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A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering the Art of Patina Jewelry Care



How to Clean Oxidized Silver and Maintain Its Appearance

 

Caring for oxidized silver jewelry requires a gentle touch and an understanding of the patina process. In this section, we discuss how to clean oxidized silver and maintain its appearance, ensuring your patina jewels remain as beautiful and enduring as the day you first laid eyes on them. If you have not read our article on the process of jewelry patina, we recommend that you read it and then come back to this article. This article can be found here.

 

The first step in caring for your oxidized silver jewelry is to handle it with care.

 

  • The first step in caring for your oxidized silver jewelry is to handle it with care. When removing your jewelry, be sure to do so gently, taking care not to scratch or damage the surface of the metal. It is also important to store your jewelry in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat or humidity-such as in a jewelry box, or a small plastic bag.

  • When it comes to cleaning oxidized silver, it is essential to use a gentle approach that will not damage the patina or strip away the protective coating that has been applied to the metal. This means avoiding abrasive materials, such as polishing cloths or silver dips, which can remove the patina and alter the appearance of your jewelry.

  • Instead, opt for a soft, lint-free cloth and a mild, such as Dawn or Mrs. Meyers. Gently rinse the piece of jewelry under warm water, apply a small amount of dish soap to your hand, and carefully clean around the darkened areas of the ring taking care not to rub or scratch the darkened areas of the piece. Once the jewelry has been cleaned, carefully rinse it with warm water and pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth to prevent water spots from forming. Take care not to rub the darkened areas while drying. 

     

     

Caring for Your Patina Jewels: Dos, Don'ts & Expectations

 

Caring for your patinaed jewels requires a delicate touch and an understanding of the unique properties of oxidized sterling silver. In this section, we will discuss some dos, don'ts, and expectations when it comes to caring for your patina jewelry.

 

DO handle your jewelry with care. When removing or wearing your jewelry, be sure to handle it gently, taking care not to scratch or damage the darkened areas of the metal.

 

DO store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. Exposure to heat, humidity, and sunlight can either accelerate the tarnishing process, or change the color of the existing-colored patina and potentially damage the protective coating applied to the surface of the metal.

 

DON'T use abrasive materials to clean your jewelry or allow harder metals such as steel, gold, or platinum to contact the darkened areas. Polishing cloths, silver dips, and other abrasive materials can strip away the patina and damage the surface of the metal.

 

DON'T expose your darkened jewelry to water. While oxidized sterling silver does not rust, exposure to moisture can accelerate the tarnishing process and potentially damage the protective coating applied to the surface of the metal.

 

DON’T rub or scratch the darkened areas. Rubbing the darkened areas can strip the patina that formed on your pieces.

 

EXPECT the darkened appearance of your patinaed jewelry to change with time. The beauty of oxidized sterling silver lies in how it changes and evolves.

 

EXPECT jewelry that is subject to higher levels of wear (bracelets or rings) to have the patina change faster than pieces that receive less wear (earrings, necklaces, or brooches).

 

EXPECT the recessed area of jewelry to hold on to the patina significantly longer than raised areas. Recessed areas often hold on to patina for years with proper care. Raised areas will likely change or wear away faster due to constant contact with your skin oils and other materials.

 

EXPECT to perform different care and maintenance on your patinaed pieces than pieces without patina. 

 

EXPECT on less frequently worn or handled jewelry, the patina may continue to darken and develop, creating a unique and personalized appearance that is truly one-of-a-kind.

 

EXPECT that your pieces can have the darkened finish reapplied at any time from Skölland Jewelry. We can’t guarantee other jewelers will be willing to refinish your piece, but we can certainly refinish your pieces whenever you need it for a small fee. Check out our refinishing service here