How to care for your handcrafted jewelry
We use high quality materials to hand craft our Swarovski Elements and sterling silver beaded jewelry. Jewelry made with fine materials is an investment, and proper care should be taken for it to last a lifetime. The following tips will help you enjoy the brilliance and dazzle of your designer handcrafted jewelry for years to come.
- Remove your jewelry before spraying hairspray or apply lotions, oils, perfumes, and other products.
- Do not wear your jewelry while working with chemicals, doing household chores, or gardening.
- Chlorine bleach is especially harmful to your pieces so you should avoid wearing your investments while in chlorinated pools and hot tubs. Salt can also cause damage, so please remove your jewelry before swimming in a pool or the ocean
- If you have an active lifestyle, take extra precaution in wearing your jewelry, as some stones can easily chip and become damaged.
- Do not sleep with your jewelry on as movement causes stress on all moving parts.
- Do not expose your jewelry to extreme temperatures.
- Do not allow children to play with your jewelry and especially do not allow them to place it in their mouths. Not only does it pose a choking hazard, beads and stones can break and leave sharp edges and some stones, such as crystals, contain lead.
We recommend storing your sterling silver jewelry in zip top bags with all the air squeezed out when not in use to slow down the tarnishing* process (do not store natural pearls in a zip top bag). We always include a zip top bag under the cotton lining of you gift box for jewelry storage. For sterling silver jewelry, a small black antitarnish strip is also included in the bag. If the bag is kept sealed, the strip should help prevent tarnishing for 6 months to 1 year. Store jewelry pieces separately to avoid scratches or bent pieces. Store jewelry away from sunlight as the sun may fade gemstones.
*Tarnish is a naturally occurring process of Sterling Silver called oxidation. Tarnish begins to appear as a golden tone then quickly gets darker. Simply wearing your Sterling Silver jewelry will reduce the rate of tarnish, as body oils slow the rate of tarnish.
The safest method of cleaning most jewelry is to briefly use warm mild soapy water, gently brush with a nonmetal soft brush (such as a soft toothbrush), rinse with cool water, and pat dry with a soft cloth (100% cotton is preferable). Dry completely before storage. Soaking jewelry that contains soft opaque stones such as opal, coral, fluorite, lapis lazuli, pearls, turquoise, malachite, and onyx, is not recommended. Extended soaking may harm the polish on these stones, or may even cause discoloration. Instead, clean the stones with a little soapy water or use a polishing cloth. Commercial jewelry cleaning solutions are not recommended. They are not recommended for pearls, turquoise, emeralds, lapis lazuli, coral, opals, and some coated glass beads (soaking of any kind is generally not recommended for most of these stones either).
The sterling silver components in your jewelry piece can be polished using a soft cotton cloth.
Polishing cloths are easy to use and can be used safely on precious metals. A Sunshine cloth is safe for use on silver and Swarovski crystals. They are available through the online store. Take care when cleaning pieces that are “antiqued” or “oxidized,” such as Bali beads, as polishing too roughly or using any chemical cleaners can remove the lovely patina. Don’t use toothpaste to clean your jewelry! Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a recommended or accepted practice by fine jewelers. Toothpaste contains abrasives and can damage some gemstones and precious metals.
If you have any further or more specific questions about cleaning your handcrafted jewelry, please feel free to contact us at any time.
The above information is general care and not to be assumed for the care of a specific piece of jewelry. If you have any doubts on cleaning your jewelry, contact us, your local jeweler, or clean at your own risk. Starlight Creek Designs is not responsible for improper cleaning habits.