Jewelry Care

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MADE BY MARY JEWELRY:

With proper care, your Made by Mary pieces can last for years to come!There are three things to keep in mind when caring for your jewelry:

  1. What is your jewelry in contact with (chemicals or other substances).
  2. What residue stays on your jewelry for longer periods of time (or gets removed from cleaning).
  3. How is your piece stored.

Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

GOLD FILLED:

Gold filled is a layer of gold pressure bonded to a base metal, typically a jewelers' brass.  It is becoming a very popular alternative to solid gold, because its more durable, more affordable, and more versatile for different lifestyle and activities. Gold filled is different than gold-plated in several ways:

  • Gold filled contains a substantial layer of 14kt gold, rather than a microscopic layer of gold plating (or gold dipped). Gold filled is required by law to have at least 5% or 1/20 of gold by weight. Consequently, gold filled is worth more and maintains its value better than gold plated, which has a minimal amount of gold.  

  • The process of pressure bonding makes the jewelry tarnish and chip resistant, unlike gold plating. This is why gold-filled jewelry is about double the price of gold-plated jewelry. A gold-filled finish will not flake off or chip and is tarnish resistant, if properly maintain and cleaned.

Although gold filled will maintain its shine and will resist tarnish, following these best practices will ensure a long, beautiful life of your piece:

  • Remove jewelry during physical activities (running, crossfit, gardening, hiking, swimming, household chores, etc.)

  • Remove jewelry when using chemicals: shampoos, harsh soaps, lotions, makeup, hairspray, etc. Even some household items and foods that contain sulfur should be avoided whenever possible.

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to chlorine, pools, hot tubs or spas.

  • Avoid abrasive materials like a terry cloth, bath towel, and shirt to polish your jewelry. Even tissues or paper towels are micro-abrasive and should be avoided.

  • Store your jewelry in a dry, air-tight area (e.g. ziploc bag). Always clean your piece before storing. Use a generic micro fiber cloth or lens cloth to remove any oxidation or tarnish marks. Gently rub across the surface until the shine has been restored. Occasionally, remove skin oils by rinsing with warm water and buffing with a soft cloth or microfiber fabric.

  • Regularly clean your jewelry using mild soap. Pat dry. DO NOT rub.

  • Again, take extra care around perspiration, salt, chlorine, perfume, lotions, and makeup as they can damage fine jewelry. Jewelry like chokers and bracelets, which are tight against the skin, are prone to more contact and may need to be cleaned more frequently.

  • Although rare, sometimes individual body chemistries can react with the metal and cause a reaction. Pregnancy, thyroid disorders, hormone levels, medications and more can affect body alkalinity versus acidity, and may cause a reaction with your piece. It’s definitely a wild-card and is based on the individual!

STERLING SILVER:

Sterling silver is a 92.5% pure silver with most likely copper as the remaining metal.  Sterling silver is considered a precious metal.  Here are a few more facts about the metal:
  • Although sterling silver is stronger than solid silver, it is softer than gold filled metal, and can be prone to scratching if not treated with care.

  • Sterling silver tarnishes naturally and occurs with even the most expensive sterling silver. Tarnishing with sterling silver is caused by a chemical reaction between the sterling silver and the air and any chemicals that come in contact with it. Your skin oils and body chemistry may actually help to preserve the sterling silver, which is why we recommended you wear it frequently!

  • Although rare, some individual body chemistries can react with sterling silver and cause tarnishing. Pregnancy, thyroid disorders, hormone levels, medications and more can affect body alkalinity versus acidity, and may cause a reaction with your piece. It’s definitely a wild-card and is based on the individual.

Follow these suggested practices to ensure the long, beautiful life of your piece :

  • Remove jewelry during physical activities (running, crossfit, gardening, hiking, swimming, household chores, etc.)
  • Remove jewelry when using chemicals: shampoos, harsh soaps, lotions, makeup, hairspray, etc. Always put jewelry on last, after your hair and makeup routine, as the last finishing touch!
  • Sulfur is very corrosive and should be avoided, and can be found in household products (fruit juice, eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, rubber, steel wool).
  • Moisture and sunlight can cause tarnishing. Take off your piece when showering, bathing, swimming or sunbathing.
  • Avoid abrasive materials like a terry cloth, bath towel, and shirt to polish your jewelry. Even tissues or paper towels are micro-abrasive and should be avoided as scratching can occur. We recommend using a soft cloth, lens cloth, or any microfiber cloth to gently clean your jewelry.
  • When cleaning your piece, start by using mild soap and water and gently clean the piece with your fingers. Make sure your piece is completely dried when finished cleaning to avoid oxidation.
  • Store your jewelry in a dark, low-humidity area and in an air-tight container such as a Ziploc bag. You should always clean your piece before storing. You can use anti-tarnishing papers and bags for storage.

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