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These pieces are my babies and I want them to be treasured for a long time. However, sterling silver is prone to tarnish. Moisture and pollutants are the primary cause of this. However, there are several things you can do to protect your piece. When you are not wearing your piece, keep it in a zip lock bag. I keep everything that I make to sell in individual zip lock bags to keep them in perfect condition.  I also use Intercept® anti tarnish strips or tabs. These are a must. You can use the little tabs for single pieces, or a strip for several pieces. The tabs last for about a year and will begin to change color when you need to replace them. Do I keep my own jewelry in zip lock bags? Sometimes, but there are ways to deal with tarnish.

For pieces with a patina (textured pieces):

I use a Sunshine® polishing cloth. It is a very slightly abrasive cloth that will bring the shine back to the piece.  Just two or three wipes with the cloth and it is shiny again. The cloth will not damage the patina or scratch the surface of the piece. After use, the cloth start to will darken. Keep using it. I will keep using mine until it is almost black. Do not wash the cloth. Just toss it away. These are available on-line (e.g., Amazon).

For pieces without a patina and chains:

The Sunshine Polishing cloth will work, but it can be very tough to get into all the nooks and crannies. I have found a dip that is awesome:  Connoisseurs® . They make three different types: one for sterling silver only, one for precious metals (e.g., gold and diamonds) and one for delicate (e.g., pearls).  With the one for sterling silver only, I just drop the chain or charm in the jar, swish it around for about 3 seconds and then take it out, rinse it very well and dry it thoroughly. A jar will last you a lifetime and it is very inexpensive.  Keep in mind, this is for sterling silver only.

That said, I have tested a few items to see if they will be damaged. Glass beads will be ok, but I don’t leave them in very long. I have tested Niobium and it isn’t damaged.

Keum Boo:

Keum Boo has a wax coating on the outside to protect the gold and the silver with the patina.  It is basically a carbide wax similar to what you would use on a car. I put a tiny dab on the piece, rub it around and let it dry. When it is dry, I buff it gently with a soft micro fiber cloth. The existing wax coating should last a long time. To brighten it up a bit, just buff with a soft micro fiber cloth.

Leather and silver wrap bracelets:

You should not get the leather wet. And the beads and tubes will tarnish. I am sorry, but I find these the most difficult to polish up. I highly recommend keeping them in a zip lock bag with an anti tarnish strip when not worn. When they need polishing up, I use a Sunshine® cloth to polish each individual bead and tube.  Not my favorite task, but it works.

Caring for your jewelry: Text
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