Contemporary, handcrafted jewelry for eccentric taste.

Jewelry Care

At RahCentric, our handcrafted jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime. However with normal wear, proper care is required to keep it looking good. As a result I have created this Basic Jewelry Care Guide to direct you in the proper care of your handmade jewelry. I hope that you will find these guidelines helpful and if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact me via email.

Wearing Jewelry

Whether your style is everyday casual or glamor girl, you wear jewelry daily. Few recognize how they can preserve their treasures by using some simple advanced planning and thought. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when wearing jewelry:

 

Remove Jewelry During Tasks

When performing manual tasks, remove your jewelry to prevent physical damage or exposure to chemicals or cleaning fluids. Some tasks that should be avoided when wearing jewelry include kitchen work, gardening, cleaning the house and other common tasks.


 

Put Jewelry On After Applying Makeup

Cosmetics, hairspray, perfumes and lotion can contain chemicals that can often damage jewelry. Putting jewelry on after applying these materials will limit exposure to jewelry and any potential damage.


 

Don’t Wear Jewelry In Swimming Pools and Spas

Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in jewelry causing color changes and even structural damage. As a result it’s a good idea to remove jewelry before entering the pool or spa.


 

Contact Sports and Jewelry Don’t Mix

Hard blows during sports can damage jewelry not to mention the people involved. All jewelry should be removed before play begins.

 

Adhering to these guidelines for wearing jewelry should get you off to a good start.

Basic Jewelry Care

For those that wear jewelry regularly, keeping your jewelry clean and looking good requires regular effort. Here are some general guidelines that may help:

 

Remove Your Jewelry Before Bathing

Remove all jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form, making it appear dull and dingy. By preventing the formation of this film you immediately reduce the need for cleaning.


Use Jewelry Polishing Cloths for Best Results

Polish jewelry with a jewelry polishing cloth for best results. You can use a svelte or an old diaper, but the professional cloths are the best. Do not use tissue or paper towels. The fibers in these products can cause scratches.


Clean Your Jewelry With Care

Cleaning your own jewelry regularly can keep it looking good, but be careful. I do not recommend the use any commercial cleaners because of the harmful ingredients. I recommend making your own natural cleaning solutions that are better for you and the environment. In a pinch, rubbing alcohol can work wonders, but bleach can literally destroy jewelry so avoid it at all costs.


Use Warm Water to Clean Jewelry

Using warm water is the best bet when cleaning your own jewelry. Unless otherwise specified, hot water can cause a reaction with the commercial cleaning fluids resulting in discoloration. Sterling Silver is especially susceptible to this problem. Should this occur, this problem can be remedied by buffing and the application of a homemade tarnish remover.


Avoid Cleaning Damaged Jewelry

Never clean any jewelry that is damaged, cracked or broken, since the additional handling is likely to exacerbate or worsen the problem. If you find that a piece of jewelry is damaged, it should be set aside for repair as soon as possible.


Inspect Your Jewelry Regularly

Just like anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When having your jewelry professionally cleaned, it’s a good idea to have each item checked and inspected for any possible problems. Addressing signs of damage, or loose gemstones will prevent any further damage or loss and keep all of your pieces in excellent shape for years.

 

Finally, if you’re interested in learning about some more specific jewelry cleaning suggestions, you may find them in the next sections.

How to Clean Your Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver reacts with moisture to create a layer of tarnish or oxidation on its surface. Baking soda activated by boiling water in the presence of aluminum, will dislodge the tarnish by making it bind with the aluminum, leaving the sterling silver clean and shiny again. This is the simple, organic way to clean and polish your sterling silver jewelry.

 

What You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Bowl
  • Boiling Hot Water
  • Wooden spatula
  • Soft cloth
  • Jewelry polishing cloth
  • Airtight bags

Step 1 – Prepare Bowls

Place sterling silver jewelry in a heat safe bowl lined with aluminum foil.

