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Jewelry Care

What's the best way to care for my jewelry?

Let’s face it – we adore jewelry. The sparkle and shine makes us happy. But what happens when our jewelry looses its sparkle and shine? It gets unhappy. Below are 5 tips to making (and keeping!) your jewelry bright and beautiful – and happy.


1) Avoid chemicals! Lotions, cosmetics, hair products, and perfumes will accelerate tarnishing so put your jewelry on as a finishing touch when getting ready to go out. Contact with household chemicals and perspiration can cause silver to tarnish so remove it when doing household chores or working out. Wearing jewelry while swimming or sunbathing will not only cause odd tan lines, but it will expose your pieces to damaging chlorine and suntan lotion which can change the metal’s color, permanently ruining it.

2) Free the sparkle! It’s gross but true - skin cells, soap and everyday dirt can build up and rob your gemstone jewelry of its sparkle and shimmer. Your weapons to fight the gunk are a soft bristle toothbrush and warm water with a few drops of a mild detergent. Dip the clean toothbrush in the soapy water and gently brush your jewelry – especially around and under gemstones. Rinse in cool, clean water and buff with a clean, soft cloth until dry.

3) Let it shine! Remove light tarnish and restore luster with a commercial polishing cloth. For heavier tarnish, make a paste with 3 parts baking soda and one part water. Use a clean, soft, lint-free cloth and gently rub the paste over your jewelry. Rinse in cool water and buff until dry. Commercial silver cleaning dips can be used on jewelry made exclusively of silver. NEVER use it on jewelry pieces that are oxidized or are set with “organic” or porous stones like pearl, amber, abalone, turquoise, coral and emerald.

4) Take it off! Deep scratches, chipped stones and bent metal can be expensive to repair, so be proactive when it comes to your jewelry and remove it before participating in physical activity. Chains can become tangled and break so take off necklaces before bed.

5) Store it right! Right before you store your jewelry wipe it off with a soft, dry cloth to remove any perspiration or chemicals. Exposure to air and moisture tarnishes jewelry so don't keep pieces in the bathroom. Instead, store your silver jewelry individually in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips. Gold is a relatively soft metal and can get scratched by other pieces so store them individually in small, soft, cloth bags. Avoid prolonged exposure to excess heat and light.

If you have any questions about how to care for a particular piece of Sonoma Art Works jewelry, give us a call!