Our jewelry – whether vintage or made from silverware or hardware – is designed to last a lifetime with proper care. While each piece is unique, there are a few common basics for taking care of these soon-to-be family treasures.
Caring for silverware jewelry
One of the best things about silverware jewelry is that silverware, unlike sterling or traditional silver jewelry, is designed to be used on a daily basis. It will take a beating and keep looking great. In fact, the more you wear your jewelry, likely the shinier it will stay.
If you do feel you need to give your jewelry a quick shine, we recommend using a dry silver cloth. These can be found at most home and kitchen stores, and just a few seconds of buffing will give your piece a nice glow. For a deeper cleaning, use a basic (not gel) toothpaste with baking soda, then rinse. You can also create a paste of baking soda and water to give your piece a brighter shine. Just rub it gently over the tarnished areas, rinse well and dry thoroughly.
We do not suggest that you use jewelry cleaning dips for three very important reasons. First, if you dip unevenly or inconsistently, lines develop on your jewelry where the dip stopped, and these can be very difficult to remove later. Second, dips tend to give a bright, consistent shine across the entire piece. Silverware (and our jewelry) should have darker and lighter areas. The darker patina in the pits and crevices of the handle give it visual relief and are part of the design. Finally, many commercial dips can create microscopic abrasions and pits in your silver, which can damage the piece over time.
Caring for hardware jewelry
A top benefit of our hardware jewelry is the minimum of care it needs to keep looking great. The majority of materials used are either stainless steel or anodized aluminum. If your steel bracelet is looking dull, a soft toothbrush and cold running water will usually do the trick. Just wet, brush as necessary, rinse and towel and then air dry.
For some of our more unusual materials – like brass, crystal, rubber and plastic ¬– additional care may be needed. Our brash findings are usually untreated. That amazing phonograph cabinet key was never polished by us, and it should keep the same finish through years of wear. Other materials can be cleaned using the steps outlined below for vintage jewelry.
Caring for vintage jewelry
Prevention is always easier than repair, so store your vintage pieces in a soft zippered pouch to prevent accumulation of dust. A dry, cool and dust-free environment also helps to maintain the piece’s original appearance.
For cleaning, Windex (or a similar product) or mild soapy water are a good first choice. Remember, do not spray the Windex directly onto your jewelry or submerge it into water. In this case, a little goes a long way.
A little Windex on a soft, clean cloth is just enough to remove any dust. Hard to reach areas can be cleaned with a very soft toothbrush or cotton swab. Compressed (canned) air can damage settings or loosen stones or other decorative elements.
When done, let your pieces air dry for at least an hour. Make sure that each is completely dry before it is put away.
Above all else, remember that vintage pieces were made over dozens of years, in dozens of countries out of countless combinations of materials. The above are only guidelines, and nothing prevents damage more than common sense and the advice of a professional. If you aren’t sure, contact a jeweler or vintage jewelry specialist.