Here are some basic tips to help you care for your jewelry to keep it looking like new. Normal wear does not include housework, bathing, swimming (chemicals), sports, (especially sports that require a helmet – helmets + earrings = damage), children playing with your jewelry, etc. Treat your jewelry carefully and it will last you a long, long time.
To keep your jewelry dust and dirt free, and to prevent tarnishing, store your pieces in a jewelry box with the lid closed (or a zip lock bag). Wrapping your jewelry in a soft cloth will also keep it clean and prevent the silver from tarnishing. Wrapping your pieces individually will prevent scratching. Be gentle – do not toss your pieces into your jewelry box or purse.
Never place your jewelry in a chemical dip or ionic cleaner. Semi-precious stones can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Beads and crystals can be cleaned with mild soapy water (lukewarm water, not hot); ensure that you remove all traces of soap. Gently pat dry using a soft cloth and make sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing again. Do not use solvents or any harsh chemicals.
Caring for your pearls: Never, never, never use detergents, bleaches or chemical cleaners to clean pearls and never use a brush on them. Just use a dry or damp soft cloth. If they need to be washed use warm water and a mild soap. Do not scrub or use any abrasive material. Pat dry before storing them. And lastly, always apply your hairspray, perfume and cosmetics before putting your jewelry on.
A little bit of information on copper
When copper oxidizes, it turns darker in color and then turns green (some people love the green/blue patina). Sterling silver tarnishes as well. For that matter, if you leave iron out in the open air it will corrode over time. This is a natural process. High humidity will make it happen faster and, of course, individual body chemistry is a factor too. So, you may be wondering if your skin will turn green if you wear copper – well, the answer is MAYBE. And, if it does, don’t worry because it will wash off with a little soap and water.
I’m not going to get into the therapeutic benefits of wearing copper. You can do a google search for that information.
If you like your copper nice and shiny, of course, you can always use a jewelry polishing cloth. And, a polishing cloth is what you should use if your copper has beadwork, gemstones, leather, etc. But, if you have some larger copper pieces that you want to clean, try using ketchup or tomato sauce – it’s messy but it works. Do not use this method if your piece has gemstones – ketchup is acidic and has salt which is great for cleaning the tarnish off of your copper – not so great for your gemstones! Use an old soft cloth, let it sit for a few minutes then rinse well with cool water and pat dry. Viola! Your copper will be shiny again.