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January 29, 2014
After a piece of jewelry has tarnished, choosing whether to clean it is really a matter of personal preference. Some people allow the colors of aging to portray a more natural appearance. The popular tarnish of copper and bronze, for example, is called patina. It’s a greenish hue that distinctly changes the coloring. It’s more pronounced on detailed pieces. Copper and bronze jewelry can be cleaned to a shine instead if you prefer. Sterling silver can also be cleaned to a shine, but even high quality silver will tarnish and turn very dark with time.
Jewelry Care and Tarnish Prevention
Eventually, most silver, bronze and copper pieces tarnish. It happens naturally when air contacts certain types of metals. You can slow down tarnishing by keeping your jewelry in individual plastic bags. The oils from your skin can also cause a natural tarnish reaction with metals. This is even more likely to happen when your jewelry comes in contact with residue from hair care and skincare products. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands after styling your hair and using make-up and fragrances. Put on jewelry last when you’re getting ready for the day or a night out with friends, and pack it carefully when you travel. It’s a good idea to gently wipe down jewelry with a polishing cloth to minimize discoloration after you take off your earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
Slowing Jewelry Tarnish
Getting your jewelry wet shortens how long it will last without tarnishing. For example, the chemical reactions in faucet water, swimming pools and the ocean can make it happen even faster. Sterling silver is slower to reflect its age than copper and bronze. Take off your jewelry before showering and swimming to extend the shiny surface’s lifespan. If it does get wet, take the time to dry it off with a cloth or towel that won’t leave water droplets, streaks or lint debris.
How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry at Home
Some jewelry manufacturers believe that over-the-counter liquid cleaning solutions can harm the finish. If your jewelry is dirty or dull and heavily tarnished, you can use a reliable method of cleaning jewelry at home to make it shiny again. Line a small ceramic dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Put the jewelry into the dish, adding enough hot water to cover it. Sprinkle in about one-fourth of a teaspoon of baking soda. Allow it to fizzle and soak for two to five minutes. Remove your jewelry from the dish before the detailing from oxidation is dissolved. Dry and buff your jewelry with a polishing cloth.Jewelry from Coco and Duckie is of high quality and made by talented artisans. Take care of your jewelry by following the tips mentioned above to make it last longer.
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