Cleaning and care is especially important with fine handcrafted jewelry. Many of the chemical jewelry cleaners on the market can damage gems, deteriorate precious metals, and strip off patinas. To protect your pieces and keep them looking their best, follow these tips:
• Sterling silver and gold tarnish from exposure to the air, so storing pieces in individual plastic zipper bags when they’re not being worn will help to prevent this. Surprisingly, wearing it more frequently can help prevent heavy tarnish, but be sure to take it off when showering, sleeping, or gardening.
• To remove film (soaps, lotions, oils, etc.), add a few drops of Dawn or another mild dish detergent to 1 cup of warm water. Scrub gently with a soft, clean toothbrush and rinse well, especially behind any stones. Sometimes a good cleaning is all it really takes. You can find more details about this in our Cleaning and Care article.
• To brighten the silver or gold, try a dry polishing cloth like a rouge cloth or Sunshine cloth.
• For more tarnished pieces, Blitz Silver Shine is magic in a bottle. It’s far less abrasive than other cleaners, and also protects your jewelry from re-tarnishing as quickly. Use a small amount on a cotton pad or soft, clean cloth to safely restore and maintain a beautiful luster without harming your jewelry.
Please Note: Use extra caution when cleaning jewelry containing emerald, opal, or any organic material such as pearl, coral, and amber. If you need more information on cleaning these items, get in touch.
• DON’T use the dip-and-rinse liquid tarnish remover solutions, particularly ones that contain sulfamic acid or thioreau. Most of these instant cleaners are REALLY bad for jewelry because they remove the tarnish by etching the surface of the metal. In many cases, it can cause immediate, permanent damage to metals and gemstones.
• Don’t rub or scrub jewelry with toothpaste or baking soda. Both materials are abrasive and can scratch the metal or ruin the finish. You can find out more here.
Your jewelry should be the last thing you put on in the morning, and the first thing you take off at night. Cosmetics and body products can tarnish your jewelry, build up a dull film, cause skin irritation, and even abrade precious metals. Plus, wearing your jewelry to bed puts unnecessary wear and tear on the chains, jump rings, and settings. By protecting your favorite pieces, you’ll be able to enjoy them longer.
Engagement rings and other gemstone rings that are worn daily should have their settings checked yearly to make sure the stones are secure. Bezels are a very secure setting and we pride ourselves on using a thicker, stronger bezel than many jewelers, but nothing is indestructible. Play it safe, and have your rings professionally checked and cleaned.
Moving parts such as jump rings and chains should also be checked yearly for signs of wear.
We take great pride in the quality of our work, and we want you to enjoy your Narrow House jewelry for many years to come. If you find that your piece is in need of repair, please contact us. Any work performed on Narrow House pieces by another jeweler will void any guarantees we may offer, and may lead to more expensive repairs in the future.