Copyright © Linda R. Paine
My view of hand crafted jewelry is you have purchased a piece of art work that requires gentle wearing and the same care that you would extend to a painting or antique quilt. With the quailty materials and care I use building and assembling the jewelry pieces you should receive a life time of wear and be able to past the piece on to the next generation. My designs incooperate a textile quality and thus have multiple layers. The current fad where women like to wear multiple bracelets which they freely admit to never taking off may not be the best way to keep any jewelry in good condition. It often makes me think of a clanging key ring where the constant wear against each other mars the jewelry over time as well as getting it constantly wet swimming or in the shower. Two bracelets together, such as a Celtic Knot with a Petite Chevron looks great and will not damage each other; but the wider woven bracelets, such as a Mutiple Weave should perhaps adorn one wrist with a complimentary piece on the other wrist.
The yellow and rose gold filled jewelry can easily be kept looking shiny and new by using a soft cloth to gently wipe with a polishing motion. My gold and niobium bracelet should only be gently cleaned with a soft cloth. The color of niobium is anodized and will dull or scratched if or rubbed abrasively. Never apply polish to niobium; I only mix niobium with gold for that reason of easier care.
The mixed precious metal jewelry made up of gold and silver would benefit from tumbling, which I am always willing to do for you if you are in the area. Otherwise, follow the following cleaning suggestions. Basically, do not over do it or use the special silver cleaning cloths on multiple layered pieces - as paste or polishing liquids will get lodged in the layers. Everyone likes a sparkle, but a certain lovely patina on silver can be wonderful, and many appreciate the mellow look.
Questions on cleaning of the jewelry can easily be answered in that it can safely be cleaned the same way most of your other jewelry is cleaned. I have tumbled all the jewelry to clean, shine and work harden the pieces. At home one might use a small ultra sonic cleaner or a special jewelry cleaning cloth for the solid bracelets. The necklaces and jump ring linked pieces could be cleaned with a soft tooth brush and warm water(distilled water if possible) with a few drops of DAWN liquid. Always rinse well in warm water, dry with paper towels and then finish drying with a hair dryer on a towel. Let the piece set out a few hours before replacing the jewelry into the specially provided zip lock bag with a postage size black slip which discourages tarnish. Storing the jewelry in the zip lock bag limits the affects of the environment on the jewelry – especially near the coast.
Storage in a special separate jewelry zip-lock bag can be a great help in keeping your jewelry looking good. Do not lump all your jewelry together or leave it out to the environment or expose it to chlorine in pools. Professionals suggest that you put jewelry on after makeup and hair spray.