Jewelry Care: Be Nice to Your Jewelry ❤️
When you build your forever jewelry collection, you want to do everything you can to keep it beautiful over time. Here’s what you have been asking about jewelry care – and what you need to know to keep your jewelry looking 💯
What is my jewelry made of?
Thank you SO much for asking – it’s important that you know what’s in your jewelry! We make our jewelry in a variety of different options (always nickel free, all the time), so you can choose what’s right for you.
14k Gold Plated Brass: Our 14k gold plated line is made of a high quality brass thick coated with 14k gold for quality.
Sterling Silver: Our sterling silver line is made of solid sterling silver 925 (by definition, a mixture of 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper) coated with rhodium (an inert metal in the platinum family) for extra shine, durability, and tarnish resistance. For more on sterling silver jewelry care, I made a little guide just for you!
Titanium: Our flat back earrings are made of an implant grade titanium – the kind used in surgical implants.
Gold Vermeil: Our gold vermeil line is solid sterling silver 925 with a suuuuper thick coating of 24k gold. Think of gold vermeil as gold plating++: it’s a much thicker layer of gold for a longer lasting shine, and the base of the piece has to be sterling silver for quality.
Solid 14k Gold: Our solid 14k gold line is exactly what it sounds like – solid 14k gold, through and through.
What causes tarnish? How do I keep my jewelry from tarnishing?
Tarnishing is completely natural for sterling silver and plated jewelry, and it’s the result of the jewelry’s surface reacting to air (aka oxidation). Tarnishing is speeded up when the jewelry is exposed to water and/or chemicals (e.g. shampoos and soaps) – but a variety of factors are at play:
- Sweat: There are a lot of chemicals in your sweat (totally normal!), so it is best to remove your jewelry during intense workouts.
- Body chemistry: We all have different hormones, so the chemicals released from our pores vary from person to person. Depending on your body chemistry, your jewels may tarnish faster than they do for someone else.
- Personal care products: Sunscreen, perfume, shampoo, lotion, cleaning products with bleach, nail polish remover, and hairspray can all speed up tarnishing and damage. We suggest removing your jewelry while you use these products.
- Pools and hot tubs: The chemicals used to clean pools and hot tubs are super harsh on jewelry, so we advise removing your jewels before going for a swim.
How do I care for 14k Gold Plated Jewelry?
As with all jewelry, 14k gold plated jewelry lasts longer when you can keep it away from harsh chemicals. Remove your jewels while applying personal care products, when showering, and also during intense workouts.
You can clean your plated jewelry with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove the dirt and dust that inevitably builds up over time. Make sure that the soft cloth is chemical free (avoid jewelry polishing cloths, which have chemicals that strip the plating).
If your jewelry requires a more thorough cleaning, you may use warm, soapy water. Simply soak the jewelry in the water for a few minutes and then clean it with a soft brush, drying it immediately afterward. Avoid jewelry cleaners and antibacterial soaps – the chemicals kill the plating on your jewelry fast.
After cleaning, the best thing to do is to keep the jewelry in an airtight bag (like the plastic baggies we send the earrings in) to prevent oxidation.
How do I care for Sterling Silver Jewelry?
All sterling silver tarnishes over time – but you can slow the process, and you can also clean off the inevitable tarnish to make your jewelry look like new.
Excessive sunlight, oxygen, and moisture in the air will tarnish sterling silver jewelry, so be sure to properly store your jewels when you’re not wearing them. Store in an area with low humidity in an airtight bag with a packet of silica or a piece of chalk. Keep clasps and closures unhooked to avoid moisture buildup.
You can delay tarnishing by wearing your jewelry often; the oils in your skin will help protect and clean the silver. Just be sure to minimize your jewelry’s exposure to the chemicals in sweat, personal care products, and pools and hot tubs.
When it comes time to clean your sterling silver, mix warm water with a mild soap in a bowl, and let your jewelry soak for a few minutes. Dry it with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Polishing is another effective option for restoring your sterling silver’s luster. Here are some polishing tips:
- Use a non-abrasive cloth to prevent scratching.
- Move to a new section of the cloth frequently.
- Follow the grain of the silver.
How do I care for Titanium Jewelry?
Our titanium jewelry is made out of an implant grade titanium. The gold titanium jewelry is thick coated with 14k gold, and the silver titanium jewelry is thick coated with rhodium (a non-allergenic metal in the platinum family) for shine and durability.
Our flatbacks are meant to be left in – but as with all plated jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off. The underlying titanium is implant grade though, so it shouldn’t cause irritation.
You’ll want to clean your titanium jewelry on a regular basis. Buildup naturally occurs over time, and after awhile, it can start to irritate your ears. For proper ear health, it’s best to clean them about once a week – that way, you’ll minimize chance of infection.
How do I care for Gold Vermeil Jewelry?
Our gold vermeil is a suuuuuper thick coating of 24k gold over solid sterling silver 925. Think of gold vermeil as gold plating++: it’s a much thicker layer of gold for a longer lasting shine, and the base of the piece has to be sterling silver for quality.
Treat your gold vermeil well so that it’ll last – before exercising or showering, take it off to keep it away from sweat and water. You can clean your gold vermeil with a soft, dry cloth to keep it shiny and bright. Abrasive cleaning can wear off the gold faster than normal, so we don’t recommend liquid cleaners. Instead, use a jewelry polishing cloth to remove tarnish, and be careful not to rub too hard.
How do I care for Solid 14k Gold Jewelry?
Solid gold jewelry can be worn 24/7 – but you’ll still want to clean the surface of your jewelry to remove accumulated dirt and oils. It’s best to do this about once a week for proper ear health, especially if you’re wearing your earrings all the time. All you have to do is mix a small amount of mild, soap-based detergent into warm water. Put the jewelry into the soap and water solution and leave it there for one to two minutes. Use a baby toothbrush to softly scrub the jewelry, remove it from the water, and rinse it. Pat your jewelry dry with a soft polishing cloth.
When you’re not wearing your solid gold jewelry, store it individually. Solid gold doesn’t tarnish, but it’s a soft metal and scratches easily – so keep it from rubbing up against your other jewelry.
For the same reason, if you have solid gold bracelets, necklaces, or rings, you may want to take it off before playing sports, cleaning, playing with kids, or engaging in any other rough activity.
What do I want to buy for 24/7 wear?
For 24/7 wear, we’d recommend solid gold – or potentially sterling silver. If you don’t want to change out your earrings when you sleep and shower, solid gold is really the way to go – it doesn’t tarnish, and it just needs a polish up to clean it off every once in awhile. Sterling silver does tarnish over time because of exposure to air/chemicals, but it can be polished up to look like new when it does inevitably tarnish.
No matter what your earrings are made of, you’ll want to periodically take them out to clean them. Buildup naturally occurs over time, and after awhile, it can start to irritate your ears. For proper ear health, it’s best to clean them about once a week – that way, you’ll minimize chance of infection.
What are more affordable jewelry options that can be worn every day?
Totally understand that solid gold isn’t always an option. We make our earrings in 14k Gold Plated Brass and Gold Vermeil – they’re more affordable, and they’re great everyday earrings when properly cared for. Keep your jewelry away from water and chemicals to maintain it over time – and store it in an airtight baggie (like the ones the earrings come in) when you’re not wearing it.
And that’s all there is to it! With the proper care, you can keep your favorite jewelry looking beautiful over time.
Any other questions? Message us – we’re happy to help!