Jewelry is more than just an accessory. It can be a meaningful gift or a cherished heirloom that we want to keep in good condition. However, over time, our favorite pieces can become tarnished or dirty. What better time to get your treasured jewels and gems in tip top shape than for spring, we'll explore some tips on how to clean your handmade jewelry, including vermeil gold, sterling silver, mixed metals, and gemstones.
Vermeil gold is a type of jewelry that has a layer of 24 karat gold over sterling silver. To clean vermeil gold, I swear by ‘Brilliant’ silver cleaner which can be found on Amazon. Gently dip the vermeil in the cleaner and then rinse under running water and pat dry. Voila, your vermeil will be as shiny as ever. Do not rub your vermeil with a cleaning cloth as it will actually start to rub off the thin layer of precious gold.
Sterling silver is a popular material for handmade jewelry, but it can also tarnish over time. As with the vermeil gold, I also use the Brilliant silver cleaner but this time feel free to rub away! I also like Connoisseurs Jewelry Wipes for Gold and Silver. If you are trying to avoid chemicals then mix a small amount of baking soda and water to create a paste. Use a soft cloth to rub the paste onto the jewelry, then rinse it clean and dry it with a soft cloth.
For Gold or Goldfill I like to use ‘Brilliant’ Jewelry Cleaner (different from the sterling cleaner) and again you can rub these precious metals to your heart’s content.
Mixed metal sets can be a bit trickier to clean, as different metals may require different cleaning methods. To clean mixed metal jewelry, first, identify the metals used in the piece. Then, follow the cleaning method for each metal individually. For example, if the jewelry contains both silver and gold, you can use the cleaning method for each metal as described above.
Different gemstones can be delicate, so it's important to take extra care when cleaning them. You can also clean hard gems such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds in with the Brilliant Jewelry Cleaner but not porous gems such as opals and pearls . If you are unsure of the hardness of your gemstone, be sure to avoid harsh chemicals, heat or abrasive materials that could damage the stones and simply clean with soapy water and a soft cloth.
In addition to cleaning your handmade jewelry, there are some other tips you can follow to keep it in good condition. Store your jewelry in a dry, cool place to prevent tarnishing or damage. While my designs fit well for everyday wear avoid wearing your jewelry while swimming or bathing, as exposure to water and chemicals can be harmful. And finally, consider taking your jewelry to a professional jeweler for cleaning and maintenance. It is recommended to clean your jewelry once every few months to keep it looking its best. However, if you wear your jewelry frequently, it may require more frequent cleaning.
By following these tips, you can keep your jewelry in great condition. And remember, a little bit of TLC can go a long way in keeping your favorite pieces looking their best for longer.