Even the best made jewelry requires extra care, especially over the years. Taking care of and storing your jewelry will make all the difference for the lifespan of your piece. Understanding the materials of your jewelry will also help ensure their longevity.
In general, please remove your HBJ pieces before you bathe, and try to prevent any lotions or sprays from coming into contact with your jewelry. Store your HBJ jewelry in a box or case that can allow each piece to be housed individually (so that they don't scratch one another); when packing jewelry in the studio, we utilize velvet or linen pouches or plastic bags. Read more about caring and cleaning your jewelry below.
Scrimshaw Jewelry Care
HBJ scrimshaw jewelry is made of varying gemstones, fine metals, and hand-scribed India ink illustrations. Each scrimshaw piece is sealed with epoxy to protect the illustrations; however, these are delicate pieces that are affected by exposure to oils from skin and water. Do not utilize any liquids (water, silver cleaner, chemicals, etc.) to clean these pieces. HBJ is happy to clean and re-ink your scrimshaw piece at any time.
Bright Silver Jewelry Care
HBJ’s bright silver consists of Argentium silver 935, sterling silver 925, and fine silver 999. Silver will naturally tarnish over time: to slow this process, wash occasionally with warm water and mild soap, or baking soda toothpaste. A soft toothbrush will help reach tighter areas when cleaning. If the tarnish lingers, do not use a polishing cloth, as this will polish away the matte finish. Instead, try a dip tarnish remover; avoid using this on silver jewelry with organic materials such as pearls, coral, amber and jewel beetle wings, etc. Avoid washing the jewelry in a sink; jewelry and drains do not play well together.
Oxidized Silver Jewelry Care
Oxidation is a patina that darkens silver; it is a surface treatment, thus it is more susceptible to signs of wear. Avoid liquids and chemicals, and be mindful that wear over time will vary according to your skin’s chemical makeup. While it is not being worn, place your oxidized jewelry in a safe, dry container. If your piece needs to be re-oxidized, please contact the studio.
Pay special attention to the stones used in a piece as certain stones, for example opals, are much softer than others, like diamonds, and can break relatively easily. Pearls, moonstones and opals are quite soft and are easily scratched; wear them with caution and special care. Some gemstones do not play well with water, so do your research before you clean your gemstone piece. For more information on how to care for your particular gemstone, please visit our Gemstone Library.
Gold Jewelry Care
Gold will not tarnish, but it can get dirty. Soak and wash with warm water and mild soap. Do not use a polishing cloth, as this will polish away the matte finish. A soft toothbrush will help reach tighter areas when cleaning. Avoid washing the jewelry in a sink; jewelry and drains do not play well together.
Knotted Silk Jewelry Care
HBJ pieces that feature knotted strands should not be washed: they should be wiped down with a soft clean cloth before storing. Wetting the silk can cause stretching. If you notice the silk has naturally stretched over time (if there is extra space between the knots and the beads) it is time to restring the necklace. Please contact the studio for more information on the restringing process.