Step 2 – Immerse Jewelry in Boiling Water

Pour enough boiling water to immerse the jewelry. Add a tablespoon of baking soda. Bubbling should occur, giving off a rotten-egg odor (the sulfuric gases released by the cleaning action). Move the pieces around gently with a wood or plastic utensil to ensure that all of the silver surfaces come in contact with the aluminum foil. You will notice that the silver has become bright again.

Step 3 – Rinse the Jewelry

Rinse the jewelry under tap water. To ensure that you don’t lose small pieces like earrings and pendants, put a sieve over the drain to catch whatever may slip off your fingers.

Step 4 – Finishing

Take your well rinsed silver jewelry and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a jewelry polishing cloth to buff the jewelry.

Step 5 – Protective Measures

It helps if you take measures to prevent tarnish from your jewelry. Obtain airtight bags from a grocery store and place your jewelry pieces inside when not in use. This reduces exposure to the elements and tarnish will not develop as frequently. Keep your jewelry pieces away from water. Thoroughly dry jewelry immediately if water comes in contact with it.

How to Clean Your Brass Jewelry

Jewelry made from brass, which is an alloy of zinc and copper, has a very distinctive and unique look. It can be a great accent to your outfit, whether you’re wearing something casual or going out for the evening. When it comes to brass jewelry, however, one thing is certain: whether it is a necklace, bracelet, earring, rings, or something else, your brass accessories will look their best when they are sparkling clean. Brass can become tarnished or change color over time, and while this change can be seen as desirable to some (since it does give the jewelry an interesting look) you are not necessarily stuck with the tarnish forever.

 

Tips for Best Results

  • The brass cleaning method below is intended for cleaning only brass. It may damage gemstones, cameos, shells, or other components that may be part of the brass piece. Always test clean gemstones and/or components in a inconspicuous place before cleaning.
  • Whenever you clean, wipe, or polish brass, be sure to work in the direction of the metal’s natural grain as much as possible – instead of rubbing in circles.
  • Brass really retains water spots – so always dry it immediately and thoroughly.
  • When using the cleaning method below, use only containers, spoons, etc. that you won’t be using for food – since who knows what kind of yuck or toxins they’ll be cleaning off of the brass.

Okay, now for how to clean brass at home, using things you probably have in your kitchen:

 

What You Will Need

  • White Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • 2 Bowls
  • Water
  • Wooden spatula
  • Soft cloth
  • Jewelry polishing cloth
  • Airtight bags

 

Step 1 – Prepare Bowls

Take the tarnished jewelry and place it in a bowl. Take another bowl. Place some cold water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda inside. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spatula.

Step 2 – Immerse Jewelry in White Vinegar

Pour about 1 cup of white vinegar into the bowl that contains the jewelry. Be sure all the jewelry is submerged in the vinegar. For each cup of vinegar you have in the bowl, you will need equal amounts of salt in teaspoons. Two cups of vinegar will equal two teaspoons of salt. Sprinkle the salt over the vinegar.  Mix the solution to distribute the salt evenly. The ions in the salt interact with the acid in the vinegar to remove the tarnish. Stir for about 30 seconds or until you notice the tarnish has cleared.

Step 3 – Rinse the Jewelry

Lift the jewelry from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly under a cold water tap. Turn on the water to allow a generous flow out of the tap. Allow the water to run over the jewelry for about 3 minutes to flush out the vinegar. Turn the jewelry slowly as you rinse it to ensure that all areas are well flushed by water.

Step 4 – Use Baking Soda

Dip the jewelry into the baking soda solution. Allow it to remain in the bowl for about a minute. This helps to neutralize any traces of the vinegar. Remove the jewelry and run plenty of cold water over it once more. Be sure to flush away all the baking soda.

Step 5 – Finishing

Take your well rinsed brass jewelry and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a jewelry polishing cloth to buff the jewelry.

