December 16, 2020 4 min read
7 Common Jewelry Mistakes
Keeping your jewelry in pristine condition while requires a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it for favorite pieces you want to wear for years to come. This is especially true for one of a kind handmade pieces - since they are not mass produced there is little chance of getting a replacement!
Here are 7 common jewelry mistakes that affect the quality and longevity of your jewelry.
1. Not knowing the jewelry material
It is important to know what material your jewelry is made from. You can do this by checking the packaging it came with or product description.
This allows you to use the materials that work best for cleaning your jewelry without damaging its quality. But most importantly, it allows you to avoid metals like nickel that may provoke allergic reactions when worn.
Most of us just put our jewelry back in their cases or boxes after a busy day outside without giving it much thought - but did you know that our jewelry needs proper TLC to look it’s best? Plenty of us are unaware that our pieces need to be cleaned regularly to keep them in pristine condition. While you may not notice, general grime and tarnish will build up and be noticed by others over time. And who wants their jewelry to become home to germs!
A good way to clean your jewelry is to simply wash it with warm water and gentle soap. Use a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush) to gently clean your jewelry and to minimize scratches.
3. Cleaning your jewelry improperly
Many metals require specific cleaners in order to be cared for properly, and may even be ruined if you use the wrong type of cleaner on them. But not all cleaners need to be harsh chemicals. Baking soda is great for silver, and also works well when you aren’t sure what metals are present in your jewelry.
Put a little water on a plate and mix it with a medium amount of baking soda (the thicker the baking soda paste, the easier it'll clean the jewelry). Then, dip a toothbrush in the baking soda paste and gently scrub the jewelry with it. Voila! Not only will the jewelry be clean, but if you are cleaning silver the tarnish is also rubbed away. And baking soda is good for your pipes, so you get an extra benefit when you rinse the baking soda down the drain!
If you like sterling silver, but really don’t like polishing, consider pieces made from Argentium, the new low-tarnish sterling silver alloy. Here are 5 reasons why Argentium is so much better than traditional sterling silver.
4. Wearing jewelry when showering, cleaning, or swimming
Soaps and shampoos will leave a film of residue to your pieces over time which might affect the quality of your jewelry.
Exposure of your jewelry to chemicals such as chlorine and bleach will result in your silver pieces getting permanent discoloration. Chlorine is also bad for any 14K jewelry and is especially bad for rings as the chlorine will weaken prongs which allows stones to fall out of their settings. Even saltwater will dull even the sparkliest gemstones and erode parts of metal jewelry
The best advice would be to just leave your jewelry pieces on your vanity when showing or swimming.
5. Not storing your jewelry appropriately
Just like water, humidity and moisture also affects the quality of your jewelry so avoid storing or leaving any piece in the bathroom, most especially sterling silver as this will cause them to tarnish faster.
Jewelry that is all tangled and bunched up together will cause them to scratch one another. The easiest solution is to hang necklaces from hooks. You can also use a padded jewelry boxes to keep your pieces looking brand new. Plus, all those boxes neatly lined up in your drawer or vanity will make for an impressive collection!
6. Not clasping necklaces after use
Did you know that you’re supposed to clasp your necklaces after use? It will prevent them from bunching up with one another in case you’re storing all your necklaces in a single box. This will also prevent entanglement which can be very annoying to deal with.
The goal is to make sure that your jewelry will be fast and easy for you to grab as you run out the door in the morning. Who wants to start their day by untangling a large mess of chains?
7. Wearing the same jewelry every day without proper care
We all have those favorites we love to wear every day, but even in a minimalist wardrobe it’s good to have a few interchangeable pieces to wear in rotation. Jewelry worn every day without taking the time to provide proper care has a higher chance of wearing out or breaking when you least expect it.
If you don’t have enough favorite pieces for rotation, maybe it’s time to expand your collection by building on your current jewelry wardrobe.
When it comes to your favorite jewelry pieces, it helps to know about these common mistakes so you can better keep them clean, safe and protected from damage for years to come.
Looking for more useful jewelry tips? If so, check out another one of my articles here.