Caring for your jewelry
My "firepainted" copper pieces are care-free! I hand brush a permanent lacquer on all my "firepainted" pieces and darken my silver chain and ear wires with a patina, therefore neither will change with time and wear provided no chemicals interact with the finish. Copper also is anti-microbial so it does not hold germs, therefore just water when cleaning my firepainted pieces will do the trick!
Please be aware: Cleaning "firepainted" copper with anything other than water may result in the removal of the lacquer and the color. Simply clean with a damp paper towel or cloth. I would also suggest not wearing your lacquered copper jewelry in a chlorinated pool or exposing it to chemicals of any kind. Some lotions may damage the lacquer as well. I would also recommend taking off your jewelry when showering.
My preferred cleaner for bright copper which has not been firepainted and lacquered is actually ketchup!
Skin discoloration: Depending on your body chemistry, heat and humidity, copper may leave a discoloration on your skin. Copper is a natural element and this is a chemical reaction between perspiration and copper and can easily be removed by a damp paper towel or baby wipe. The best way to try to deter this from happening is to wipe the inside of your cuff with a damp paper towel or cloth before and after wear, and on a hot day, during wear. Copper is good for you. Because copper has healing properties which help with ailments such as arthritis and circulation, I prefer not to coat the inside of my cuffs with lacquer unless someone has an allergic reaction to the metal.
Fine Silver: Because fine silver is 99.9% pure it contains little to no alloy like sterling which contains alloys such as copper, therefore fine silver is tarnish resistant and needs little to no cleaning. Only clean bright silver with jewelry cleaner. If your piece has been treated with a patina to darken it there is no need to clean it. Polishing may change the desired effect on fine silver also. It is pretty care free.
Please note: Do not clean patinated (intentionally darkened) silver with silver cleaner. Doing so will remove the patina and the color may not return to a desired silver color. If your piece contains fine silver which has both bright and patinated pieces, please do not clean or polish.
Caring for pearls. Do not clean pearls in silver or gold cleaner.Only use cleaner specifically meant for pearls. If your silver jewelry with pearls darkens you may use a silver polishing cloth on the silver areas or lightly polish with silver cleaner avoiding the pearls. I polish all my sterling silver wire with a tarnish resistant cloth to coat the silver before use to deter tarnishing. You may also store your sterling in special cloths and wipe your silver with these type cloths as well.
Caring for semi precious gemstone jewelry: As mentioned above, please do not clean oxidized/patinated silver. It is care free. Also, please only clean gemstones in gemstone cleaner that is meant for those stones and if your silver jewelry is oxidized only wipe the gemstones and avoid the silver with any cleaner. If your silver is not oxidized, but has darkened, although many stones are quite durable and can handle silver cleaner, to be on the safe side, use a polishing cloth or silver cleaner and rub onto the silver avoiding the stones.
Thank you and please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about the care of your handcrafted jewelry.