Taking Care of Your Jewelry

Taking Care of Your Jewelry

Maintaining the high quality of your Native American Jewelry is important to keeping your pieces around for a long time. I recommend professional cleaning from a jeweler, but here are some ways to avoid damaging your jewelry.

Important General Care Notes for Gemstones

  • Never use toothpaste to clean a gemstone or the metal around it. This can damage the surface of the metal, scruff certain gemstones, and in some extreme cases, ruin a piece.
  • Do not use bleach to clean your jewelry. This is damaging to metal and for some gemstones, can cause deterioration. Key things to stay away from are Turpentine, acetone, ammonia, and denatured alcohol.
  • Try to avoid swimming with your gemstone jewelry. Chlorine can breakdown the durability of a gemstone, so remove any jewelry before swimming in a pool, and thoroughly wash off any sunscreen or leftover pool water before putting jewelry back on.
  • If you wear cosmetics, perfumes, or spray-style hair care, do not apply these while wearing your jewelry. Try to avoid having your jewelry touch foundation or spray tans.
  • Long exposure to sunlight may cause some gemstones to fade in color and shine. Instead, store your jewelry in a cool spot such as a jewelry case.
  • Cleaning Your Gemstone – It is recommended that after each wear, you gently use a polishing cloth to wipe clean your gemstone. This will get rid of any body oils on the jewelry. Do not wet the cloth or scrub with it, a simple soft cleaning will do.

Caring for Metal/Stiff Native American Jewelry

  • Do not bend or widen bracelets, necklaces, or other jewelry that is made of metal or other stiff material. This can damage the metal and distort any imagery within it. Altering a stiff piece can cause gemstones to become loosened and even fall out. If a stiff piece does not fit correctly, please contact me for options on adjustment.
  • Money clips are one of the few metal items that can be slightly bent, due to their purpose. They are constructed to be slightly tightened or loosened to accommodate your needs. I do not recommend stretching it much further than it is already adjusted to.

Caring for Inlay & Pearl Native American Jewelry

  • Inlay jewelry has gems that are placed in fragile designs. Because of their delicateness, it is important to treat these pieces with great care. When wearing a piece with inlay, avoid allowing it to come in moving contact with a hard surface. This can cause the gems to crack, break, or fall out.
  • Avoid wearing your inlay jewelry such as rings when working with your hands where the gems could come in contact with hard surfaces or damaging substances. Gardening, pet cleaning, and house cleaning can cause inlay jewelry to collect the substances and damage the gem.

Caring for Silver & Sterling Silver Jewelry

  • Long term exposure to the elements can actually damage sterling silver jewelry. If you only occasionally wear your sterling silver pieces, store them in a plastic bag that is placed in a cool, dry place. This will prevent discoloration and tarnishing.
  • Prongs holding in gems on sterling silver jewelry are very fragile. Make sure to examine the prongs for any looseness, damage, or loss discoloration. If you notice anything, contact a professional jeweler to avoid losing the gem.
  • If you notice your sterling silver taking on a yellow, black, or darker color, it is becoming tarnished. This happens when it is exposed to humidity, acids, and other elements. 
  • Use anti-tarnishcloths as the best defense. These can be bought at any jewelry store and can be used to wrap individual silver pieces.
Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published