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All of the jewelry on our site is either Sterling Silver or 14 Karat yellow Gold, unless otherwise noted. We often oxidize or blacken our pieces in order to bring out the details, and then finish it with a soft matte or satin finish. We do this by hand on a professional polishing machine. Over time, especially if you wear your jewelry everyday, the matte finish will soften into a dull glowing patina. We like it this way, it shows how well-loved the piece is as it becomes a part of your every day life. However, the original finish can easily be restored with some of the techniques below.
Sterling silver has a tendency to tarnish. This happens as the silver reacts with oxygen or other atmospheric elements. The best and most practical way to keep your jewelry tarnish free is simply to wear it. Jewelry that is regularly worn will not tarnish as fast as jewelry that sits out on your dresser. There's some science behind this theory that has to do with the oils in your skin giving the silver a natural tarnish-resist, but we know from experience; the jewelry we wear doesn't tarnish! Try it and see.
Occasionally, usually in summertime when one is hot and sweaty and the air is moist, certain people may notice a dark black appearance very quickly. This has to do with the PH balance in someone's skin. Don't worry, it isn't permanent, it is also only tarnish. Follow one or more of the ideas below.
Keep your jewelry in airtight Zip-Lock bags. It wont tarnish if it isn’t exposed to air.
3M and Hagerty also make tarnish resistant papers that you can find at most jewelry supply stores. They absorb oxygen to prevent tarnish, and you can cut these into small pieces to put into individual baggies for long term storage.
Most of our jewelry has a matte finish. The surface is rougher than highly polished silver, and needs special care. There are several ways to freshen up the appearance of your jewelry:
CLEANING KIT: You can purchase a Cleaning Kit from us by clicking HERE. It includes instructions, a 3M Polishing Pad and a roll of Superfine Steel Wool.
3M POLISHING PAD: 3M makes a microfine polishing pad. We love this for polishing up the surface of fingerprinted or lightly tarnished pieces. It restores the soft matte finish, without removing any of the antique black details, and you can cut it into smaller pieces for easier use. This is a specialty item from jewelry supply stores.
SUPERFINE STEEL WOOL: Superfine steel wool is a great thing to use for cleaning tarnished surfaces and chains. BULLDOG is our favorite brand, you can find this at hardware stores.
TWINKLE: For deep cleaning, like the tiny surfaces of a chain, our favorite product is TWINKLE silver cleaner. Use a soft toothbrush to really get the paste into every crevice and it will come out tarnish free. You should be able to find it in drug or department stores.
DIP CLEANERS: For our jewelry, we don’t recommend the dip style of polish, it tends to tarnish faster than ever after cleaning with it.
ROUGE CLOTHS: We don't recommend these for our matte finish jewelry. This works well on highly polished jewelry. For lightly tarnished jewelry try moistening a soft cloth with warm water and a little soap, and pat dry. Rouge cloths are also available at jewelry supply stores. Rub the piece with the red side of the cloth containing the polishing compound “rouge”, then buff the piece with the other side.
PROFESSIONAL CLEANING: You can always take your jewelry to be professionally cleaned and re-finished, at your local jeweler. If you are in Vancouver, we can also re-finish it for you, just make an appointment ahead of time.
Check out our video for a demonstration:

Happy Cleaning!