PREVENT TARNISHING! PROPER STORAGE AND CARE OF STERLING SILVER
• A general rule of thumb for silver jewelry: it should be the last thing put on before leaving the house, and the first thing removed when returning home.
• Minimize sterling silver’s contact to chemicals (hairspray, perfume, body lotion, bleach, etc. Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your jewelry after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration with a dry soft cloth (like a polishing cloth) before putting it back into an airtight container.
• If an item does begin to tarnish, cleaning it right away will make it easier to restore its shine.
• Wash silver jewelry (without gemstones or pearls) in warm water containing a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. Immerse the sterling silver in the water and gently hand wash. Use a cotton swab for tight corners. A soft baby toothbrush can be used for more abrasive cleaning when needed.
• Store clean, dry sterling silver in a dry airtight container, like a zip lock bag (consider adding an anti-tarnish strip; the best way to store your sterling silver!
• Humidity can speed up the oxidation process that produces tarnish; don’t leave silver jewelry in the bathroom, and do not wear it the shower, swimming pool or hot tub.
• Do not use rubber bands to bundle jewelry as when rubber bands age, they release sulfur that causes tarnishing.
HOW TO CLEAN SILVER CHAIN AND SILVER JEWELRY
• Take a soft toothbrush, wet it, and apply small amount of smooth toothpaste (without plastic abrasives).
• Lay the item on hard surface (like counter top) and brush it gently, turning it over to access all areas.
• Don’t forget the sink stopper!
• Rinse in warm running water.
• Soak item in small dish of warm water for a few minutes to dissolve any remaining toothpaste.
• Remove from dish and rinse again in warm running water.
• Lay item on a soft cotton towel or cloth and lightly dab to absorb moisture – allow item to air dry.
• They will shine like new!
STERLING SILVER WITH GEMSTONES (for Pearls and Amber, see below)
• Do not submerge the entire piece into water. Instead, use a cotton swab with mild dishwashing liquid to wash only the silver.Thoroughly rinse and completely dry the sterling silver before storing, as moisture is one of the factors that contribute to tarnishing!
• Polishing cloths are OK. The chemicals in the polishing cloth won’t hurt the gemstones.
• Silver dips should be avoided. Stones like black onyx, malachite, lapis and the like do not survive long when cleaned with dips. Much of their shine comes from an oily polish that will dissolve with dipping.
• Apply all cosmetics, perfumes and colognes before putting on colored gemstone jewelry. Make sure to wipe your gemstones after wear to remove any chemicals, oils or perspiration.
• NEVER hang pearls as this weakens the silk threads holding the necklace together.
• NEVER store pearls in plastic bag as plastics emit a chemical causing pearl’s surface to deteriorate.
• NEVER leave pearls near direct heat source, i.e. fireplace, TV, stove.
• NEVER store pearls in very dry room or in safe deposit box for long periods of time as they need a bit of moisture or they will dry out.
• NEVER allow pearls to make contact with household cleaners, perfumes, cosmetics, and hair care products.
Amber is considered to be a fairly soft substance and you should take care of it as you would any other semi-precious jewelry, making sure it doesn’t come into contact with any sharp objects. As a reference of its delicateness, on the Mohs hardness scale of 1 to 10 (diamond being the hardest at 10), Baltic amber, which is the hardest of ambers, averages around 2.0-2.5.
• Baltic amber requires minimal care to keep it in good condition; store amber jewelry away from light in a jewelry box or fabric pouch.
• Never use ultrasonic cleaners or solvents of any type on amber jewelry; an ultrasonic or steam cleaner could shatter the gem.
• Clean amber jewelry gently with a soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water, and wipe with a dry soft cloth.
• If necessary, a tiny drop of olive oil may be used to restore luster. Place very small amount of oil in palm or on finger tip and gently rub amber. Let sit for a few minutes then gently wipe with soft cotton cloth.
• Do not put amber jewelry on before hairspray and perfume as it may create a permanent whitish coating on the amber.
Although these fossils feel and look very hard, they are in fact quite delicate. If dropped on a tile floor or in a sink, they will shatter so please handle with care!
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