All of my jewelry is hand-fabricated, not cast, and designed in my Excelsior, MN studio. With proper care, your jewelry will improve with age and can develop a rich deep patina. Soft polishing cloths meant for dry cleaning and wiping jewelry are easily available in any jewelry store as well as being found online. A good cloth I recommend is called a Sunshine Cloth. Just remember, if your piece has a patina, you don't want to rub too hard or you can rub the patina right off.
To keep your jewelry in great condition I recommend following these simple care directions:
1) Remove your jewelry prior to swimming, gardening, cleaning, heavy lifting or applying cosmetics. The chemicals that are in some makeup, lotion, perfumes, chlorine and cleaning agents may cause damage to the metals, pearls, beading materials, and patinas.
2) Always store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. Sometimes exposure to air, excessive humidity, moisture, and pollutants will cause your jewelry to tarnish. Always store your pieces individually in the pouches, boxes or bags that came with your purchase. Precious metals such as Sterling Silver, 14K Gold and 18K Gold, and softer stones like opals and turquoise, can become easily scratched if left jumbled with other jewelry.
1) Do not use tarnish-removing dips or any brand of abrasive silver polishes. These will ruin the finish and patina on your jewelry.
2) Do not use lemon-scented liquid soaps on your jewelry. If you don’t remove your jewelry prior to washing dishes, it’s best to wear gloves.
3) Do not drop or knock your cloisonne pieces on hard surfaces. The cloisonne is made of glass and can scratch or break. If you crack or break your enamel piece, try not to touch the crack or broken edges with your fingers. Your fingers contain oils and micro-debris that will get into the crack and cause the 'heal' to show when the piece is repaired. Simply take the pieces and put them into a small ziploc baggie or a little box and send them to me. 9 times out of 10, I can repair your piece and return it to you as good as new.
Metal & Material Specifications:
All Girl Meets Joy Jewelry and designs are crafted of high quality Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, 14k gold, 18 gold, 24k clad sterling silver (sterling with a flame fused heavy pure pure gold overlay), freshwater pearls, gemstones, ebony wood, black coral that has been ethically harvested by me, or vintage Mediterranean red coral (also ethically sourced).
All high polish or shiny finishes should be cleaned with a polishing cloth or soft polishing glove. Matte or hammered finishes that are not finished with a patina should always be cleaned with a very soft dry toothbrush with dry baking soda. Some of my designs may require periodic refinishing or a reapplication of the patina. Always have your jewelry serviced by Girl Meets Joy Jewelry. I'm happy to make your pieces look like new again. Small fees may apply but it’s best to have the person who made your jewelry service your pieces to maintain the consistency and quality of the piece.
Cloisonné and Enamel Work
Never use a harsh abrasive or brush to clean enamel pieces. Enamel is glass and can scratch easily. Also take care not to drop your enamel onto any hard surfaces as it will more than likely crack and break. Broken Cloisonne and enamel pieces can sometimes be repaired. If you do break your enamel piece, take care not to touch it excessively. The oil and dirt from your fingerprints can create a permanent line in the glass when it is re-fired. Simply put it all into a box with cotton batting to protect the pieces and send it back to me. The piece will be assessed and a nominal fee will accompany the repair.
Pearls and strands of beads that are strung and knotted
Never, ever, dunk a strand of your beaded pieces or pearls in soapy water to clean. This will do harm to the beading threads.
Try to avoid exposing your pearls or stone jewelry to chemicals like hair spray, body lotions or perfumes. If you need to clean them, I suggest using a soft cloth with plain water to gently wipe the stones or pearls without soaking them. Exposing your pearls to the chemical laden products listed above will result in the damage of the pearl's lustrous surface and at that point, nothing can be done to revive them once they are damaged. Gently wipe them with a soft dry/damp cloth to clean, taking care not to over-wet the beading thread.
I always suggest keeping necklaces and strung bracelets stored flat. Hanging any knotted or beaded piece on a hook will eventually stretch the thread. I also recommend having your pearls and stones restrung periodically. This will help avoid any breakage and the heartbreak of losing any beads off of the piece(s). Restringing and knotting services are available through Girl Meets Joy Jewelry for a nominal fee.
All stones that I use in my work have been hand selected and/or custom cut. Special care should be taken not to damage these stones. Your rings should be removed before washing your hands, getting into a pool or hot tub, cleaning with chemicals, gardening or doing any heavy lifting.
Clean your druzy stones by simply taking a dry soft toothbrush and give the surface of the stone a gentle scrubbing in a circular motion. You shouldn't need to wash them with soap and water unless they have gotten dirty and the soiling is beyond what a soft brushing will remove. Be aware that a druzy is a crystal structure and can be fragile as it is a larger stone structure that is formed of many tiny stones.
Very Important Note:
Please know that because I use hand-selected stones and beads, stone colors and beading material will vary based on the availability of the items used. I may not have an exact match to repair or replace a lost or broken earring. Remember that parts of your jewelry designs can be a bit delicate and care should be taken not to damage the work or the stones/pearls being used in your creation
Girl Meets Joy Fan Earrings, sterling silver, 18K gold with white topaz stone.