Well hello there friends. We are back with another blog post that I really hope you will get some value out of. This weeks post is being written by yours truly. But as always whenever I take advice or listen to someone speak I want to know their credentials and essentially why I should be listening to them. So here goes the short and sweet version....
I have been in the jewellery business since I was 15 and over the years have worked with several jewellery stores either in sales or on the bench. I attended FVCC in Kalispell, MT (can I get a woot woot?) where I graduated with certificates in Goldsmithing, Jewelry Design and CAD Jewelry Design in 2008. The second I graduated, I moved back to Canada and began working at a local goldsmithing studio where I continued to train under several talented goldsmiths. I worked there for ten years learning jewellery repair, stone setting, manufacturing, design, restringing, engraving..and on and on it goes. During this time I took some more courses on CAD design and Diamond and Gemstones. I now spend my days designing and manufacturing all kinds of jewellery from the Rhythm Studio. Somedays its engagement rings, other days I am designing or polishing pieces for dancers. Basically to sum it up, most days I feel like my whole life is jewellery.
I thought that a series of short articles about jewellery care and storage might be of interest to all you fellow jewellery lovers..and also help you to get the most value and enjoyment out of your pieces. So here goes...
Sterling Silver Jewellery Care
1. Real and Reputable
Not all jewellery is created equal and there is a big difference between jewellery that is plated in gold and silver and jewellery that is REAL gold and silver. Knowing your markings can be key to this. While there is a whole science to being able to spot a fake the easiest way is to look for markings. All jewellery should be stamped when it leaves the factory. There should be a series of numbers....925, 10K, 14K etc. And the marking of the artist or company who made the piece. Check your piece of Rhythm Jewellery and there will be a sneaky little R stamped on the back somewhere....go ahead I will wait.
The reason why these markings are important is they tell you whether you jewellery is real or not. Plated pieces can tarnish very quickly, or their coating can wear off and reveal a different coloured metal underneath. I think I will do an entire blog post at a later date just on real versus plated jewellery. Knowledge is power when you're spending your money right? For now let's chat just about silver as I know a lot of you must have some in your jewellery box.
2. Dry Silver is Happy Silver
Here is the low down on silver. No matter what you do with it eventually it's going to tarnish. Not all silver is created equal and I am proud to say that Rhythm Jewellery is all made from one of the most premium metal mixtures and is full of anti tarnish ingredients. However, the chemical makeup of silver is well...the chemical makeup of silver and well some mixtures will tarnish faster than others it is going to happen eventually.
Silver tarnishes when there is a reaction between the metal and the oxygen and sulphur in the air. There are some really easy things you can do to keep this from reaction happening.
-Wear your silver and wear it often. The natural oils of your skin will keep the silver from tarnishing...plus you will look cool.
-Try not to get your silver wet..including the shower. If you do wear your silver in the shower make sure to dry it really well when your done and that it is free and clean of all soap and hair products.
-Putting your jewellery on last when you are getting ready is always best. Try to keep it away from lotions, perfumes and sprays as they can dull the silver and cause it to lose its lustre.
-Keep your jewellery out of the pool and hot tub. In alot of cases the chemical and chlorine mixed in the water combined with the heat from the hot tub can speed up the tarnishing process. Its also a really good idea to take off jewellery if you are going to be using cleaning products.
-Can I wear my jewellery to the hot springs Tasha? That is natural right? For the love of all things holy...NO!!! Remember, silver tarnishes because of a reaction of oxygen and sulphur. Hot springs are basically a big giant bath in warm sulphur. So unless you want black jewellery its best to take it off.
3. Proper Storage
So if the occasion ever arises that you won't be wearing your Rhythm Jewellery...and I can't possibly see under what scenario that could happen. Where and how you store your sterling silver jewellery is really important.
The most important rule to remember is to keep your silver out of the air. The simplest way to do this is to keep it in little tiny ziplock bags. Although try not to store a bunch of them in the same bag as they can rub and scratch each other. You can also throw a little anti tarnish strip in with them or a piece or two of chalk in your safe or jewellery box. This helps cut down on humidity. And trust me humidity and sterling silver will never be best friends. A super easy trick is to save all the little silica gel packs you get when you buy shoes or purses and throw those in with your jewellery. They help cut down on the humidity as well.
And this next one I know might be tricky for some of our Rhythm Tribe. Your bathroom is probably the most humid room in your house. So take your jewellery out of your bathroom when you aren't wearing it and store it in a drier location.
4. Take It Off
We advise over and over again to our tribe to not wear their Rhythm when they are dancing. Mostly because you can catch the chain while flying through the air and snap it. But another thing to consider is that the oils and chemicals In your sweat can also contribute to losing the lustre of your silver.
5. Keep It As Polished As Last Year's Solo
One of the best ways you can keep your silver jewellery looking brand new is to polish it. And let's face it, taking a trip to the jewellers every few months is just not going to happen for most people. There are some super simple options to keep your Rhythm Jewellery looking its best.
-A polishing cloth. These microfibre clothes are easy to keep in your purse and pull them out whenever you need them. You can find them just about anywhere...however, if I was you I would pay attention to your swag bags at any events Rhythm is invited to as I LOVE throwing in polishing cloths as free gifts to dancers.
-Dish soap and water. Use a soft bristled tooth brush and a little dish soap and water to shine your jewellery up.
-Special Polishing MIxturesthere are also several other mixtures that people swear by, water and baking soda, vinegar and baking soda etc. Just be careful that you aren't scratching anything and if your sterling silver piece has stones in it you will want to make sure its nothing that will wreck the stone. When in doubt do some googling.
-My go to has always been to buy the liquid sterling silver dip from just about any department or hardware store. It kind of smells like rotten eggs but I'm willing to look past it. A quick dip and all tarnish is removed much better than dish soap and water. Just be careful that you don't leave it in long, your jewellery has any stones and you rinse it really well when done. Some companies have a better chemical mixture than others and can make your jewellery worse.
SUPER IMPORTANT!!! If your jewellery has any blackening on it. See our Street Style pendant or alot of our studio customs have blackened letters. In alot of cases the chemical dips work so good they remove EVERYTHING. Your Street Style pendant may go in half black and half silver and come out completely silver.