How to Clean Different Types of Jewelry

The jewelry you wear, regardless if it’s a piece you picked out for yourself as a special treat, or it was a gift from someone dear to you, often defines how you feel about yourself, reflecting your sense of style and mood back to the broader world. When sterling silver, brass, bronze or copper rings, pendants and necklaces become tarnished (thanks to oxidization), losing their sparkle, you might — figuratively speaking, of course — temporarily lose a bit of your sparkle as well.

Thankfully, if you want to know how to clean silver jewelry, or clean tarnished jewelry (brass, bronze, copper) at home, the steps involved are relatively simple to follow. As we look at different types of metal, you’ll notice a consistent theme behind the various cleaning methods, as well as a similarity among the items — like white vinegar, lemon juice, a soft cloth, baking soda, plus a few other ingredients — you’ll need to gather to restore the glistening shine to your beloved bodily adornments.

How to Clean Sterling Silver

When confronted with a piece of tarnished silver jewelry, your best bet is to follow a few easy steps and learn how to clean jewelry with baking soda. You’ll need baking soda, obviously, aluminum foil, and in some tougher cases, white vinegar to boot.

  1. Line the bottom of a small ceramic dish or bowl with aluminum foil.
  2. Prep a solution of baking soda and water, or for more challenging cases baking soda and white vinegar. About 1/2 cup of hot water or white vinegar to 2 tbsp. of baking soda should do the trick.
  3. Set your sterling silver jewelry inside the bowl lined with aluminum foil, making sure as much of the silver as possible is in contact with the foil. Pour the solution over the jewelry and soak for several hours.
  4. After soaking your silver, rinse it under cold water, then gently dry it with a soft cloth. And voilà, your cherished sterling silver jewelry should now be tarnish-free.

 

How to Clean Brass and Bronze Jewelry

Does brass tarnish? Sadly, for owners of brass or bronze jewelry, it does. Bronze and brass are both alloys (bronze is made up of copper and tin, while brass is composed of copper and zinc). When these alloys come into contact with oxygen, oxidation occurs, creating a greenish patina layer, similar in color to the Statue of Liberty, which is actually oxidized brown copper plating that turned green after years of exposure to the open air.

Don’t give up hope if your favorite brass bracelet or bronze chains have gone a little “green.” If you’d like to know how to clean bronze jewelry, or brass jewelry at home, follow the helpful instructions below.

  1. Plop a tablespoon of baking soda into a small bowl, then gently pour lemon juice over the baking soda until you’ve created a pliable paste (stir to test).
  2. Take a soft cloth (nothing abrasive) or an old toothbrush and apply, then rub the paste onto your tarnished jewelry.
  3. After carefully polishing your brass or bronze items with your lemon and baking soda paste, rinse them under a stream of cold water, then buff and dry your jewelry with a soft cloth.

How to Clean Copper Jewelry

Want to know how to clean copper jewelry? The steps involved are similar to cleaning silver, brass, and bronze — but with a salty twist. With copper, simply soak your jewelry in a bowl, immersed in a solution of vinegar and salt. You can also make a thicker paste with salt and vinegar (reminds us of our favorite potato chips) to rub stubborn tarnish stains away. As always, rinse your copper jewelry under cold water, then dry with a soft cloth.

The Various Lengths of Necklaces and How to Wear Them

 

Necklaces comes in all shapes and sizes, and finding the right one to complement your style and wardrobe is important. When ordering a necklace online, it should come with the chain length, but if you aren’t sure what this means, then it’s just another number. Here are some ways to figure out necklace length and find the right fit.

Different Types of Necklace Lengths

In general, there are six different necklace lengths. These include:

  • Choker
  • Collar
  • Princess
  • Matinee
  • Opera
  • Rope or Lariat

Each of them comes in a different length, and determining which option is right for your will depend on the look you are trying to create. Let’s get into a little more detail about each type.

Choker

On average, a choker necklace will be 14 inches in length. They are designed to wrap closely around your neck and are often worn with a high-necked top or dress. However, they can be worn with any outfit if you are looking to make a fun, bold statement.

Collar

A collar necklace sits right at the base of your neck and is a good option when accessorizing tops or dresses with a high neckline. These necklaces are 16 inches in length and aren’t as tight as a choker. These are usually worn to make a statement, so finding one that is colorful and/or large is a good decision.

Princess

This is the most common necklace length and falls just below your throat at the collarbone. In general, this necklace is 18 inches in length and will work for just about any outfit you pair this type of necklace with. Whether you are wearing a fine chain or a bold piece, the princess length is ideal for everyday wear.

