Jewelry Materials & Care Tips

You just got some new bling but now what?! Are you wondering what to do to take care of your jewelry?  Well, first you need a little clarity on what materials your pieces are crafted with.  Knowing that will help determine what steps you can take to keep your pieces looking their best for as long as possible.  Don’t worry!  It’ll be easy -we’ve got a few care tips for you.  

What is Gold Filled Metal?

14k gold fill is a beautiful, more affordable alternative to solid gold. It is a genuine layer of gold permanently bonded onto base metal with heat and pressure.  This layer contains 100 times more gold than gold plated! It is extremely durable, won’t chip or flake, and is tarnish resistant. It looks great and, with proper care, it will last for over 10 years. Gold fill jewelry can also be worn by most people with sensitive skin. For a more complete explanation, read this.

Care Tips for Gold Fill Jewelry

Gold fill jewelry is water and tarnish resistant but products and body oils can accumulate making your piece look dull.  A few do’s and don’ts:

  1. After each wear, gently wipe make-up and skin oils off with a soft cloth.
  2. Every few wears, rinse your piece with warm water and gently dry with a soft cloth.
  3. Store your clean, dry piece in a zip bag.
  4. Remove your piece when exercising, in hot tubs, pools, or in the ocean. 
  5. Keep perfume, hairspray, lotions, and other chemicals off your jewelry. Avoid excessive contact with sunscreen as the chemicals in it are harsh on most metals.  
  6. Take your jewelry off before bed to avoid tangles.  

 If your jewelry needs a deeper clean due to sunscreen exposure or it’s just been a while since you last cleaned it, use warm water and a mild hand soap. Gently rub the soap into the piece with your fingers, rinse, and pat dry with a soft cloth. For the deepest clean use a liquid jewelry cleaner – they’ll give you an instant polish.  Just be sure to use one that is appropriate for your metal (i.e. gold cleaner for sold gold and gold filled).  

Freshwater Pearls

Although freshwater pearls are the most commonly produced pearls, their unique shapes and wide range of colors and sizes make them a favorite among jewelry designers and consumers.  ADORNED BY RUTH designs include baroque, biwa, flake, and coin shaped pearls. If you love pearls too and want to know more about baroque pearl types, read this.

Cleaning Freshwater Pearls

Pearls are durable but soft so please take care when cleaning your piece.  Clean regularly by wiping each pearl with a slightly dampened soft cloth.  Every fifth wear or so, clean more thoroughly using mild soapy water.  Soap should not contain  fragrance or color additives.  Wipe the pearls with a wet soft cloth.  Follow up by wiping off any soapy residue with a clean cloth.

Sterling Silver

What is 925 sterling silver? Pure silver is much too soft to be used in jewelry so it is combined with another metal such as copper to give it strength and durability.   Sterling silver, also referred to as 925 silver,  the most common metal used for jewelry, is made from 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloy – a mixture of two or more metals such as zinc, copper or nickel.

Why Does Silver Tarnish, Anyway?

When the molecules from the copper present in 925 silver combine with Sulphur molecules in the air, the silver tarnishes.  It is a natural occurrence and does not indicate the quality of the silver.

How to Care For Your New Silver Jewelry

Happily, the more you wear your jewelry, the less you need to clean it!  While people have different body chemistries, in general, the oil from your skin acts to protect silver from tarnishing.  Store your silver in an airtight, soft, fabric-lined box or in small zip-lock baggies.

How To Polish Tarnished Silver

Even if you store silver perfectly, it will still tarnish over time. So it’s likely that you’ll have to polish your silver at least every few months in order to keep your pieces looking good.

💎If you are just doing maintenance, use the soft polishing cloth included in your order using a back and forth motion instead of small circles to avoid scratching the silver.

💎If the jewelry is a bit more tarnished, use a chemically infused polishing cloth to gently rub away the tarnish. We love and recommend the brand Brilliant.

💎For more stubborn tarnish, make a paste of baking soda and water.  Apply a pea-sized amount to the silver and polish it with a soft cloth.  Rinse with warm water.