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Jewelry Care

Gemstone hardness is based on a standard called the Mohs scale, where the higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone; conversely, the lower the Mohs scale number, the more susceptible the stone is to scratching, chipping, and breaking. It is important to consider this when cleaning, wearing and storing your gemstone jewelry.

The build-up of hand cream, finger prints and general dirt is common amongst your most loved jewelry, and can easily be cleaned. As a rule of thumb, gemstones at 7 and above on the Mohs scale can be cleaned with warm water, a touch of mild detergent and a soft brush. For gemstones less than 7, swap the soft brush for a soft cloth.

Many gemstones are also susceptible to damage by chemicals, water and even sunlight, where prolonged exposure to the latter may cause them to become paler. Examples include amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, aventurine, beryl, citrine, kunzite, rose and smoky quartz.

Containing no oxides, gold is the only precious metal that will not tarnish. Having said this, it is a relatively soft metal and care should always be taken with your gold jewelry. Generally, the higher the carat weight, the softer the metal; due to the alloys used in 9ct gold, it tends to be more resistant to scratching than 18ct or 24ct gold. This is why we recommend that you wear rings of a similar carat together, e.g. your wedding and engagement ring.

Gold should be cleaned regularly in order to maintain its beauty and patina. A soft, lint free cloth is an effective way to keep gold jewelry looking its best. As a relatively delicate material, gold is particularly susceptible to damage from chlorine. Chlorine can permanently damage or discolor gold jewelry. For that reason, you should avoid wearing gold jewelry when using chlorine or bleach, or while in a pool or hot tub.

Pearls are sensitive to acids, perspiration, cosmetics, and hair spray. As they are relatively soft, they can be easily scratched. Take care to store them so that their surfaces never touch metal or other gemstones.

Unlike gold plating or vermeil (gold plated silver), gold-filled is a thick layer of 14k gold pressure-bonded over a small core of base metal (usually brass), is permanent, and WILL NOT wear off or tarnish... You can have all the beauty and wearability of 14k gold without the huge cost.

Gold filled is a much higher quality product than gold plated or vermeil jewelry. Most people with metal allergies who feel they must wear 14k gold usually do not have any problems with the gold-filled.

Gold vermeil is a heavy layer of gold plating over sterling silver, and requires a little care and attention. Always remove your gold vermeil jewelry when applying scent, lotions and potions, or even better, always put your jewelry on last when getting dressed. Never wear your gold vermeil jewelry in the shower or when swimming. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your gold vermeil jewelry.

Gently clean your gold vermeil jewelry with a soft polishing cloth. As with all fine things in life, you should take care to protect your jewelry and always store in a jewelry box, taking care not to drop, bash or scratch.

Oxidized Silver needs to be handled with care. Do not clean oxidized sterling silver jewelry with chemicals or polishing pastes as these may strip off all the oxidized patina, leaving you with a bright and shiny piece that looks nothing like it did when you originally purchased it. Never, ever clean your oxidized sterling with a jewelry cleaning liquid dip! Like gold, silver is susceptible to damage by chlorine and you should avoid wearing silver jewelry when using chlorine or bleach.

A natural property of sterling silver is to tarnish when exposed to air, the body chemistry of some people will affect it more than others. When you are not wearing your jewelry, keep it sealed in a plastic bag or in the jewelry case so that it is not exposed to air. As with most precious metals, sterling silver tarnishes; having said this, it is less likely to happen as quickly if worn regularly.

To keep the piece shiny, a quick swipe with a non-abrasive jewelry cloth for polish areas or a little toothpaste and a soft toothbrush with water on textured surface will shine your silver pieces. This will work for most general cleaning of tarnished silver.

For silver pieces with the tarnish set-in (unable to clean with toothbrush and toothpaste), I use a silver dip TARN-X (you can get this from most supermarkets). However, it's a very strong chemical and you need to wear gloves and use in a vented area.  Apply on silver or gold pieces only - NO pearls or stones - use a toothbrush dip and brush and rinse in warm water. This technique works very well with my scribble textured pieces or nesting series. With high-polish pieces, just dip or wipe with a Q-tip or cotton ball, then rinse with water,.

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