Matinee

The length of this necklace falls between 20 and 22 inches, and it will sit right above your bust line. This necklace style is often worn with plunging necklines or for individuals who feel like 18 inches of necklace feels too short.

There is also a 24-inch matinee necklace that you can add to your wardrobe. You’ll need to consider that it is meant to lay on top of your clothing and is often worn to make a statement. These necklaces will fall just below the center of your bust. This matinee necklace is a great addition to business or casual wear, and they often come in bold colors or with multiple strands so that they stand out.

Opera

Opera necklaces have a tendency to be more formal than shorter necklaces. They hang below the bust and can be worn with high necklines or eveningwear. They average 30 inches in length.

Rope or Lariat

This necklace hangs well below your bust and may reach all the way to your navel. In general, they are 36 inches in length and add something extra to business or eveningwear. Although, they can add some elegance and sophistication to casual wear as well. It’s advised that you don’t wear a rope necklace with a plunging neckline, as this won’t pair well with the necklace’s length.

Now that you have a better idea of the types and lengths of necklaces that exist, you can find the pieces that will express your individual style and add something extra to any outfit you put on.

How to Store Jewelry to Keep it from Getting Damaged

After investing the time, effort and money to find the jewelry that you love, it can be incredibly frustrating to place it in a jewelry box and have it get damaged or tarnished. If you’re looking for some tips on how to keep your necklaces, rings and bracelets looking good, check out the suggestions listed below.

Everything in Its Own Place

One of the best ways to keep your jewelry from getting damaged when placed in a jewelry box is to ensure that each piece has its own place. It’s possible to find jewelry boxes with various compartments and sections. Placing your rings in the slots specifically designated for them will keep them from tangling with necklace chains or getting lost among bracelets. Placing earrings in their own section will ensure that you always know where each pair is.

In addition to putting your jewelry in its designated area, you should also separate your pieces into the types of metal they are made from. Keep all of your gold items together and separate your silver items from your fine jewelry and your costume jewelry. If the various metals touch, this can cause an interaction that can lead to tarnishing. To keep your jewelry looking fantastic and tarnish-free, give each type their own space and compartment in your jewelry box.

Keep it Clean and Dry

Another way to prevent your rings and other jewelry from becoming damaged when stored in a jewelry box is to make sure it’s clean and dry before you put it away. Moisture tarnishes and degrades all metal quickly. Thus, if your jewelry got wet because you were out in the rain or you just washed your hands or showered, make sure to dry it thoroughly before you put it away. Use a lint-free cloth to help with this endeavor.

Dirt and other grime can also lead to your jewelry becoming tarnished, so if your pieces have been exposed to any kind of debris, make sure to clean and dry them before putting them away. One of the easiest ways to clean your jewelry is to mix a few drops of mild dish detergent into lukewarm water.

You’ll then soak your pieces for a few moments, using a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any stuck-on dirt and debris. Make sure to dry your jewelry with a lint-free cloth before putting it away.

 

Store Your Favorite Pieces Where they Can be Seen

If you have necklaces or other pieces of jewelry that you adore and wear on a frequent basis, you might consider storing these in an area where they can be seen and are easy to grab. You have the option of getting hooks or a wall jewelry organizer that will keep your favorite items organized, visible and easy to access.

You might also consider placing a dish or small jewelry box on your nightstand for earrings or rings that you forgot to take off before heading to bed. You’ll still be able to find them quickly and easily when you’re ready to wear them again, but they’ll also be contained and organized.

It can be challenging finding jewelry that expresses your style and makes you feel really good. Thus, when you do find the pieces that you adore, you’ll want to take care of them so that they last for a long time. How you store them is important, and keeping them separated, clean and easy to access will help keep them from getting damaged or tarnished.

The Expressive Characteristics of Different Blue Stones

Mother Earth’s bounty of lovely blue stones is considerable, to say the least, but not inexhaustible. And while blue is the hue many jewelry wearers favor in their gemstones — whether garnishing a zodiac necklace, a set of zodiac rings or blue stones entwined within the design of a stellar piece of sterling silver jewelry — their popularity in no way diminishes their beauty or charm.

The expert jewelers at Waxing Poetic would like to acquaint you with some of the distinctive characteristics and meanings associated with a variety of different blue stones, thus helping you pick out the right stone(s) for yourself or those you esteem the most.

