We recommend the following steps be taken by all to keep their jewelry in top condition to ensure long wear and enjoyment:
- Use proper technique to put on and take off cuff bracelets. DO NOT STRETCH/CRIMP EACH TIME!
Most cuff bracelets fit most people, but some are simply too small or too large, so it is important to have your cuff fitted properly before you walk out the door. Cuff bracelets are usually worn down past the wrist bone, but if you intend to wear it differently, have it fitted appropriately. They should fit pretty closely, but there should be no need to stretch or crimp the bracelet when putting it on or taking it off. Stretching and crimping a bracelet will cause weak spots to develop in the silver, leading to breakage. In some styles of bracelet, you may even lose stones. To put on a cuff bracelet, let your hand fall limp and hook one side of the bracelet in between the bones about 1.5-2 inches down your forearm. You should be able to gently and firmly pull the bracelet over your arm without changing the shape of the bracelet. Most people find this works best beginning from the inside of the arm (the side nearest your body). To remove, reverse the process: slide the bracelet back up, roll it so that one end is tucked between the bones of your forearm and gently pull off. While this motion may feel strange at first, with practice it will come easily. You will love the long wear that good bracelet care ensures!
- Remove jewelry (especially rings and bracelets) whenever you are working with your hands.
Impact, especially with hard surfaces such as tile or concrete, is one of the chief threats to jewelry, whether it is a cabochon or inlay setting.
- Remove jewelry (especially rings and bracelets) whenever you are in prolonged contact with water. Washing your hands with regular soap several times a day should not be a problem. However, doing dishes every night, cleaning with harsh chemicals, bathing every day, or soaking in a pool or hot tub for prolonged periods can and likely will cause damage to your jewelry. Stones may be popped loose after water seeps underneath. Soap scum may build up on the surface of the stone or silver, causing a dingy, dark appearance. Harsh chemicals (even everyday ones) can irreparably damage porous natural stones such as turquoise.
- Be careful with your jewelry while you are out. We recommend always wearing earring backs to avoid loss. It is also a good idea to keep a soft pouch or small case with you if you are in the habit of removing jewelry for work or sports. Such foresight will prevent loss and contact damage with loose coins or whatever else is floating in your pocket or purse!
- Use preventive measures to keep jewelry from tarnishing so badly that it is difficult to clean up. We recommend storing sterling silver jewelry out of direct light (natural or artificial), ideally in a plastic bag with anti-tarnish squares or in a treated jewelry box. Sterling silver jewelry that is worn regularly will usually tarnish less than jewelry that is set aside for months or years at a time, so wear it and enjoy it!
- Use a silver polishing cloth to shine up bright-finish sterling silver jewelry regularly.
Our special polishing cloths are available for $8. They are treated with a jeweler's rouge which removes tarnish, foreign substances, and surface scratches. They should not be washed even after they become blackened with use. The blackening of the cloth is a result of regular use and does not interfere with cleaning. Exceptions to this rule include antiqued, satin- or brushed finished pieces. If you wish to protect the patina, polish sparingly with an untreated cotton cloth. Watch faces should never be polished as they have a chrome finish which can be rubbed off by the treated cloth. We do recommend using a plain cotton cloth (such as an old tee shirt) to remove any black residue from your jewelry, especially on pieces that are in direct contact with skin or clothes.
- Do not use pastes, liquid, or ultrasonic cleaners to clean your Native-made sterling silver jewelry.
Natural stones may be damaged by harsh chemicals or sound waves found in these cleaners. If you are familiar with a product and do intend to use it, please do not use it on any pieces with stonework, blackening, or beads. It may take longer, but it is worth it to use tried and true methods and follow the preventive regimen detailed above.