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The Ultimate Guide to Jewelry & Accessories Care

September 22, 2023199 ViewsShesFeel

Contents

Vermeil Care

How to ensure your vermeil jewelry lasts forever

Your jewelry is designed to withstand the normal rigors of modern life, but keep in mind that they are still made from precious metals and delicate stones, so a bit of TLC wouldn’t go astray.

Your vermeil pieces should ideally not come in contact with excessive sweat or water. Take off your vermeil before you shower, wash hands, or exercise. Apply cleaning agents, beauty products, water and chemicals before you put on your pieces. Wait five minutes after applying lotions to put on your pieces.

How to clean vermeil jewelry

To clean your vermeil, wipe it down thoroughly with cotton cloth every now and then. Avoid using a brush or coarse fabrics to clean vermeil jewelry as this can potentially scratch the surface.

Although rare, sometimes individual body chemistries can react with the metal and cause a reaction. Pregnancy, thyroid disorders, hormone levels, medications and more can affect body alkalinity versus acidity, and may cause a reaction with your piece. It’s definitely a wild-card and is based on the individual!

How to store your vermeil jewelry

Always store your vermeil in a dry area, like your Aurate travel pouch, to prevent exposure to the elements. Don’t keep it stored for too long though – it was made to be worn!

14K Solid Gold Care

How to ensure your 14k gold jewelry lasts forever

Your jewelry is designed to withstand the normal rigors of modern life, but keep in mind that they are still made from precious metals and delicate stones, so a bit of TLC wouldn’t go astray. While our lightweight 14k hollow solid gold can be worn all day, everyday, try to minimize exposure to cleaning agents, beauty products, water and chemicals.

How to clean 14k gold jewelry

Mix a few drops of detergent-free soap with warm water. One piece at a time, soak your jewelry and the use a very soft brush to lightly clean each piece. Rinse with care (and don’t drop it down the drain – learn from our experience)! Finally, lightly dry the jewelry with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

How to store 14k gold jewelry

Always store your 14k in a dry area, like your Aurate travel pouch, to prevent exposure to the elements. Don’t keep it stored for too long though – it was made to be worn!

Why is my jewelry leaving black marks?

If your solid gold jewelry is leaving black marks, it is most often the result of discoloration caused by a reaction between your skin and the alloys (a mix of metals – what all 14k and 18k gold is composed of), especially when the jewelry touches areas that perspire. Since it’s a natural part of the process, it can’t be avoided and severity may vary from person to person. No worries, you may just need a different gold mixture – we recommend you return it, or try 18k solid gold which has a higher percentage of gold in its mix. Well, aren’t you fancy!

18K Solid Gold Care

How to ensure your 18k gold jewelry lasts forever

Your jewelry is designed to withstand the normal rigors of modern life, but keep in mind that they are still made from precious metals and delicate stones, so a bit of TLC wouldn’t go astray. While our 18k gold can be worn all day, everyday, try to minimize exposure to cleaning agents, beauty products, water and chemicals. 

How to clean 18k gold jewelry

Mix a few drops of detergent-free soap with warm water. One piece at a time, soak your jewelry and the use a very soft brush to lightly clean each piece. Rinse with care (and don’t drop it down the drain – learn from our experience)! Finally, lightly dry the jewelry with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

How to store 18k gold jewelry

Always store your 18k in a dry area, like your Aurate travel pouch, to prevent exposure to the elements. Don’t keep it stored for too long though – it was made to be worn!

Why is my 18k gold so… yellow? And where does it come from?

Don’t fret! 18k will have a deeper yellow hue because it contains a higher percentage of gold in the mixture. It’s also worth noting that we only use recycled gold in our jewelry, which means no new gold is mined and we only use gold that is already cycling in the gold market. Real and sustainable? You’ve hit the jackpot.

Sterling Silver Care

Clean your sterling silver jewelry with a soft 100% cotton (nub free) cloth or flannel cloth and gently rub off any excess makeup. Remember, silver is a very soft metal and you can scratch it if you aren’t careful so don’t rub it too briskly. Never use anything but a clean 100% cotton or a special sterling silver cleaning cloth (a popular choice is Sunshine Polishing Cloth) or very soft bristle brush, like a baby’s tooth brush or a horsehair silver brush. Paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics often contain wood fibers or synthetics that can cause tiny scratches in the surface of your fine sterling silver jewelry. Dirt left over from previous cleanings can scratch the surface as well.

Note: When storing your silver jewelry, use an airtight plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and if you can, put in a piece of chalk or a silica gel (the little packets in new shoes) – these will help prevent tarnish while you are not wearing your silver.

Gold Plate Jewelry Care

To make gold-plated pieces, an electric current is used to negatively charge the base metal and positively charge a solution containing gold ions. The positive gold ions are attracted to the negative charge of the core metal, slowly forming a layer of gold on top of the core. Basically, gold plating is a minuscule layer of solid gold applied to a brass base. The plating does not compose any measurable proportion of the products total weight. It is estimated to be 0.05% or less of the metal product. Gold plating will generally wear off more quickly and expose the brass base product. It does not stand up to heat, water or wear over time.

How to clean gold plate jewelry

The number one rule for cleaning gold-plated jewelry is to never scrub it. It is also very important to not expose gold-plated jewelry to water or chemicals. Should your piece become tarnished or dirty, you can clean it with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove any dust and dirt. Gently rubbing the surface of your gold plated jewelry using a soft jewelry cloth also helps restore shine. If your jewelry needs more cleaning you may clean it with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Gold Filled Jewelry Care

Gold-filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base of brass or silver. Most high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as high-carat gold, and gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 10 to 30 years though the layer of gold will eventually wear off exposing the metal underneath. The layer of gold on gold-filled items is 5 to 10 times thicker than that produced by regular gold plating. (Wikipedia) Gold-filled jewelry typically has .5% gold alloy as compared to .05% (or less) for gold-plated.

How to clean gold filled jewelry

Gold-filled does not de-laminate or peel like plated or “dipped” products. Nor does it tarnish as readily as silver. Many owners find that they never have to clean gold-filled items at all. However, from time to time your jewelry may become dirty from everyday wear. To clean gold-filled it is best to use mild soap and water. Hot weather and water will not damage the material.

Brass Jewelry Care

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc which has long been a popular material for adornment due to its bright gold-like appearance. Brass will naturally patina (darken) over time and can be sensitive to body chemistry.

How to clean brass jewelry

The best way to keep your brass looking new is to store it in an air-tight container, keep away from moisture and chemicals, and clean regularly. 

Brass may darken with wear, depending on body chemistry. If you don’t like the dark patina, try to avoid getting your brass jewelry wet. A commercial brass cleaner, like “JAX” will restore your piece to its original shine. If this is unavailable, use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to polish, or soak the piece in coca-cola for a few minutes. 

Stainless Steel Jewelry Care

Stainless steel jewelry won’t rust but it can tarnish over time. Steel jewelry does not tarnish as fast as silver jewelry but the rate of tarnishing depends on how its used. As with any jewelry it is best to avoid contact with chemicals (lotions, chlorine from pools etc.) in order to keep it cleaner longer. Steel jewelry is easy to clean, you can use mild dishwashing liquid (two or three drops in warm water will do) and wipe it down with a soft cloth. Steel jewelry is very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, as opposed to silver which is a very soft metal.

Pearls Care

Despite being rather sensitive beauties, pearls love being worn!! They don’t like being stored away and their intrinsic luster and glow will only improve when worn regularly.

However, they do need proper care to last many many lifetimes. Pearl experts say: put them on last and take them off first. Pearls are more vulnerable to the chemicals found in cosmetics, hair spray, and perfume. Do all your primping before you put your pearls on.

Pearls should only be cleaned with a soft cloth moistened with water.

Cubic Zirconia Care

Use a cotton or flannel cloth to wipe your jewelry clean. A special jewelry polishing cloth would be perfect (a popular choice is Sunshine Polishing Cloth). Using straight, back and forth strokes, polish your jewelry and remove any surface dirt and dust. Do not rub in a circular motion as that can scratch the surface of your jewelry. Then use a cleaning solution to remove grime and dirt.

Just like a diamond, a cubic zirconia can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Use a soft, cosmetic applicator to reach crevices. However, if you wish, you can use a trusted jewelry cleaner to remove any dirt and dust from your zirconium.

Gemstones Care

You have two choices when cleaning your gemstones: at home or with a professional. When choosing to do so at home, follow these steps:

If unsure, you can always bring your gemstone to a professional for cleaning services. This can be done at most reputable retailers.

How to store Gemstones

When storing your gemstone, keeping them in the original soft packaging is recommended to prevent scratches and other possible damage. 

Keep your gemstones out of direct heat or sunlight, and always avoid harsh chemicals. It is also recommended to safely store your gemstones when going to the beach, swimming in a pool (hello chlorine!), working out, cleaning, and showering.

Remember, these things can damage the gemstones you spent so much time selecting. Let’s keep those gemstones shining bright!

If your gemstone is part of an intricately designed piece or you are nervous about undertaking this task yourself, it is best to ask a professional. Most reputable jewelry retailers will provide cleaning services.

Leather Jewelry Care

Leather is a natural material, general wear and cleaning may cause shrinkage and color variations. To preserve the quality of leather products, please do not wash with any household cleaning fluids. If wet, please allow leather to dry naturally. Do not place near a source of heating or open fire.

How Can I Protect My Jewelry While I’m Wearing it?

We don’t recommend swimming or showering while wearing your jewelry, and removing rings when washing hands.

Chlorine, salt water and fresh water can all damage precious metals and gemstones by dulling or eroding them. Gold and silver plated pieces are particularly susceptible to damage from chlorine, which can permanently damage or discolour them. Soapy water when bathing and showering can also leave a thin film, which makes the metal seem dull.

Some stones such as lapis lazuli can also be quite porous and shouldn’t be left immersed in water for too long. Liquids and oils can seep into the gems through the tiny cracks between the crystals, causing permanent discolouration and damage. Because of this we also don’t recommend wearing porous gems to a beach or hot climates.

It’s as simple as that. Love your ShesFeel Jewelry. Make it last.