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Jewelry Care

Natural Tarnish

A majority of my pieces are made with copper, brass or .925 sterling silver. All of these metals will naturally tarnish or patina, meaning they will get "dirty" and the color will dull over time. This is completely normal and expected, but there are things you can do to help prevent and slow this process. You can clean and polish metal back to it's original or to a desire color.

Some of my piece are intentionally tarnished or oxidized using a chemical solution. On certain pieces I prefer the look of the darker metal color. These pieces are labeled as "oxidized" under the description. Even though these pieces are already intentionally tarnished, they may get darker or have more patina than desired. Read below for how to clean oxidized jewelry.

I often use copper in my work. Copper has a tendency to discolor skin due to oxidation happening (from sweat, oxygen, etc.), and can cause skin be covered in a green film of copper carbonate. This is non-toxic and can easily be washed off. It also varies from person to person based on skin type and allergies. I have only had this happen with my copper rings; pendants seem to be less of an issue, but it still an important consideration. I do not coat my copper pieces with anything as coating and lacquers often chip or wear off unevenly. If you would like to talk about adding a clear coat or lacquer to a copper piece to help prevent discoloration please contact me. 

What to Avoid

There are a lot of external substances which can damage metal or cause your piece to tarnish.

You should remove your jewelry whenever you are in water, including showers, pools and fresh or saltwater. 

You should remove your jewelry when you are applying makeup, perfumes, body oils, lotion or other beauty products.

You should removed your jewelry when you are cleaning, using chemicals or when you are doing outdoor or yard work.

You should remove your jewelry when you are exercising or doing other intense physical actives. 

Wear with Care

A majority of my pieces are made entirely from wire. My piece range from being very delicate to being very strong and durable. Although I intend to make every piece as durable and as strong as possible, they are all prone to breaking if worn carelessly.

You should refrain from wearing your jewelry when you are doing intense physical activity, or when you are attending an event or going to be in a situation when your piece could be impacted.

 

 The stones I use in my pieces range on the hardness scale. Some are very durable and can withstand impact and scratches, but others are softer and are prone to being scratched. 

I recommend being cautious and careful wearing any of my pieces, but if you would like to know specifics about your stone or the durability of the piece you have purchased or are thinking about purchasing contact me and we can discuss it with more specifics. 

Storage

Another important factor in keeping your jewelry clean and tarnish free is proper storage.

You should keep your jewelry in a dry, non-humid area, try to avoid leaving your jewelry in the bathroom.

You should keep your jewelry in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.

You should keep your jewelry in an air-tight container or bag.

If possible, keeping your jewelry in an air-tight bag with an anti-tarnish strip or a silica packet is the safest option.

Cleaning Your Jewelry

Most natural tarnish can be easily cleaned using dish soap, warm water and a soft tooth brush. 

After cleaning, be sure to fully dry your piece, then you can bring it back to a bright shine with a polishing cloth. 

If your piece is intentionally oxidized for a darker finish, you should be able to clean and polish it just using a polishing cloth, depending on the degree of tarnish and the desired look. You should not use any cleaning chemicals or solutions on oxidized jewelry as it will remove all of the intentional patina and bring the metal back to it's original color.

I also offer cleaning services for a small fee. Please contact me if you would like to discuss a cleaning.  

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