The Unique Meanings of Different Blue Stones

Each stone you come across has a story to tell. It could be a peculiar little rock you stumble upon in the desert, with millions if not billions of years of geological time behind its long journey. Or it might be the profound meanings the natural world (and humanity) has imbued in the sapphires set inside your favorite brass pendant…

Aquamarine Meaning

Aquamarine, meaning “seawater” in Latin, is a semi-precious stone (but precious to all who wear it) that is the birthstone for March. When searching for its hidden meaning, rest assured, as this stone, with many pieces originating from Brazil, won’t disappoint. Aquamarine has the power to calm the soul while simultaneously disseminating positive energy out into the rest of the world. An aquamarine talisman is soothing, pure, and subtly potent — just like the seawater for which it’s named.

Labradorite Meaning

Labradorite is an extraordinary feldspar stone. This exquisite gem, which many believe aids in blocking out negativity while shepherding us through significant life changes (as we transform ourselves and the world around us), is the perfect representative of an agent of change. Iridescent labradorite often reflects an array of different colors, creating a “labradorescence” optical effect. These shifting shades are the basis for this stone’s association with periods of significant transformation.

Blue Topaz Meaning

If born in November, you number among the fortunate who can count blue topaz as your personal birthstone. This precise gemstone, revered by the Egyptians and the Romans (and now the official gem of Texas), with its glacier blue hue, embodies feelings of friendship, love, and good fortune. Blue topaz is said to clear the mind and ease bodily stress, opening the way to honest communication, and higher positive emotions blossoming out of our connections to the people we care for the most in this life.

Sapphire Meaning

Sapphire and royalty — and even divinity — meld together in the most celestial of ways. This precious gemstone (the birthstone for September), second in hardness only to diamonds, has long represented wisdom and purity for those fortunate enough to be of royal birth, or who owe their privileged stations in life to the heavens above. Because of its association with devotion, blue sapphire set inside sterling silver rings signifies commitment and honesty, which amounts to a promise of fidelity to anyone who gifts or dons a piece of sapphire jewelry.

Turquoise Meaning

Turquoise, the birthstone for December, has been a favorite mineral for art and jewelry craftspeople for millennia, dating back to ancient Egypt. For a clearer mind, and a boost in wisdom leading to a more refined kind of introspection, turquoise is the stone to select. Empathy and cheerfulness are also said to multiply when a piece of turquoise bronze or brass jewelry adorns your body. So go on, let a bit of turquoise (like a turquoise and sterling silver necklace) bring some positivity and much-needed serenity to your busy life.

How Instagram inspired an earring design

Introducing The Influencers: earrings as a wearable, shareable platform for your treasures

In the realm of social media, we are what we portray to others – sharing ourselves – who we are – with our family, friends and followers.  For all of its screen-overdosing issues, when we are in a good flow, our projected outward appearance, or persona, can empower inner world expression.  It is fairly poetic really – the arc and story of our lives playing out in the social arena in ways we have never seen before.

When I sat recently in a trend update meeting, the trend that caught my attention was “above the shoulder” accessorizing… namely, the uptick in hair and ear accessories in the market.  The reason for the surge?  Instagram. Selfies. Self-influence in social media. And of course most of this happens around the face. So … we were inspired, and had an idea for an earring.

 

I thought: what can you say with an earring? And then: you can say whatever you want, as long as you have the way and the ingredients.  Enter, The Influencers.  A concept that can transform any jewelry elements, or other clip-able jewelry, objects and treasures you may have, into earrings.

 

Personalization. Play. Creativity.  Giving new life to what you already own, and a canvas for new styles. Find The Influencers here: https://www.waxingpoetic.com/influencer-earrings

The whole game of accessorizing to me, is to make ourselves feel like we are wearing what we need – be it sparkle, totems, touchstones – so many little pieces that carry meaning, waiting to be curated and brought center stage and talked about and shared.

These earrings could have been called Tabula Rasa – “blank slate”- because having these feels like having a blank notebook or canvas to start working with (and equally as lovely on their own, which is the beginning of the story). But we chose the name Influencers to not only reflect the Insta-culture that inspired them, but also to remind us that we are all influencers in our own right and realms.

As Instagram, and other social media platforms like YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook encourage us to become more of ourselves with every visual we post, we hope these earrings provide a tangible, wearable platform for the same.

 

Use our hashtag #poeticinfluencer to join in the conversation and for a chance to be featured in our gallery.

Have fun, and use your influence well!

Xo Patti

 

See more Influencers in action in our new Fall/Winter 2019: Catalog:https://www.waxingpoetic.com/wp-digital-catalog

And for more information:

https://www.waxingpoetic.com/press/

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