Care & Maintenance
HOW TO CARE FOR MY HENRIQUETTA JEWELRY
All of Henriquetta creations are intended to be worn every day and to require very little care. Dents and marks will always occur but they only make the piece even more unique. However, there's always a general care rule if you want to keep your pieces safe, especially if it has stones. Preventative care, cleaning and proper storage will make your favorite pieces last for a really long time, many life times in fact.
Since sterling silver is as alloy of pure silver and copper, it's prone to tarnish. The tarnish happens when the outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction creating a thin layer of corrosion which can occur just by air exposure. Other situations, such as if you live near the sea or if there is contact with other chemicals, the process can be accelerated.
However, alloys with gold will tarnish much less. Pure gold doesn't tarnish. All those gold coins that sunk to the bottom of the ocean are still glowing as much as the day they were coined. Alloys with a lower gold percentage will tarnish but even with 9K gold this phenomenon is barely perceptible, usually just by comparing with a new and clean piece of jewelry.
To keep your jewelry in mint condition be sure to remove it:
- when exercising, swimming, gardening, playing contact sports or moving heavy objects to avoid damaging your jewelry and to keep you safe as well.
- when you're applying perfumes or lotions, those chemicals might cause tarnish.
- during household chores, cooking and cleaning, to avoid chemical exposure .
- when you bathe might not be necessary, in fact it can help to maintain it clean. However be mindful to not expose your jewelry to chemicals after shower and to dry it as soon as possible.
But even with the best care there will always be some tarnish - and it's perfectly OK and normal. Dirt and skin oils build up and turn precious metals dull and cloudy. Try to clean it with:
- Dish liquid and water - Put your jewelry in a warm bowl of water with some mild dish soap. Leave it for a few minutes and then a very soft cloth, fingers or if the piece is too textured a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry. Rinse it well and dry it as best as you can.
- Toothpaste - put some toothpaste on the item and use a soft cloth, fingers or if the piece is too textured a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the piece. Rinse it well and dry it as best as you can.
- Chemical cleaners - you can also use chemical silver cleaners. Use them sparingly and only when other methods fail.
Some pieces we use every day and others we save for special occasions. To have them ready to use even after being stored for a long time the best is:
- Before storage - Clean your item with a soft cloth, flannel or microfiber. if your used any method with water be sure that it's completely dried, use a hair dryer for a few seconds if needed.
- Minimize air exposure - use a sealed container or bag. If possible add a silica gel bag, I always ship one with my orders.
- Avoid boxes in the bathroom. Your storage should be in a dry cool place.
The most important thing is to enjoy your jewelry.