At Megan Goldner Designs our jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime, however with normal wear proper case is required to keep it looking good. As a result we’ve created this Basic Jewelry Care Guide to direct you in the proper care of your jewelry. We hope that you’ll find these guidelines helpful
Jewelry is worn by millions of people every day, but few recognize how they can preserve their treasures by using some simple advanced planning and thought. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when wearing jewelry:
– When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids. Some tasks that should be avoided when wearing jewelry include kitchen work, gardening, cleaning the house and other common tasks.
– Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting jewelry on after applying these materials will limit exposure to jewelry and any potential damage.
– Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it’s a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.
– Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved. All jewelry should be removed before play begins.
– Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film you immediately reduce the occasions of servicing.
– Polish silver or gold with a jewelry polishing cloth for best results. You can use a svelte or an old diaper, but the professional cloths are the best. Use of tissue or paper towels can cause scratches because of fibers in these products.
– Cleaning your own jewelry regularly can keep it looking good, but be careful. You can either purchase commercial cleaners from a jeweler or make a cleaning a solution yourself. Rubbing alcohol can work wonders, but bleach can literally destroy jewelry so avoid it at all costs.
– Using warm water is the best bet when cleaning your own jewelry. Hot water can cause reaction with the cleaning fluids resulting in discoloration and Sterling Silver is especially susceptible to this problem. Should this occur, this problem can be remedied by buffing and the application of a tarnish remover.
– Never clean any jewelry that is damaged, cracked or broken, since the additional handling is likely to exacerbate or worsen the problem. If you find that a piece of jewelry is damaged, it should be set aside for repair as soon as possible.
Just like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When having your jewelry professionally cleaned, it’s a good idea to have each item checked and inspected for any possible problems. Addressing signs of damage, or loose gemstones will prevent any further damage or loss and keep all of your pieces in excellent shape for years.
Anyone that has a collection of jewelry can appreciate how difficult it can often be to keep it organized. To improve the enjoyment of your jewelry, we’ve assembled these suggestions that should keep your jewelry organized and orderly:
Store your jewelry in a container and prevent pieces from moving around. While fabric-lined jewelry boxes are ideal, this can be as simple as using a shoe box and pieces of fabric.
Sometimes jewelry tarnishes when it’s not worn, especially silver and gold. To maintain the luster of your jewelry, place silver anti-tarnish strips in your storage container to absorb the oxidants that discolor and tarnish jewelry.
Unfortunately, jewelry can get lost or stolen. Taking a regular inventory can be incredibly useful when making an insurance claim or filing a police report. A photograph, a written physical description of each piece and it’s cost is ideal. Furthermore, store that information apart from your jewelry in the event it is taken too
Travelling can be tough on jewelry, so it’s wise to use a travel case to protect your favorite pieces. Traditionally made of fabric or leather, a jewelry travel case can carry jewelry of all types and easily rolls up to a size that’s easily stored in most suitcases, makeup cases or business attaches. Clearly, a case like this is a good investment to protect your jewelry on the road.
Sterling Silver, Copper, Bronze, Brass & Resin
With the cost of gold being so high, brass is an excellent alternative to those whole love the warm, rich color of gold but can’t afford it’s price tag. However, the swap to brass does come with some (minor) care responsibilities. But follow the steps below and you’ll be able to enjoy your brass jewelry for years to come.
- Brass (or any other metals) does not like getting wet. Want to tarnish brass quickly? Just get it a little damp and you’ll see a brown patina form. While this can be quite lovely sometimes, if you’d like your brass jewelry to shine like gold, keep it dry!
- Inevitably, however, no matter how hard you try to keep your jewelry dry, it will tarnish and oxidize over time. Oils and sweat are the main culprits here. To clean flat surfaces or jewelry that has detail you don’t want to disturb, like stampings, buff the piece with a jewelry polishing cloth, or use fine steel wool available at any hardware store. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a light buff will restore shine. You can also use products like Brasso or Silvo to lightly buff your piece with.
- For a deeper clean in those hard-to-reach areas, create a mixture of lemon juice, baking powder, and water. Apply a little bit to your item and gently scrub with a toothbrush. The toothbrush should help you get into those dirty nooks and crannies, making your jewelry golden once again.
- If you ever get a little over-zealous in your scrubbing and remove detail in nooks and crannies that should have it, simply use a permanent marker to fill in those areas and then gently rub over them with fine steel wool to remove any surface excess.
- Some people have an allergy to copper, bronze and brass that causes a tint to be left behind on the skin. We take all necessary care and precautions by sealing your copper, bronze and brass jewelry to prevent discoloration of your skin, but please note that there is no fail safe, and our protective coating might rub off with extreme usage.
As easy as that! Follow the steps above and you will get many happy years of wear from brass jewelry.
Please keep in mind that current resin technologies (the jeweler’s grade molding medium) have varying degrees of slight yellowing over time (UV light speeds this yellowing as the hardeners absorb UV light). It is the nature of the substances; usually the solvent hardeners that are the problem. Chemically speaking, some companies (the ones who advertise “non-yellowing resins”) add blue tint to these hardeners, or UV absorbents to try to make the clarity last, but since the absorbents are not catalytic, they eventually break down, and the resin gets a yellow tint-if you have taken chemistry, think of it as a half-life.
As such, when purchasing these pieces as keepsake jewelry, or to “pass down to someone,” please keep this in mind. It does not change that your keepsakes are encased and preserved, just that the coloring may slightly change in 2, 5, or even 10 years. I use a resin that is specifically made for jewelry, but in my experience, and the experience of older jewelers under whom I have mentored who have been working with this substance for 35+ years-all resins slightly yellow eventually. I don’t want this to deter you from purchasing a piece, I only want to be honest and transparent about my work.
Quick reference for caring for your jewerly: