As Spring approaches, I thought I would incorporate a few "spring cleaning" tips with my jewelry business. As a jewelry designer/artist, I use all types of metals. Whether your jewelry is silver plated or sterling silver, copper or brass, even 14 karat gold it is susceptible to "turning".
Any jewelry over time, will need a little TLC to keep it looking as pretty as the day you purchased it. And I consider my beaded creations too beautiful to become tarnished! With proper care, your beaded jewelry should stay beautiful for years!
First of all, prevention is key! How you store your jewelry is a biggie! Keep your jewelry tightly sealed in ziplock bags. You can add no-tarnish strips, which are available from most jewelry suppliers. These strips can be changed out every 3 to 6 months. (Make yourself a note so you don't forget!) You can also use chalk. That's right ladies, CHALK! The chalk attracts any moisture and other chemical residues that may seep into the bag.
If you are really crafty, you can go to your local fabric shop and purchase "tarnish resistant" cloth and make your own jewelry bags. FYI: Many jewelry boxes (the good ones) are made with this fabric!
Now, if you already have jewels that are showing signs of tarnish, don't throw it out!!! I don't recommend jewelry cleaners on any of my beaded creations, sterling silver or not. Because of the various combinations of beads, gemstones, etc. that I use, it's best to stay away from these types of cleaners. My choice, and it works for me like a charm, (no pun intended, lol) is an anti-tarnish cleaning cloth. The cloth won't damage the dark oxidation in the recesses of the silver many of the clasps that I use. I consider this type of oxidation as "adding to the character" of the jewelry piece.
After you've spring cleaned your jewels, be sure to store them as I mentioned earlier! And, it's best to keep your pieces separated and laying flat during storage. Now that you've spent the time to get your jewelry box cleaned and organized, take the time to simply wipe your jewelry with the anti-tarnish cloth after wearing. This should keep it clean and beautiful, and most importantly, "tarnish free"!
Don't forget, the things we do as girls to keep us beautiful...make-up, hairspray, body lotions, and perfumes...can damage the beauty of our jewelry! With that in mind, let putting your jewels on be the last thing you do when you are getting ready.
There! Now go spring clean your bling!