Sterling Silver Charms, Charm Bracelets & Beads at Charm Country

Charm Country 

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Jewelry Care

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry will eventually tarnish unless it is rhodium plated.  You can keep if from tarnishing by following these tips:


Do not display your silver jewelry on velvet displays or pads.  The chemicals in the velvet cause it to tarnish quickly.  Don't display or store silver jewelry in cotton or paper boxes.  Even in plastic bags, the chemicals can go through the plastic to your jewelry.  Often silver will tarnish very fast in these conditions.  If you have velvet displays that you use at shows, remove your silver after the show and put it in plastic bags.


Don't allow your silver jewelry to be around hair spray, hair coloring chemicals or nail chemicals.  If you are displaying your jewelry in a hair or nail salon, put it behind glass or keep it in plastic if possible.


Never clean your jewelry with bleach or a bleach based cleaner.  It will break down the jewelry.  Take off your jewelry when cleaning house.  One of our customers got into poison ivy and soaked her jewelry in Clorox.  All of her jewelry fell apart.


Keep your silver jewelry in plastic bags whenever possible.  When you aren't wearing it, if you can store it in plastic, it will stay tarnish free longer.


You can clean your jewelry with liquid or paste jewelry cleaners, a cleaning cloth or the Speedy Plate.  


Liquid and paste cleaners - these do work well on most types of jewelry but we do not recommend this type of cleaner.  Do not use them with anything that is oxidized or is suppose to have some black on it such as bali beads or oxidized charms.  Use caution with these cleaners as some have a cancer warning on them.  

CAUTION:  Do not leave your jewelry in this type of jewelry cleaner more than a few seconds.  It is easy to ruin your jewelry if they are left too long in this type of cleaner.


Cleaning Cloth - The cleaning cloth usually has two parts.  The inside part has cleaning material in the cloth that helps to clean the jewelry.  The outside part is regular cloth and is used to finish up the polish.  These work very well with solid silver such as a polished bangle.  These are used mostly for oxidized silver where you want the blackened parts to stay black and with Mexican silver that is not coated.  The cleaning cloth works well with solid slides or pendants, screwball or charm bangles, and oxidized charms.  They don't work as well for chain, some bracelets and earrings.  If you are using the polishing cloth for these items, do not over polish as the piece will wind up looking very dull.  This method is preferable to liquid and paste cleaners - try it first.


Speedy Plate - The speedy plate is a great tool for chain, bright charms, bracelets and earrings.  It works well with Italian and Thailand jewelry.  It can also be used for handmade bracelets such as the beaded bracelets if they don't have charms or bali beads.  Most silver chains and earrings are solid unpolished silver and then coated with silver to give them the shiny look they have.  If you polish off the coating, you are left with dull unpolished silver.  Use the speedy plate to avoid this problem.  You can clean whole bundles of chain in this method.   Follow the instructions carefully to get the full effect of the speedy plate.  You can also use the speedy plate to clean silver serving sets easily.  The speedy plate uses washing soda and almost boiling water.

10k and 14k Jewelry

Gold jewelry is easier to keep looking nice than silver.  10k gold will tarnish slightly as it has more alloys.  You don't need to keep gold jewelry in plastic and it does better around chemicals.  Do not use bleach or bleach based chemicals as it will tear gold down (more quickly than with silver).   You can clean gold in the same manner as silver.  Most gold jewelry is not coated but is polished so you can polish with a cloth as much as you want to.  Do not use the cleaning plate with jewelry that has soft stones such as Opals or Emeralds.  Also, it is best not to use the cleaning plate with hot water when your jewelry has stones that are glued in.  The hot water can loosen the glue.  It is best not to polish pearls with a jewelry cleaning cloth as you may polish away some of the coating.   

Why does my gold turn my neck, wrist or fingers black?  Some people have a chemical reaction to gold which causes their skin to turn black when wearing gold.  Based on your body chemistry, this may not happen all the time or may happen every time you wear gold.  You can switch to white gold which often won't do this.