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