The 4 C’s normally comes from things you should be aware about when buying diamonds. But we have done a list of the 4 C’s you should know about jewellery care, and who knows maybe it’s easier to remember them a bit better.
First C is for Consider:
Consider or be aware what is your jewellery made off? Different metals or surface treatments needs different care and cleaning. When it comes to gemstones some are more sensitive and brittle than others, I know plenty times I’ve managed to crack a turquoise when setting it, that’s beyond frustrating let’s just say. It’s basically safe to assume that most gemstones should not be soaked in chemical cleaning solutions as it can remove the shiny surface polish or completely ruin them, Ive accidently managed to try this too so don’t do that.
The same goes for the ultrasonic which works on vibrations which is not great for turqise, mother of pearl , Coral and opals to mention a few. Diamonds, zirconia and some other precious and semi precious gems should survive fine but it’s always check first. It can be quite clunky having a ultrasonic Sonic for cleaning, it’s an individual choice if you want to invest in this but I would say often it should be sufficient with a bowl of soap water and a gentle toothbrush, it takes up less space too.
At Tina G studio we make our pendants, charms & rings out of solid brass or sterling silver. For our brass pendants we use gold plated chains and split rings which have a silver base. When things are gold plated it needs to be treated extra gentle.
Gold plated jewellery like our chains are sensitive to too much cleaning and chemical solutions should be avoided as it can remove the plating. If this happens the only way to retrieve the color is by replating them. In my career as a jewellery wrecker / learning to make better jewellery I’ve made sure I’ve tested this too of course, where I managed to get one of my chains tangled in the robot vacuum and it did a pretty good job at removing the plating so don’t try that. Moral of the story is a gentle wipe to clean off the chains now and then is the best way to go. If you want to know more about gold plated consider having a read on our blog post on it HERE.
Brass have a tendency to tarnish rather quickly as it has a very large part copper inside, which can be frustrating if you prefer it’s warm yellow colour. But if your brass ring or pendant doesn’t have any gems like turquoise it can be submerged in some ketchup for 10 minuter and cleaned and polished up to shiny golden very fast. When it is decorated with gems the safest way is to use a silver cleaning cloth.
The second C stands for Commit:
Make a commitment to care for your jewellery, yes that’s a bit boring but with a little bit of commitment your bling will be looking good for a long time. The minimum recommend is to checking over all your jewellery at least every 3 months, to prevent things getting super tarnished, tangled and broken. It obviously depends on how big your collection is but surely if you use all of it or most of it often enough this shouldn’t be a problem.
If you find you never use it consider recycling it (I’m assuming you have recyclable metals) or selling it as it might be better off in a new home. When the jewellery is made of unknown metals or fast jewellery consider A) buying better in the future and B) recycle it in terms of more a hobby/ scrap book style way, sparkles for cards or mini sculptures or whatever, or give it to schools or places where they might be able to use and do this as free materials will surely be welcomed.
Treasured pieces look great longer and need less repairs if you commit to doing some care for them. Another tip is Storing your chains in separate compartments or pouches to avoid tangling, yes I know not rocket science but I’ve managed to ranged enough chains to remember to make it a point.
And the third C is to focus on Carefulness:
Kind of obvious and as mentioned before always be careful and gentle with all jewellery, during cleaning, storing and wearing. No don’t get me wrong most things should be able to take a normal amount of wear and handling depending on the thickness of chain and so on but it’s good rule of thumb to treat it with a gentle hand as much as possible. If you ever seen a kid handling things you know what I mean in try stay careful, as I always say when something gets dropped on the floor in our home; “Quality test”. Just because something is built to last doesn’t mean we need to go testing for the breaking point, but it should be able to cope with some daily handling at least.
To save yourself from work and cleaning always avoid chemicals, perfumes, lotions, sprays and other foreign solutions getting on your jewellery. As this can get stuck and also cause skin reactions it’s good for both you and the jewellery to avoid prolonged exposure to chemicals.
Remember to store your treasures in a box or pouch and never leave them in the bathroom as the moist air will speed up tarnishing your jewellery. I know you’ve heard this like millions of times before but it’s better for me when I remind people then when I have to try and fix impossible repairs as people have forgotten. And to be honest I have to remind myself sometimes to as my wrecking skills is not my proudest talents.
Be careful with jewellery dip cleaners and solutions as lots can be too strong for gemstones and plated jewellery, and it’s extremely bad for someone who is pregnant or a child to handle these solutions. They should be seen as a last resort to cleaning jewellery as it’s not good for you or the environment, and remember to not breath them in and preferably use gloves if you plan to use it.
We made it to number four which is Clean:
Recommended is a gentle clean with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm soapy water to remove dirt and oils from jewellery. Then when you have dried it off use a jewellery cleaning cloth for extra polish, but be careful with plated items as you don’t want to end up rubbing off the plating.
A gentle clean off with a jewellery cloth every so often is generally safe for all gemstones and jewellery types which is why we provide a cloth with each purchase.
Otherwise I would recommend getting a package of Connoisseurs jewellery wipes online they are very good, I’ve tried to investigate exactly what is in/ on them as they mention being non toxic but it’s proven very difficult to find out exactly what it’s treated with.
The closest to figuring it out has been through some of my metalsmithing books which talks about how jewellers used to make their own clothes with iron oxide compound. But now is more commonly purchased pretreated. They have been treated with “chemicals tarnish solvents and sulfide inhibitors” which isn’t exactly explaining what chemicals is used so for safety’s sake always wash your hands after, use with care, and sore in the boxes provided if you decide to get these.
If you are extra worried or have lots of expensive jewellery consider taking them in for a cleaning at a Jewelers once a year or so for a small fee it can be worth it.
Why not download our quick printable care & aware guide , check out tips to know before buying online.