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Jewelry Care

JEWELRY CARE

 

Our designers work with many different high-quality materials and metals. Here is our guide to taking care of your jewelry to keep it beautiful!

 

Because everyone has a different chemical balance within their body, which will affect how various metals wear on your skin, we recommend the following jewelry care guide:

  • Water promotes oxidation, so remove your jewelry before you swim, shower, participate in sweat-inducing workouts, or any activity that water would come in contact with your jewelry.
  • Be gentle with your jewels: direct contact with chemicals in hairspray, perfume, lotions, and cosmetics is not recommended.  Harsh jewelry cleansers or cloths with abrasive compounds can cause damage.  We recommend using a polishing cloth to gently remove any oils or tarnish. If you are in the neighborhood, we are happy to clean a piece of your embellish jewelry, free of charge, while you shop!

 

METALS

Sterling Silver- An alloy of 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% other metal (often copper) to provide stability.

  • Silver naturally tarnishes when in contact with oxygen and sulphur. When you are not wearing your sterling silver jewelry, we recommend storing it in a sealed plastic bag (like a Ziploc) to prevent tarnishing. As silver is soft, the best way to clean it is with a non-abrasive and very soft jewelry polishing cloth. 

 

14k Goldfilled-  “Gold-filled” is a USA industry standard that legally requires 1/20th, or 5% pure gold by weight.  It’s a strictly regulated process that involves pressure bonding multiple thick layers of solid 14k gold with extreme heat over a core of high quality jeweler’s brass resulting in a durable, quality real gold product.

  • 14k Goldfill or Goldfilled jewelry wears the same as solid gold, so it will not tarnish but it will get dirty from wear. To polish, we recommend a very soft toothbrush or cloth and gentle dish soap. 

 

Gold Vermeil- Gold Vermeil is a high quality form of gold plating in which a thick layer of gold (this must be more than 2.5 microns and is usually between 14k – 22k gold) is coated upon sterling silver.

  • Gold vermeil can be washed with a small amount of gentle dish soap or non-chemical soap and warm water. Rinse it well and allow to dry on a cloth or paper towel. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or jewelry cloth and gently rub the surface in a circular motion to clean.

 

Gold Plated-  Gold plated jewelry is made by bonding a very thin layer of gold over another metal. This process creates a layer somewhere from 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch of gold over a more affordable metal, usually silver or copper.

  • Gold Plated jewelry will still tarnish and gently cleaning with a non-chemical cloth can help maintain the finish.

 

Brass/Bronze- Brass or Bronze will darken with wear. If you do prefer this dark patina, be sure to avoid getting your brass jewelry wet.

  • A commercial brass cleaner like "JAX" will restore the original shine to your piece. We've also found a soft toothbrush and ketchup to be effective in cleaning brass.

 

OTHER MATERIALS

Leather- Please avoid getting leather jewelry, accessories, and bags wet. Keeping them dry and clean will keep them in their best condition. Leather wears in over time which adds to its beauty. Leather bags "give" to accommodate what you are carrying. Leather is a natural product so always expect subtle variance in appearance...making it even more unique and beautiful. Should you choose to apply something to protect your leather bags, we suggest a beeswax leather cream and follow the instructions on the label. Be sure not to use on suede or printed leather and always test in a small hidden area first.

Vegan Leather- For those avoiding animal products, vegan leather is an alternative. Made from PU (polyurethane), this material works well for bags and accessories and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Great for our crazy Chicago seasons! Our designers working with Vegan Leather use only the highest quality materials that have passed strict standards testing.