Step 6 – Protective Measures

It helps if you take measures to prevent tarnish from your jewelry. Obtain airtight bags from a grocery store and place your jewelry pieces inside when not in use. This reduces exposure to the elements and tarnish will not develop as frequently. Keep your jewelry pieces away from water. Thoroughly dry jewelry immediately if water comes in contact with it.

How to Clean Your Copper Jewelry

Copper jewelry is one of the most attractive choices you can make. It has a beautiful shine which attracts looks wherever you go. However, it also requires some maintenance to keep it beautiful. With time, your jewelry may get tarnished. This takes the natural shine away from it which reduces its aesthetic appeal. It helps if you know how to remove tarnish from your jewelry as shown in the guide below.

 

What You will Need

  • Fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cold water
  • 2 Bowls
  • Wooden spatula
  • Soft cloth
  • Jewelry polishing cloth
  • Airtight bags

Step 1 – Prepare Bowls

Take the tarnished jewelry and place it in a bowl. Take another bowl. Place some cold water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda inside. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spatula.

Step 2 – Immerse Jewelry in Lemon Juice

Pour about 1 cup of lemon juice into the bowl that contains the jewelry. Be sure all the jewelry is submerged in the juice. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of salt over the juice. Mix the solution to distribute the salt evenly and clear the tarnish. Stir for about 30 seconds or until you notice the tarnish has cleared. White vinegar can also be used as a substitute for lemon juice.

Step 3 – Rinse the Jewelry

Do not allow the jewelry to remain for too long in the lemon juice. A prolonged stay will pit the copper. Lift the jewelry from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly under a cold water tap. Turn on the water to allow a generous flow out of the tap. Allow the water to run over the jewelry for about 3 minutes to flush out the lemon juice. Turn the jewelry slowly as you rinse it to ensure that all areas are well flushed by water.

Step 4 – Use Baking Soda

Dip the jewelry into the baking soda solution. Allow it to remain in the bowl for about a minute. This helps to neutralize any traces of the lemon juice. Remove the jewelry and run plenty of cold water over it once more. Be sure to flush away all the baking soda.

Step 5– Finishing

Take your well rinsed copper jewelry and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a jewelry polishing cloth to buff the jewelry.

Step 6 – Protective Measures

It helps if you take measures to prevent tarnish from your jewelry. Obtain airtight bags from a grocery store and place your jewelry pieces inside when not in use. This reduces exposure to the elements and tarnish will not develop as frequently. Keep your jewelry pieces away from water. Thoroughly dry jewelry immediately if water comes in contact with it.

Storing Jewelry

Anyone who is a collector of fine jewelry can appreciate how difficult it can often be to keep it organized. To improve the enjoyment of your jewelry, I have assembled these suggestions that should keep your jewelry organized and orderly:

 

Keep Your Jewelry Secure

Store your jewelry in a container and prevent pieces from moving around. While fabric-lined jewelry boxes are ideal, this can be as simple as using a shoebox and pieces of fabric.


Prevent Your Jewelry from Tarnishing

Sometimes jewelry tarnishes went it’s not worn, especially silver and gold. To maintain the luster of your jewelry, place silver anti-tarnish strips in your storage container to absorb the oxidants that discolor and tarnish jewelry.


Inventory Your Jewelry

Unfortunately, jewelry can get lost or stolen. Taking a regular inventory can be incredibly useful when making an insurance claim or filing a police report. A photograph, a written physical description of each piece and it’s cost is ideal. Furthermore, store that information apart from your jewelry in the event it is taken too.


When Traveling with Jewelry, Use a Case

Traveling can be tough on jewelry, so it’s wise to use a travel case to protect your favorite pieces. Traditionally made of fabric or leather, a jewelry travel case can carry jewelry of all types and easily rolls up to a size that’s easily stored in most suitcases, makeup cases or business attaches. Clearly, a case like this is a good investment to protect your jewelry on the road.

 

Keeping your jewelry collection organized and under control does not have to be difficult and these recommendations should help.