Handmade jewellery needs to be cared for. It is not indestructible but if you treat it well, it will last a lifetime.
Most people don't know that daily wear jewellery needs a certain level of maintenance. Please read my following tips for long-lasting treasures.
For cleaning all my rings, I suggest using a soft toothbrush with warm-not-too-hot water and soap and gently scrubbing around the piece. Do not push the bristles up into the stones but allow the gentle scrubbing motion to remove grime and dirt from underneath the settings. Sparkly and gorgeous again, yay!
Alternatively, leave your ring in warm soapy water for 15 minutes and then run it under the hot tap (not too hot!) ad the grime should rinse away.
Clean your rings regularly! Faceted stones will look dull and lifeless if they have a backing of grime. Taking five minutes to scrub your ring once a week will keep it looking bright.
If you haven't worn your sterling piece in a while and it has slightly tarnished, then I recommend purchasing an impregnated polishing cloth specifically for jewellery, such as Sunshine cloths. Do not use these on any opal or soft stone pieces like turquoise or Peruvian opal as you will cause micro scratches that might dull the look of the stone.
Fine chains are beautiful but not meant for wearing to bed. Make sure your fine chains are removed before all items of other clothing and that they are the last item to be put on.
Always remove your jewellery before any heavy activity such as sports, gardening, swimming etc.
Regularly swimming in chlorinated pools whilst wearing your gold or silver jewellery will cause porosity. This is due to the alloyed metals reacting to the chemicals and breaking down. Always remove your jewellery before swimming in a pool. Not only will a pool damage your jewellery but your chances of losing a ring whilst swimming increase due to your fingers shrinking from cooler temperatures.
Store your jewellery in the box provided or in a dedicated jewellery box.
Do not attempt to bend or move any parts of your jewellery, metal is strong but repeated exertions such as bending will make it brittle (work hardened) and break.
Porous stones such as opal and turquoise require special attention. They are particularly sensitive to chemicals, perfumes, moisturizers and heat. Do not apply face creams or handle even mild chemical products etc while wearing theses stones. Do not leave an opal ring out in the sun, this can cause the colour to fade.
Daily wear rings such as engagement rings need to be checked regularly for loose stones and lifted prongs. Many people don't know that hard stones loose in their settings can actually sit through a prong and weaken the setting further.
If you hit your ring on a hard surface or catch a prong on some unforgiving fabric, check right away to see if your prong has lifted or your stone loosened.
Once a year it should be taken to a jeweller for a thorough cleaning, polish and prong check. These services are often provided by brick and mortar jewellers for a small fee that is worth it for the security of your stones. I offer this service for any of my pieces for $35 + shipping.
If your previously oxidised jewels are now bright and shiny, you can re-oxidise them easily, just drop me a line and I'll give you a little guide on how to go about it.