Now that you've ordered that new special piece of jewelry, how do you take care of it to be sure that it continues to look beautiful year after year? It doesn't take much time or effort, just a little attention to where you wear it and how to store it when it's not being worn.
Your handmade jewelry from Form and Funktion can last for generations with proper care and storage. Jewelry should be protected from being scratched, dented, chemically damaged or warped from extreme hot or cold. The best way to store jewelry is in a plastic re-sealable or jewelry bag with an anti-tarnish tab (like the one shipped with your new jewelry), as this will prevent tarnishing. However, jewelry containing pearls or opals should not be stored in plastic bags. Jewelry should be wiped down after wearing to remove dirt and skin oils. It is best to remove jewelry when doing tasks like gardening and cleaning. It is best to avoid wearing jewelry when swimming, hot-tubbing, or bathing, especially when there is chlorine in the water.
Moisture speeds up the tarnishing process so it is important to make sure your jewelry is thoroughly dry before storing it. Once your jewelry is dry, if it looks dull, polish it with a non-abrasive jewelry polishing cloth. I like the Sunshine Polishing Cloth brand (available here: http://tinyurl.com/n5ky29x) for removing tarnish from silver and gold. Use a clean cloth so that the metal is not scratched. It is a good idea to use separate cloths for gold and silver. To avoid forming a pattern, rub the polishing cloth in straight lines, not in a circular motion. Occasionally, change the direction of the straight lines.
Tarnish on silver or gold jewelry can be removed by washing your jewelry in warm water containing a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. You can soak your jewelry in the soap mixture for two to three minutes and rinse thoroughly in clear water. If your jewelry includes soft gemstones such as turquoise, do not put the jewelry into water. Soaking these gemstones in water can damage the polished surface of the stones. It is better to moisten a cotton swab with diluted dishwashing liquid and carefully wipe the surfaces that need cleaning. After cleaning, dry carefully with a soft non-abrasive cloth before storing.
Commercial cleaners should only be used with great care. They should be used only if any stones in the jewelry can withstand the chemicals in the cleaner. Some gemstones that can’t be placed in commercial cleaners are pearls, lapis lazuli, malachite, opals, coral and turquoise.
With care, your jewelry can become a treasured family heirloom to be enjoyed for many years. With simple care and preventative maintenance, your jewelry can last for generations.