloths come attached together; one is used to remove tarnish and the other for buffing and polishing
2) This is the one I use ...Pro-polish polishing pads are a great way to keep your hand stamped jewelry clean and shinning. I love them! These pre-treated 2 inch squares are great for polishing or removing oxidation. Pads are tight-bond cellular foam with permanently bonded micro-abrasives. You can use these pads until they are dark grey on both sides and then it is time to toss it and use a new one. Make sure the piece you are polishing is completely dry. If you get these pads wet, they get gooey and will not work properly.
You can find any of these cloths or pads in a lot of Etsy stores. I purchase them at : www.riogrande.com/Product/Pro-Polish-Polishing-Pads/337020?pos=1
I have found very helpful to clean my jewelry after every use and before storage it to remove body oils or any dirt that can accelerate tarnishing. For quick cleaning of sterling silver, such as removing makeup, body oils or light dirt, use a small amount of liquid detergent or soap to about a half cup of warm water. Using a soft cloth or a cotton swab, wipe the solution on the jewelry, rinse under clean warm water, and dry thoroughly. Make sure it’s very dry before storage it.
Remember, the more you wear your jewelry, the less you will have to clean it. With proper care and storage, your sterling silver jewelry will bring you many years of wear and enjoyment.
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