HOW DO I CARE FOR BEADED EARRINGS?
There are a number of things you can do to keep your beaded earrings looking as new as possible for as long as possible.
Ensure that you do not expose the earrings to chemicals, perfumes, skin care products and the like. Do not wear your earrings swimming or in the shower.
The glass beads used have various surface treatments and some are more robust than others. Sunlight will lighten some colours - so ensure that you store away from direct sunlight when you are not wearing.
Thread has a memory so keep your beaded fringe straight either by hanging or lying flat. Avoid pulling on the fringe excessively - thread will relax and loosen over time, but we don’t need to encourage it.
Remember, the beads are made of glass, which is breakable, so be careful not to drop your earrings on hard surfaces or treat them roughly.
If the fringe on your beaded earrings becomes kinked an easy way to straighten it out is to carefully tape the earring onto a flat surface (eg. a desk) with the fringe straightened. Please make sure to use a tape that will not leave an adhesive residue behind - I highly recommend Washi tape.
See the next section for care of Metal + Bead pieces.
HOW DO I CARE FOR METAL JEWELRY?
Sterling Silver, Brass and Bronze are metal alloys that contain copper. Brass and Bronze also contain Zinc or Tin. Alloyed metals are very durable and have been used to make jewelry for millennia. They do however, require proper care to look their best.
Brass, Bronze, Copper, and Sterling Silver are all naturally tarnishing materials. Tarnish is a protective layer that develops on top of the metal due to exposure to chemicals found in air; high moisture levels, exposure to sunlight and contaminants such as salt water can increase this reaction. You can protect your metals by keeping them in airtight packages, using tarnish-resistant products (such as tarnish tabs or strips) that absorb harmful chemicals, and storing in a cool, dry place.
Most tarnish is easily removed by polishing with a mild abrasive. There are many easy ways to remove tarnish - a google search will be your friend if you find yourself in a situation of needing to do this. Polishing your pieces regularly and storing properly can help avoid tarnish generally. I recommend purchasing a good quality polishing cloth (for example - Sunshine Cloths are great). You can also do a gentle clean with a soft toothbrush and dish soap.
For earrings that combine these alloy metals and beads, note that the thread will be somewhat fragile and may pick up colour from the metal if it is allowed to tarnish. When cleaning these earrings around the thread avoid abrasives that will cause the thread to fray or pick up colour from the abrasive. Tread carefully when cleaning these pieces.
14 Kt Gold Fill is an alloy metal with a thick mechanically bonded layer of karat Gold that must be at least 5% of the metal’s weight. Gold Fill differs from gold plating in the amount of karat gold that is bonded to the metal - Gold Plating is a microscopic film that can easily be scratched off the surface. Gold Fill, because of its thick layer of Karat Gold, is of more value, and will resist tarnishing for a much longer period of time than Gold Plated pieces. Even though Gold Fill is more robust it does require care to avoid scratches and you should not use any polishing cloths that contain aggressive abrasives. Do not wear in the shower or pool etc, and store in a clean dry place.
VERY IMPORTANT: please note that any jewelry with stones will have specific care required based not only on the metal but the type of stone. Ensure that you do research to know how to properly care for the stones in your jewelry - different stones will have different levels of caution needed as it relates to care, storage and cleaning.
If you have any questions about care please reach out to me by email: hello[at]sevenprairie.com