The Care and Maintenance of Native American Jewelry
Native American Jewelry should be maintained in the same way as any other high-end jewelry. Professional jewelry cleaning is recommended, but as a general rule, there are numerous ways to keep your jewelry from being damaged. Use caution when cleaning your American Indian jewelry as many cleaning agents will potentially damage them.
Care of Gemstones: Important General Reminders
The metal around a gemstone or gemstone should never be cleaned with toothpaste. Metal surfaces may be scratched, stones may be scuffed, and some pieces may be permanently damaged.
As well, avoid cleaning your jewelry with bleach. Metal and gemstones are particularly affected by this, which can deteriorate them. The jewelry will also be damaged by turpentine, acetone, ammonia, and denatured alcohol.
Don’t wear gemstone jewelry in the water! In order to maintain the durability of gemstones, they must be removed before swimming in a pool, and any sunscreen or pool water left behind must be thoroughly washed off before the jewelry is worn again.
When wearing jewelry, avoid applying cosmetics (foundations), perfumes, and spray-style hair care products. If you are wearing jewelry, wait until the makeup has settled. You should not let your jewelry come into contact with makeup or spray tans.
Certain gemstones can lose their color and shine when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. Rather than storing your jewelry in an open place, you should place it in a jewelry case.
The best way to clean your gemstone is to wipe the gemstone gently with a polishing cloth after each wear. By doing this, you will remove any body oils on the jewelry. Simply clean with a soft cloth rather than wetting it or scrubbing it.
Native American metal/stiff jewelry care:
Metal or other stiff jewelry, such as bracelets, necklaces, and rings, must not be bent or widened. The metal will be damaged and any images within it will be distorted. The same is true for modifying a rigid piece, which can lead to gemstones becoming loose and may even fall out. Please contact us for assistance in adjusting a rigid piece if it does not fit properly.
In the world of metal items, money clips are one of the few that can be bent because of their function. To fit your needs, they can be slightly tightened or loosened. You don’t want to stretch it much beyond what it is already adjusted to.
Native American Jewelry with Inlay and Pearls Can be Extremely Fragile:
Culture and beauty are reflected in inlay jewelry by placing gems in delicate designs. Since these pieces are delicate, it is important to handle them with great care.
Wear an inlaid gem piece carefully so that it does not come into moving contact with anything hard (e.g., dropping it on a desk). This can lead to the gems cracking, breaking, or falling out of the setting.
You should avoid wearing inlay jewelry like rings while working with your hands or in any situation where hard surfaces or damaging substances could potentially affect the gems. The substances collected by household cleaning, pet care, and gardening can damage gemstone inlay jewelry.
Taking Care of Sterling Silver and Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry can be damaged by long-term exposure to the elements. Sterling silver pieces that are only occasionally worn should be stored in a plastic bag that is put in a cool, dry location. Discoloration and tarnishing will be prevented.
On sterling silver jewelry, the prongs holding in gems are extremely fragile. You should check the prongs frequently for looseness, damage, and discoloration. A professional jeweler should be contacted if you notice anything that could lead to losing the gemstone.
During times of heavy use, sterling silver often takes on a yellow, black, or darker hue. Humidity, acids, and other elements cause the material to degrade. Consider these signs regularly when you wear your jewelry.
A good defense against tarnishing is anti-tarnish cloth. Any jewelry store will carry these, and if you wish, you can use them to wrap silver pieces.
Knowing Your Gemstones Before Cleaning
Do you know what gemstones are in your jewelry? A gemstone’s properties vary depending on its type. The result is that heat, light, acid, and scratching can affect them very differently.
Gems are subject to heat sensitivity. Chemicals can cause violent reactions in some materials. Some gem specimens are damaged by inclusions, crystals, and fractures. Some gems, however, are quite durable. Most gems can be cleaned safely with warm water, soft brush, and mild detergent.
Gems Do Not Always Hold Up Under All Exposures, No Matter How Hard They Are
The resistance of a gem to one type of exposure may not translate to all exposure types. The hardness scale is a physical quality commonly referred to in gemstones, and gemstones with a high Mohs hardness rating, such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, make excellent jewelry choices. In spite of its high Mohs score, however, gemstones are not indestructible. The ability of a material to resist scratching is all that is meant by hardness. One of the hardest natural materials is diamond, for example. Heat or mechanical cleaning, though, could cause unfortunate reactions due to inclusions or incipient cleaves.
Clean your gemstone jewelry at home with these tips
Check our gemstone care guide once you’ve identified your gems to find out how to clean them. Here are some recommendations if you’re planning to use a mild detergent at home:
- Although commercial jewelry cleaners are generally safe, beware of those containing ammonia or other chemicals that may damage sensitive gems – such as amber or pearl – when used.
- You can start by soaking your jewelry piece for a few minutes in a solution of warm water and mild detergent.
Gently scrub your jewelry with a soft brush.
- If you have accumulations, use a matchstick or toothpick, but don’t apply heavy pressure or force. A patient approach pays off.
- Dip the jewelry piece one last time into the solution after scrubbing. Wash with warm running water, preferably at a similar temperature to your solution. It is important to avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Using a soft lint-free cloth or chamois, gently polish the jewelry piece after shaking or blowing away extra liquid.
Is it a Good Idea to Use a Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning Brush?
There are many toothbrush brands these days with bristles that are labeled “soft” or “extra-soft.” These will perform fine when it comes to cleaning If your toothbrush has bristles marked “hard” or “firm/hard,” do not use it. Brushes with “hard” or “firm/hard” bristles can damage tooth enamel, which has a Mohs hardness of 5. hardness of 5. While most gems typically used for jewelry have Hardness of gold and silver alloys commonly used in jewelry settings is only 2 to 3. Most gems that are used for jewelry have a harderness than 5!
Enhancement and treatment of gems
It is possible for gemstone treatments to enhance appearance, but they can also negatively affect cleaning processes. The gem merchants sometimes fill emerald gem fragments with oil to prevent cracks. Emeralds’ transparency is thus improved. The oil treatment on the emerald might, however, be damaged by heat or ultrasonic cleaning.