Wear and Tear + Care

25 Mar

It’s TNT Thursday:

“This-N-That” Thursday

I am wondering which metals you like to wear most in jewelry.  Also, if you like to give gifts, which type metal do you most often give as a gift? Commonly, I create silver, gold, brass, and copper-colored metal items, and I also love to also mix these metals together for unique creations.   There are also other types of metals that you may be familiar with like rose gold, platinum, and yellow gold, for example.  Each has its own special qualities and demands specific care.

The question posed on the Club Creative Studio Facebook Fan Page is: “Which metal do you wear most often, gold, silver, brass or copper?”  Feel free to visit that site to place your opinion in view there or at the bottom of this post as well.  Why would I be curious to learn of your answers?  I would like to offer a few tips you may use to care for what you like and wear most often.  A lot of people will suggest toothpaste as a cleaner solution – and it does get your jewelery clean – but the fluoride in it will also damage the metal.

Stainless Steel  Stainless Steel is a metal with many uses. Most commonly, stainless steel is seen in kitchen ware (cookware and cutlery), appliances, hardware, art-deco sculptures and architecture, and jewelry. Stainless steel is a silvery-white color with a mirror finish that retains its shine and color very well and resists tarnishing. The most popular uses for stainless steel in jewelry are watches, bracelets, rings, earring posts and body jewelry because it is easy to clean. Stainless steel jewelry does not rust, and it will not discolor some skin types like other traditional alloys.

Brass   The oils in our skin react with the brass and turn its color in course of time. If you want to retain the natural color of a brass surface, do not touch it with bare hands. It is better not to use any strong chemical or abrasive for cleaning brass because they will destroy the finish and the original shine. Abrasives will leave fine scratches which will tarnish faster. Do not use substances like Muriatic Acid. It not only leaves stains on the brass surface, it also produces dangerous fumes. Olive oil slows the formation of tarnish. So if brass is rubbed with a cloth moistened with olive oil after each polishing, brass will look brighter for a longer period of time. If you’re not sure that your item is really made of brass, use the magnet test. If a magnet sticks then it is not brass.

Gold – When properly cared for, gold jewelry may last forever. It is always best to store each individual piece separately away from other jewelry pieces.  Pieces can touch, rub and scratch one another.  This is one reason why Club Creative Studio includes complementary protective pouches with each purchase.  We want to help you protect your investment in your art, no matter if it is a metal finish or a clay or glass creation. Remove your jewelry pieces before bathing or doing strenuous duties. Soap will cause a film on gold.

You can clean gold with commercial products, just be sure to read the directions. A selvyt cloth is a soft cloth good for polishing. A gold polishing cloth has two layers – one is for polishing and the other layer has a polishing compound (rouge) to buff out small scratches. But be careful, using this cloth on jewelry with gemstones can scratch them. Most jewelers will do a good job in cleaning, you can always ask how they will perform the service as well, it is your right to know what they will do to your item.

White gold  White gold has the same properties as yellow gold, but it has been mixed with different metals to give it a white color. Instead of the copper and silver used in yellow gold, white gold contains such metals as nickel, zinc, or even platinum. However, white gold should not be confused with platinum, which is much rarer than gold and hence more valuable. Sometimes, white gold is plated with a white metal, such as rhodium (a very rare member of the platinum family), to enhance its appearance.

Silver – Cleaning silver is similar to cleaning gold, except you may want to use a special silver cloth to help remove tarnishing with gentle rubbing. Be careful to use this special cloth only when there is evidence of tarnishing. If used on a piece that is marked “tarnish free” you will actually be removing the coating. Use a selvyt cloth in those instances. And make sure if you take it to be cleaned that they know the specific metal type.

Platinum – Care for platinum is similar to gold and silver. Platinum will actually need less maintenance because of its durability.

Pewter  Pewter has had many uses throughout history. Since the Middle Ages pewter has been used in dishes, utensils and serving ware, as well as in decorative items such as sculptures, candlesticks, ornaments and jewelry. Pewter is a soft metal and easily malleable by hand tools for carving, engraving, or presses, which makes it an excellent choice for detailed jewelry or keepsake pieces. Like sterling silver, pewter is shiny and bright, but it needs regular cleaning to maintain its luster.

I hope that you can recall and possibly use the advice above to care for your jewelry, no matter what metal it is made from.  You have invested your money and emotional connection to your jewelry and you want to know how to care for it with the wear and tear situations.

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10 Responses to “Wear and Tear + Care”

  1. clubcreativestudio March 25, 2011 at 9:49 PM #

    I think silver goes so well with most any color of clothing. In my opinion, I would have to say because of that diversity, it’s my favorite to work in also.

  2. clubcreativestudio March 25, 2011 at 9:45 PM #

    Thanks, Roberta for keeping this info close at hand. Maybe it will come in handy for spring cleaning of the contents of your jewelry box?

  3. clubcreativestudio March 25, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    Thanks for taking note of what I also consider to be useful information. Rose gold is commonly known to me as “black hills” gold and it is that different tone that makes me appreciate it’s beauty.

  4. clubcreativestudio March 25, 2011 at 9:30 PM #

    Yes, stainless steel, sterling silver and silver plated all have different qualities to keep clean and anything that is as easy as something considered tarnish free is worth looking at. I definately do not look at polishing silver as an enjoyable past time event.

  5. clubcreativestudio March 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM #

    If you start, you will see the difference in the residue you remove, and any scratching of your surface should always be a because we don’t all have the jeweler’s magnifier to see it.

  6. Kristen Robinson March 25, 2011 at 9:01 PM #

    Wow! Thanks Veronica! That was really insightful and helpful! Who would’ve thought that you have to polish silver with a special cloth? Not me!

  7. Martha Giffen March 25, 2011 at 4:05 PM #

    I love jewelry and wear a hodge-podge at all times! The only consistent metal I wear are my wedding rings, which are gold. Great info you have here about cleaning. I never heard that about “tarnish free” silver pieces. Interesting!

  8. Tambre Leighn March 25, 2011 at 5:58 AM #

    This is a fantastic post! I’ve never seen this kind of info before…fabulous and so well written. I prefer white gold and rose gold personally.

  9. Roberta March 25, 2011 at 3:27 AM #

    I have printed this so that I can clean my jewellery better . I really enjoy your posts

  10. Leona Martin March 25, 2011 at 1:34 AM #

    Thanks for the tips on caring for jewelry. I’m partial to silver even though yellow gold is lovely.

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