Air and other particles in the air cause a chemical reaction which may results in the discoloration of your copper and silver jewelry. Moisture from swimming or showering can also sully the color by forming dark circles on the surface like a watermark or stain.Acid released with sweat is another culprit.
Tips and tricks for copper jewelry:
My copper jewelry is made with 99.9% pure copper and will oxidize beautifully.
If you like your copper darker with a nice patina, just enjoy wearing it as is but wash it from time to time with a mild soap and warm water then dry it.
Some prefer their copper jewelry to stay shiny, if you like it this way then simply put some salt and white vinegar in the palm of your hand and rub gently your piece between your hands. It should quickly get back its original luster (less than a minute). Rince thoroughly and dry pat.
Alternatively you can use any copper cleaner available in stores.
This method is not to be used with pearls!
Tips and tricks for silver jewelry:
My silver jewelry is either Argentium silver, an alloy made of germanium (3%) and silver (97%) that is twice as strong as .925 sterling silver and tarnish resistant.
Or fine silver, that is 99% pure silver.
Regular wear can dull the look of your jewelry a simple fix is simply to put some salt and lemon juice in the palm of your hand and rub gently your piece between your hands. It should quickly get back its original luster (less than a minute). Rince thoroughly and dry pat.
Alternatively you can use any commercially available silver cleaner
This method is not to be used with pearls!
Amber is an organic gem, sort of a fossilized and hardened form of resin from ancient pine trees.
Most amethyst is heat treated to bring out best color, but it can crack as well as fade if exposed to high temperatures.
This blue beryl also receives heat treatments to bring out its blue color. Heat can still cause color fading.
Since wax won’t adhere to this tough variety of quartz, ancient people famously used this material to make seals.
This heat-treated quartz will fade when exposed to heat.
Another organic gem, made from the exudations of tiny marine animals. Extremely sensitive to flame and heat.
Most emeralds are routinely bathed in warm oil after fashioning to improve color. Sometimes, dyes are added. Mechanical systems could boil out the oil. Inclusions in emerald often weaken the stone. Thus, mechanical systems can potentially cause breakage.
Both jadeite and nephrite are tough with little to worry about. They may withstand mechanical cleaning. However, acid treatments to improve color may weaken some specimens. Have a professional gemologist examine any pieces to identify treatments. Both jade varieties can take a high lustrous polish. Re-polishing requires professional equipment.
Kunzite: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush
This spodumene variety has a distinct cleavage plane, which opens with little impact. Sunlight causes its lavender color to fade. This is definitely a “night stone.”
Lapis lazuli: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush
This porous material can vary greatly in appearance. It often receives dyes to improve color.
Malachite: Cool water, detergent, and soft brush.
Polishes bright but wear can cause finish to dull. Rub briskly with wood to help restore finish. Sensitive to acid, ammonia, heat, and hot water.
Opal: Warm water, detergent, and soft brush
Very sensitive to pressure and thermal shock (hot or cold), which causes crazing (surface cracking). This soft and fragile gem requires special care.
These organic gems require special care to look their best. (Follow the links at the end of this article).
Acids (even from perspiration) and heat can damage peridot stones. Wear with care and protective settings, since surface scratches will diminish this gem’s finish.
More and more rubies receive oil treatments. Be aware that mechanical cleaning could remove this oil. In addition, high heat could damage gems with many crystal inclusions.
Hard and durable, spinels should give you little trouble. They hold their beauty over time.
Heat treatments create this gem’s stunning blue color. Tanzanite is fragile, relatively soft, and sensitive to heat and vibrations.
Avoid cleaning this porous gem material with soap, detergents, or cleaning solutions. They tend to penetrate the material, thus turning it green and/or an unattractive off-color blue.
Easy cleavage makes mechanical cleaning relatively dangerous for topaz. Both vibrations and heating may damage these gems. Jewelry stones may also have stress points from prongs due to improper settings.
Although reasonably hard gems, tourmalines tend to be brittle. The pink variety is often flawed and could be structurally weak, thus vulnerable to vibration damage. These gems are moderately sensitive to heat. Bi-colored crystals sometimes split at color junctures.
Prone to impurities, zircon can be affected by heat extremes. Nevertheless, fine blue and white zircon is heat treated.
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