Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place in the box or pouch provided, as this protects the finish from unwanted scratches. Don't toss your jewelry pieces in a drawer or jewelry case all together as items can scratch each other.
If you keep your jewelry in a fabric lined jewelry case, use one with compartments or dividers to keep pieces separate so scratches don't occur. If you use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper with pendants separately from chains so that the chains don't scratch the pendants.
Avoid ultrasonic cleaners or leave their use to a professional jeweler. Some stones can shatter when cleaned ultrasonically or burnish set stones can loosen from the waves produced by the motor of the ultrasonic cleaner. An ionic cleaner, like the Mini Speed Brite, can easily be purchased online and is a safer way to clean most jewelry including many delicate gemstones. The ionic system uses a gentle soap and bubbles formed by a carefully controlled electrical current, to reduce the surface tension of dirt, oils and tarnish to float them away. Rinse under warm water after removing an item from the ionic cleaner, remembering to cover the drain first. Then set to dry on a clean cloth. Read and follow all directions before submersing your jewelry and clean one piece at a time. Change the solution as directed.
Please note that special care should be taken with blackened silver. See below.
After cleaning, mechanisms and moving parts such as on ear wires and clasps will require a small dab of oil with a cotton swab to keep the hinge or spring working properly. Mineral oil works fine and is available at most drugstores. Avoid exposing your jewelry to chemicals such as lotions, sunscreen, perfume, hairspray, makeup and harsh cleaning solutions.
I suggest leaving rings on when washing your hands away from home. It is too easy to forget a ring on a counter or drop it on a hard commercial floor. The heavier the ring, the harder it falls. When removing your jewelry to wash your hands at home, don't leave your jewelry on the rim of a sink where it can easily slide down the drain or fall to the tile floor.
Do remove rings when lifting weights, rock climbing, gardening or engaging in any activity that may damage your rings by putting pressure on your hands. While your ring is crafted for durability and strength, misuse can greatly affect its life span. Never wear your ring while swimming, as chlorine is damaging to precious metals. A ring that has small diamonds, other gemstones or burnish set stones requires more maintenance to check that the stones remain secure. If your ring experiences a serious blow or is dropped on a hard surface, gently tap the top of each stone to ensure that it's still securely in place. Shake it and if any of the stone move or makes a tapping or clicking noise, do not wear the ring until it is examined by a jeweler.
Applied finishes like black rhodium or patinas such as oxidation or antique finishing are surface treatments. After some time, each piece of jewelry develops a patina of wear. Much of the durability of the finish depends on the care that the wearer takes with the piece of jewelry. Exposure to daily wear, skin acidity, perfumes, lotions, sunscreens and cleaning solutions can affect the look of blackened silver.
Blackened jewelry is best cleaned in the gentlest way by soaking in a solution of warm water with mild dish soap. Dry carefully with a soft cloth. Take care not to scrub, especially around burnish set stones or across the blackened surfaces. It can be cleaned in an ionic cleaner very occasionally but do not leave for full length of cleaning cycle.
The matte or stone finish jewelry will look lighter after cleaning. You can wait for it naturally to pick up some of your body oils or you can add a tiny drop of mineral oil to darken the metal avoiding any stones.
See your jeweler at least once a year to have your jewelry checked for loose stones, worn clasps and mechanisms and overall wear and tear. They can professionally clean your jewelry at this time but make sure to request that they do not refinish your jewelry after they have cleaned it. If you desire, your jewelry can be refinished periodically and it should be sent back to Catherine Iskiw Designs so that it can be finished as closely to the original as possible.
For more information on caring for your Jewelry, please see the G.I.A. Website
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