Resources

Caring for your Findings

Proper care and handling of your findings can help maintain their beauty (and resale value and suitability!) for years to come.

STORAGE:

  • It’s best not to store your findings in a big messy pile in one drawer or box as the metals can become easily scratched.
  • Invest in proper jewellery boxes, pouches or bags that keep each individual piece separate
  • Keep your findings in a place free of dust – which can be abrasive – and where they are protected from sudden changes in temperature, light and humidity. Exposing them to extreme heat or cold and harsh sunlight for sustained periods of time can cause your findings to deteriorate.
  • Avoid placing pressure on your findings and do not store heavier objects on top of them

 

TARNISH PREVENTION:

  • Tarnish is a layer of corrosion, caused mainly by sulphur and other airborne chemicals, that develops on many metals and particularly on sterling silver. Tarnish occurs much faster if items are left out in the open.
  • However, crinkly plastic bags, rubber or plastic containers like Tupperware are very high in sulphates. To avoid accelerating tarnish, store findings in an acid-free, closed container (common craft storage containers are unlikely to be suitable)
  • Especially if moisture and humidity is an issue in your workshop, store items in an enclosed space with silver saver tabs or silica gel packets (do not store pearls with a desiccant as they can become brittle and may crack if too dry). You can even use normal chalkboard chalk – it also works to absorb the airborne substances that cause tarnish. All of these absorbent products should be replaced every couple of months
  • Printed newspaper, dyed tissue paper, perfumes, and many types of aerosol products also contain sulphates so remove these from your studio space and avoid touching your findings after handling these.

 

CLEANING:

  • To clean tarnished silver findings, rub them gently with a soft, nonabrasive polishing cloth.
  • Early-stage tarnish is relatively easy to remove with gentle cleaning, so check your stock often, as untreated tarnish can be very difficult to eliminate.
  • Read the labels of commercial cleaners very carefully. Many solutions that are suitable for metals may discolour or damage certain beads, and especially items with stones.

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