How to take care of your jewellery

Tips and tricks to keep your jewellery shining

Over time, any sterling silver jewellery piece exposed to air will tarnish. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It’s the other metals, primarily copper, that reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the tarnishing reaction. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. Chemicals like hairspray, perfume, deodorant, body lotion, bleach, etc., can speed up that process. So a good solution is to wear your jewellery last, especialy pearls. Keep silver away from rubber, wool, vinegar, olives and fruit juice. You might not be able to control the air around you or the skin you live in, but you can control the way you take care of your jewellery! 

Antler and sterling silver brooch with inspiration from the craft of fly tying and the colours of sunrise

Jewellery from Konstantina

To keep the silver from tarnish please see the instractions below. Try to keep jewellery with feathers and other natural materials dry. Do not shower or swim with your jewellery on. Do not sleep with your jewellery on. Try to keep the feathers from bending. If your jewellery get wet please remove and blow dry towrds the direction of the feathers to bring them back to shape. The antler is waxed so it is waterpruf but if gets wet and then dry it might couse it to turn a bit dull. Try to wipe dry and cover, to avoid getting too hot, if you are blow drying the feathers. Do the same for the pearls. If you keep those little things in mind your jewellery will stay shiny and looking like new for a very long time.

 

How to keep your jewellery from tarnish

  •  Keep It Dry

The fastest way to tarnish your jewelry is by contact with moisture and liquids. This includes putting on lotions, washing your hands, a spritz of perfume, and sweating with your jewels on. Even the oils on your skin can wear down the plating and metals over time. There are also sprays you can use to avoid tarnish at the first place.

  •  Store It Properly

Because exposure to the simplest things like the moisture in the air can wear down your jewels, it's important to store them properly. Store your jewels in a dark lined box. You can use Ziploc bags - but you'll want to make sure you get rid of as much air as possible before sealing it. With the air removed, the metal won't be able to oxidize from the air. Place wrapped silver in resealable plastic bags and store.

You can also buy anti-tarnish strips here and place them in your jewellery box or bags.

Tip: Chalk absorbs moisture, and moisture causes tarnish. To slow tarnishing, wrap a piece of chalk in cheesecloth and place it in the bag with your silver.

Ideally store your pieces of jewellery separately, so that they don't rub together or become tangled.

Keep your jewellery clean forever

Light blue antler brooch

Cleaning your jewellery

If your silver is already tarnished, you can use a silver polish product like polishing cloths or liquid to remove the black coating. Be very careful when you use any of those products on gemstones and pearls as they can get damaged. 

You can also take your silver items to a jewelry shop to have your pieces professionally cleaned.

If you prefer to clean your silver jewelry at home, you can use a silver cleaning dip:

  1. Line a glass container with tin foil; pour some hot water, and add one or two tablespoons of salt and baking soda.
  2. Put your silver pieces in the dip, and leave them there for about five minutes.
  3. After the tarnish disappears, rinse your jewelry with water and dry it using a soft cloth or hair dryer.

Some people use toothpaste to clean silver. However, there are others who warn against this method as toothpaste can be too abrasive and scratch your jewelry. Generally, it comes down to the softness of the silver alloy and to the kind of toothpaste used as some brands are more abrasive than others. If your silver item has a flat surface, where scratches could be seen easily, you might not want to risk using this methodUse warm water to wash your jewelry items gently, and dry them with a soft cloth.

You can also delay tarnishing by regularly cleaning on first signs of tarnish with a soft cloth like the ones we use for our glasses. Just wipe clean. Try to avoid contact with your hands.

Keep you natural or caltured pearls seperately from other jewellery to avoid scratches. 

All the above is just advice from my long experience and is just an indication. Since I can't know what you are holding in your hand, I can't take any responsibility for any damage. If you need further help or advice please contact me and I will do my best to help you in any way I can. I hope you found this helpful.