Are you experiencing any of the following?
Dents or dings in your ring bands?
Loose bracelet links?
All jewelry is not created equal. Some pieces can withstand jumping jacks under an elephant and others seem to come apart with a cool breeze. Sometimes it’s the jewelry, sometimes it’s our personal habits. And there are many factors involved. Knowing these factors can also help us choose jewelry that fits our lifestyle and thus help us avoid regret.
Let’s look at what the cause may be to the damage you’re seeing.
Are you doing any of the following?
Sleeping in your jewelry
Links, toggle closures, posts and brackets can get hung, bent or broken while we toss and turn in our sleep. Not to mention they could come off and get lost! Remove your precious pieces before you turn in. It’ll cut down on those nightmares where someone is stabbing and slashing you. (It’s your jewelry poking and cutting you. lol)
Leaving jewelry tangled or balled up
This can also happen while sleeping, being improperly stored or if wearing it during vigorous movement. Store laying flat with no knots in a linear manner to avoid kinks and breaks.
Hanging heavy or moderately weighted necklaces or bracelets
I can’t stress this enough. Hanging jewelry puts stress on the links, wires, fabric and closures. In cases where the piece is lightweight, it’s ok, but overall, don’t risk the longevity of your piece. Store it lying down & untangled.
Storing in direct sunlight
If your piece has fabric, this is key. Direct sunlight can cause discoloration and/or fading. Not to mention that some sealants/glues may loosen with intense heat (like that through the window of a hot sunny day).
Wearing while jogging, doing dishes, using chemicals or operating machinery with moving parts
Sweat is acidic & dirt can cause wear on the finish of fashion jewelry. The buildup of dead skin & our body’s natural oils can also dull the shine on silver & gold. Avoid chemicals, creams & lotions as well. Some have found that not cleaning their 14K gold rings caused an allergic reaction because of the lotion, dirt and sweat that collected under them. EEEEW! Once cleaned, the allergic reaction stopped. Be careful not to wear loose jewelry (or to be safe, any jewelry) when operating machinery that could pull it off or get caught.
Wearing while gardening, washing dishes, washing your hair, washing your car, playing sports or doing manual labor
Again, dirt, oil, creams, soap with stripping properties, etc. can damage your fashion jewelry or cause buildup on your fine jewelry and require an increase of the number of necessary cleanings. Remove these items while completing these tasks to elongate their life.
Here are some facts about sterling silver:
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. (Hence the 925 stamp found on sterling silver jewelry)
Many precious metals are very soft, which is why they are often combined with something else to add hardness so they will last longer.
Sterling silver tarnishes in the presence of sulfides in the air, emitted by diesel engines. Often, because silver tarnishes, it is often mistaken for imitation or silver-plated material. A good cleaning using natural products or a good quality jewelry cleaner designed specifically for sterling silver will restore the sheen and shine almost immediately (there are cases where more than one cleaning may be necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions to avoid damage to your item-don’t dip stones!!
Here are some ways to organize your jewelry. But notice the strands of pearls in the picture on the right? They should be stored in a line, not rolled or wound.
Silver Plate is a thin layer of Fine Silver placed over a base metal. Also known as Silver Tone, Silver Plate is often considered the most cost effective alternative to the more expensive forms of solid silver jewelry. That said, this form of silver is very thin, wears off easily and degrades in appearance quickly. (You won’t find these items in my selection for that very reason!)
Jewelry shouldn’t be worn in dirty or wet conditions or in situations where a lot of vigorous movement will occur. This is especially true for intricate or lighter weight pieces. Even sturdier pieces can take a beating if put in poor conditions. So love on your jewelry & it’ll be with you for years and years to come!
Questions? Ask away! Contact me.