Caring for your Jewelry

Sterling Silver

Much of the sterling silver components that I use in my jewelry already have an anti-tarnish coating so they basically require little care. For long term use though I feel that your sterling silver pieces should be cared for as you would any of your other precious metal jewelry.

Sterling silver is a precious metal and has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. After silver was discovered in the western U.S., it became very popular for jewelry use. Actually, more silver was used in jewelry after the 1700s than in all the previous centuries.

Silver is a soft metal and it is mixed with other metals to make a harder silver alloy. Here in the United States the most popular kind of silver is "Sterling Silver" and by law it must be a combination of 92.5 parts pure silver and 7.5 parts of another metal. "Fine Silver" is also available and it must be at least 99.9% pure silver. Fine silver is softer than sterling silver and is not used as much as sterling silver here in the U.S.

Copper is often used as the "other metal" to harden silver, but it has a tendency to darken or tarnish sterling silver when the silver comes in contact with air or other substances. This tarnish looks gray or black and can be removed with silver cleaner and other methods.

I find the best way to keep sterling silver or fine silver looking bright and fresh is:

  • to keep it in a jewelry box lined with tarnish absorbing cloth (Pacific Cloth), or
  • to keep the individual pieces in airtight plastic bags.

I use both the Pacific Cloth jewelry rolls and plastic bags so I know both work well. I do have a few pieces that are over four years old and still have no tarnish after being kept in plastic bags. I have also read that:

  • anti-tarnish strips and
  • small pieces of chalk and
  • silica gel granules in the little packages that come in a variety of items we purchase

also work well to absorb the tarnish.

After wearing a silver piece, it's always best to wipe it with a jewelry polishing cloth which you can purchase from various local and online suppliers. For sterling silver earrings I clean them with the ear cleaner that I bought when I had my ears pierced. Once the earrings are dry, I put them in a plastic bag and they will be ready to wear whenever I want.

All of these things are extra work but, then, your pieces are ready to wear whenever you want without having to clean them again.

Gold Fill

Since gold-colored jewelry is becoming popular again, I've started working with gold-filled components again. I do like the warm glow of gold and find it looks more alive than sterling silver.

Gold-filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. In the U.S. the quality of gold filled is defined by the Federal Trade Commission. If the gold layer uses 14 kt the minimum layer of 14 karat gold in an item stamped GF must equal at least 1/20 the weight of the total item. Gold-filled items are 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating and they should last a lifetime of daily wear. Gold-filled jewelry wears much better than gold plate which is just a thin covering of gold over the base metal.

After wearing your gold-filled jewelry, just wipe it carefully with a jewelry polishing cloth and store it in your jewelry box. For gold-filled earrings, clean them with the ear cleaner that can be purchased where ears are pierced. Once they are dry, place them in your jewelry box. You don't need to keep gold-filled jewelry in plastic bags.

Rose Gold

Rose gold jewelry is plated over a copper base with a lacquer finish applied to protect it. To keep your rose gold jewelry beautiful follow the instructions above for Gold-filled jewelry.

Beautiful Brass

I like the rich, darker color of brass, whether natural or antiqued. I just love the whimsical aspect of the many pieces which tell a story, whether it's about love, your hobbies, natural things, your family, old things such as antique watches, etc. It's a lot of fun to think about an idea, and watch the jewelry come alive from the items you find in your stash (inventory). If you have a particular story to tell, let me know and I will try to develop it for you.

As far as caring from brass pieces, just clean them with a soft cloth to remove oils, etc. from them.


Bronze is a beautiful metal that has been around for thousands of years and it is an affordable metal with a warm, rich color that is a bit more earthy than gold. It is an alloy that consists of approximately 90% copper and 10% tin. Bronze will naturally tarnish and become darker over time, adding character to the metal. The bronze I use in my jewelry does not contain nickel or zinc so it should be hypoallergenic for most wearers.

As mentioned above, Bronze will oxidize over time, turning a darker, more muted color. Some prefer this darker, aged color as it adds character to the metal. To maintain a shiny bright finish for as long as possible, store your bronze in a plastic bag, and keep it as dry as possible. Do not wear in the shower or store in a humid environment.

To return bronze to its original shine, a paste made of baking soda and lemon can be applied with a soft cloth. Rub until the item is clean. Wash the mixture off using running water, then dry and buff with a clean cloth.

To protect all of your jewelry, salt water, chlorine (swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs) and all hairsprays, perfumes, lotions, detergents and cleaning agents should be avoided.

Free shipping in the U.S.A.

Yes, free shipping to U.S.A. residents.

$3.00 shipping to Canada

Just $3.00 postage for Canadian residents.