First and foremost, Made Line Jewelry is designed and built to last. I intentionally design jewelry that is a bit thicker, sturdier, and meant to be worn all day, every day, if you wish! I intend for your jewelry to be comfortable and taken care of with ease.
Even with all of these intentions, jewelry is simply just not indestructible. I have a few tips outlined below to keep your jewelry fresh, clean, and undamaged.
General Care Tips
The best way to make sure that you don’t have to clean or repair your jewelry often is to:
- Take off before working-out or doing a lot of “handy” work - although it is totally ok to sweat in Made Line Jewelry, sometimes sterling silver will tarnish more quickly this way. I also just recommend this for personal safety reasons! I don’t want your large hoop earrings or rings to get stuck in a machine at the gym!
- Take off before gardening or working with anything messy or dirty - these materials can easily get stuck in a piece of jewelry, particularly underneath gemstones.
- Take off before swimming in chlorine, spraying perfume, hairspray, or any other harsh chemicals.
If indeed, you do all the above, you will still likely encounter some of these points below depending on the materials of your jewelry. Please keep in mind that these notes are specific to the metal that Made Line Jewelry is made in most often: solid Sterling Silver and 14K Yellow Gold. These tips do not apply to costume jewelry, plated, or vermeil jewelry.
- Sterling Silver tends to tarnish when exposed to oxides in the air. The tarnishing process can be slowed down if the jewelry is kept in a compartment or bag by itself. Sometimes, when sterling silver is worn regularly, the oils on your skin actually help keep the metal from tarnishing. It tends to tarnish more quickly if it simply sits in a jewelry box or drawer untouched. Another tip for helping prevent tarnish is to keep it in close proximity to a silica gel packet (you know, those ones that come in new product packages). These help soak up the moisture in the air and can help prevent tarnishing from occurring.
- 14K gold is not as prone to tarnishing as much as silver. However, sometimes it can still occur (especially on earring posts depending on your body chemistry) which is completely normal. Simply rub your jewelry with a polishing cloth and any small amount of tarnish should easily come off.
- Please be extremely careful with at-home anti-tarnish cleaners. Some can contain very harsh chemicals that can damage gemstones, especially soft ones!
Some metal is more prone to scratching than others. I personally embrace the wear and scratches on my jewelry, finding it to be an intimate testament to time. I think worn-in heirloom jewelry has a special feel of life and history within. If that’s not your jam - a local jeweler will be able to easily re-polish your piece no problem.
- Sterling silver, in general, is softer than gold so some scratching can occur over time, especially if you wear your jewelry everyday.
- 14K gold is an alloy with about 58% gold and the rest is a mixture of silver and other metals. One reason for this is because pure 24K gold is very soft, so this alloy is to make the metal harder and more durable for jewelry. 14K gold will not scratch as easily. making it perfect for wearing everyday.
- Important Note on Gemstones - All gemstones have different hardness levels and durability. Some stones, such as opals and pearls, are very soft and cannot handle harsh chemicals, intense heat changes, or daily wear. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are the hardest and most durable gemstones that are ideal options for engagement rings and everyday wear.
In general, it’s great to get into the habit of periodically cleaning your jewelry. This is especially helpful if you have a piece with a stone in it. Overtime things like lotion and soap residue, etc. can build up underneath a stone, making it look more dull.
- My recommendation for cleaning is simple and the same for sterling silver, gold, and all gemstones: place warm water and a drop of gentle dish soap in a bowl, gently place your jewelry in the water and let it soak for a few minutes, then use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the piece. Rinse the soap off thoroughly, then use a soft towel to dab the piece dry and if handy, you can use a polishing cloth to give it more shine for the final step.