I have been wanting to do this blog for awhile. But I knew that just words and pictures weren't enough so I also did a video to go with it. However, I do need these additional words and pics to go with the video as I feel it is not complete on its own.
This blog talks about silver jewelry. I use primarily Argentium Silver when making jewelry. There are many reason for that. It has a much higher silver content than traditional sterling, but also the fabrication is so much easier. It will fuse to itself but when you want or need to solder, it solders like a dream.
It also does not tarnish like sterling. Now that is not to say it never tarnishes, just not as rapidly and it is much easier to clean. I want to show you a few ways that I like to clean and protect my jewelry.
If your jewelry is just a bit dirty and not much tarnish you can use an old toothbrush and blue Dawn dish soap.
This is my big jug of Dawn. You can see I buy it in quantity for the studio. It is shown here with a brass brush, not a toothbrush.
If you leave out your jewelry and don't wear it for awhile it can tarnish quite a bit. Humid conditions add to this. It is best to store your jewelry in the original bags or in a tray or drawer lined with silver tarnish cloths such as those found in silverware boxes. Those felt cloths are actually there to help prevent tarnish by absorbing the sulfur that causes tarnish.
If your jewelry gets very tarnished before you are able to clean it, my favorite, very favorite way to clean jewelry is with the brass brush shown above. This is NOT a welders brass brush. The bristles on this brush are so fine and soft it feels like hair.
A little Dawn on this brush and you will get an instant shine. It also does not hurt stones. I would still be gentle with turquoise and pearls. Also you do not want to let your water get super hot as it can damage stones from the heat. So just use slightly warm water.
Another very quick way is to use a Goddard's Cloth.
This is a blue cloth that is impregnated with thiol. That is a chemical that will inhibit tarnishing. I have had the same cloth for a couple of years and it is still going strong. Again this cloth is best used before the jewelry becomes very dark with tarnish.
Just a quick rub and it is all beautiful again and you have applied a thin coat of thiol in the process.
If I have very small chains where I cannot get into the insides of the rings, I will use a dip.
I do not use this dip very often. It is caustic and does eat away the tarnish and could damage your jewelry if used too often and left on too long. But there are cases that it is just perfect for.
This is not like many dips you will see advertised for silver flatware or other silver pieces. Do not use those. This is formulated specifically for jewelry.
So once you have your jewelry clean what are some ways to help keep it clean?
I have only hit the highlights here so I want to encourage you to please watch the video. When I say goodbye it is only the middle of the video and there are many other great tips and thoughts. So please watch it all the way to the end.
Also, I HAVE to let you know about these great new earrings!!! I cannot believe how beautiful they turned out.
Click here to see all the beautiful colors.
If you have any questions about jewelry cleaning or would like help ordering jewelry cleaning products, just send me an email to NJDesigns@cox.net
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