Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why Is My Plated Jewelry Turning Dark? Why Won't My Crystals Sparkle?

I thought I might take some time to discuss jewelry care and cleaning! Most of the items I sell are plated. Plating means that although the metal used is "base metal" (usually brass, sometimes aluminum), it is coated a number of times with sterling silver or actual gold! When something is plated, they apply multiple layers of the precious metal over the base metal to keep the plating from wearing off! Plated jewelry will darken (tarnish) due to the fact that it is actual sterling silver or gold!
Any time you wear jewelry, you should always wait untill last to put your jewelry on! It's best not to expose your jewelry to hairspray or perfume. Your jewelry also picks-up naturals oils produced by your skin! All of this, plus simply being exposed to oxygen lead to one thing....dull, darkening, (oxidized) jewelry, be it crystals or metal!

If you have plated or perhaps you even have "toned" jewelry, DO NOT use ANY of the liquid jewelry cleaners! Though they say they will not harm plating, I have a more effective, SAFER, much less costly way to clean ALL of your jewelry including Sterling Silver and Gold!

This is what I do, and it works great:
Buy a SOFT (usually childs) toothbrush for use exclusively when cleaning jewelry.
Use whatever you have on hand...liquid soap, shampoo, ANY mild cleanser. Place the jewelry in the palm of your hand (just in a pile, one necklace-pair of earrings at a time). Apply a small amt. (one squirt) of liquid soap/shampoo into your palm on top of the jewelry. Let some water pool in your palm & gently swish the toothbrush on the jewelry. Rinse well & place on a plush handtowel. Repeat for a;ll you are cleaning. when finished washing~gently roll the towel-up (with the jewelry inside). Get a lint-free cloth and dry each piece gently, by hand. This makes all of your crystals & metals look like new!

The key things to remeber: GENTLE swishing, you CAN make your jewelry look new!

7 comments:

  1. Very informative article Aprille! I like that you use products that we all have on hand, and no chemicals!!

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  2. Thank you for posting this! Very informative and easy.

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  3. omg, why did i think of that as too complicated when i have everything available in my sink, grrr! Now i know.

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  4. btw, you've been tagged. http://fabthings411.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-whats-hotwhats-not.html

    xoxo!

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  5. Plated jewelry will darken tarnish due to the fact that it is actual sterling silver or gold! any time you wear jewelry, you should always wait untill last to put your jewelry on.so its all about the Jewelry web design statistics.

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  6. Great post! There is so much conflicting information on what is the best way to clean jewelry but I'd agree that this method works best for plated jewelry as well.

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  7. jewelry also picks-up naturals oils produced by our skin! All of this, plus simply being exposed to oxygen lead to one thing....dull, darkening,oxidized jewelry, be it crystals or metal.

    ReplyDelete

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If you have QUESTIONS relating to jewelry (cleaning/Locating/history/mystery stone ID) Maybe you are looking for a TUTORIAL. Would you like to be a FEATURED ARTIST on my blog? I will feature a (handmade, indie) artist OF ANY MEDIUM! You do NOT have to be a jewelry artist to request a feature on my blog!! You can email me about any of these things, and more! Here is my email:
ArtistryJewelryStudios@gmail.com Aprilee