We are not immune from the wear and tear of life and neither is your gemstone jewelry. Knowing more about caring for handcrafted jewelry will give you a lifetime of wearing pleasure and enjoyment. A semi-precious stone, also referred to as a gemstone, is a portion of a mineral and when refined is cut into the 130 types of stones, minerals and crystals classified and fashioned into beads for jewelry making. Many stones are susceptible to scratching and chipping, therefore proper care is needed to ensure their lasting beauty. The materials used at Earth and Moon Design are mainly semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystal, glass from Czechoslovakia and artisan blown glass.
Wearing handcrafted jewelry is fun, colorful and fashionable, and it evokes treasured memories of occasions when it was worn or purchased. Being thoughtful by taking a few daily steps can keep your beaded jewelry scratch free and looking like new; prolong the life of your jewelry.
What NOT to do with your Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry and WHY
ABOUT DON’TS: If we know the reason for taking or not taking an action, we are more likely to remember it and follow the advice.
- Avoid contact between your jewelry, chlorine, salt water, sand and other chemicals. WHY– It can alter the finish on your semi-precious beads and cause a breakdown (scratching & abrasions) of precious metals and stones. However, if unavoidable, rinse jewelry with fresh, lukewarm water and dry with a soft polishing cloth before putting away.
- While sunscreen is good for your skin, it is not good for the string, wire or thread used on pearls and beaded jewelry. WHY– It can weaken the material your beads are on and eventually the string or wire will break.
- If using insect repellent on a hike in the woods, in a park or on a run, DON’T wear jewelry. WHY– It can erode the metal, stones or string.
- Don’t wear rings if going for a swim. WHY– Ocean cold water causes shrinking fingers and off goes your ring.
- Don’t store Pearls in a plastic bag or close to other jewelry. WHY– The surface is soft and can get easily scratched. Best to store in a silk bag or a velvet lined box.
- DON’T store your jewelry in the bathroom. WHY-The humidity can ruin the materials.
- Don’t use a tissue or paper towel to wipe off your jewelry. WHY– Like an eyeglass lens, the gemstone’s surface is scratchable so always use a soft polishing cloth or 100% cotton cloth.
- Don’t use commercial jewelry cleaner on your handcrafted beaded jewelry. WHY- Chemicals are too abrasive.
- Don’t stack or pile several necklaces on top of one another. WHY- Some stones are soft or porous, like Pearls, Lapis, Malachite, Turquoise, Amber and Opals and can be easily scratched by the clasps and edges of other jewelry. Protect them by wrapping with a soft cloth and store separately.
- Don’t bend your wire wrapped jewelry back and forth. WHY– It will weaken the wire and eventually break.
The Do’s: How to Care for Handmade Jewelry
- Always put your jewelry on AFTER applying your makeup, styling your hair, applying perfume and lotions. A nice RULE to remember: Jewelry is the LAST thing you put on when dressing and the FIRST thing you take off when undressing.
- Do take your fine jewelry for a professional cleaning yearly as a jeweler will check settings. Beaded jewelry can be cared for at home with proper wiping before storage. If a necklace is worn frequently, over time the string or wire can weaken and you might want to have it restrung before it breaks.
- Do always keep your accessories easy to see and accessible. WHY– When tucked inside drawers you are less likely to enjoy wearing them. Each piece of jewelry should be stored separately and here are just a few ways you can choose to do this:
- Items, like bracelets and earrings, can be grouped together and stored separately- using little pretty dishes or trays with small compartments.
- Necklaces should be hung to keep them from tangling.
- You can make your own storage by hanging a towel rod on the wall, sliding S-hooks over the rod and hanging your jewelry on the S- hooks keeping necklaces, earrings and bracelets each in their own areas.
Fun Bonus Tips:
- If you have necklaces with chain, run the chain through a straw and clasp or place in a zip lock bag, keep about 1” of the chain, clasp end out of the top of the bag. WHY- To keep your chain jewelry from tangling.
- Store a silica packet or a piece of chalk inside a bag with a piece of jewelry. WHY – It absorbs the extra moisture.
The finish and color of the stones in a gemstone beaded necklace is what probably attracted you to buy it; let’s keep them clean, scratch free and glistening. At EarthandMoonDesign.com we are always available to answer your questions.