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Why Your Jewelry Tarnishes and How to Clean it

Sterling Silver Handmade Jewelry
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If you’re a jewelry lover like me, you’re bound to have pieces of jewelry that have tarnished or oxidized over time! I'm sure you've heard “Don’t get lotion on your jewelry” or “Don’t wear your jewelry to the beach” – I’ll be honest, I just like to live life in my jewelry! Does that mean it might tarnish? Yes, but, I like to live in my jewels! If you live it up in your jewelry too, I thought I’d share a little background on why your jewelry may tarnish, as well as how to clean it when it does! 
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Why is my Sterling Silver jewelry turning black and tarnishing??
Silver jewelry tarnishes over time, especially when it hasn’t been worn! Tarnishing or oxidation of the metal happens when your jewelry comes into contact with different products such as lotions, makeup, sweat, exposure to moisture, among many other things. Tarnish can show up in different ways such as slight tarnish making your jewelry look dull and less shiny, to extreme tarnish where your jewelry is very dark or nearly black. This difference in tarnish will vary depending on what the jewelry has been exposed to. 
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Why is my gold Plated Jewelry tarnished? 
Over time, gold plated jewelry may begin to tarnish due to wear and tear, or exposure to lotions, swear and makeup among other things. With Cassondra Justine jewelry the gold plating is a thin layer that is on top of brass. Through wearing your jewelry the gold may begin to break down and the base metal may come to the surface causing the gold to discolor. 
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How can I clean my Sterling Silver jewelry? 
When cleaning sterling silver one of the quickest, easiest ways to brighten up your pieces is to use a sunshine polishing cloth. (Grab your $6 Polishing Cloth here!) These cloths quickly remove tarnish and will shine up sterling silver. Sometimes with a cloth it may be difficult to get to hard to reach places. If the piece is intricate, I suggest soaking it in warm water, mixed with a small amount of dawn dish soap for about 5 minutes. Gently massage the piece of jewelry, or use a soft bristled brush to get to hard to reach places. Repeat if necessary. Make sure to completely dry the piece after cleaning – letting it air dry will create water spots and encourage the piece to tarnish again. 
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**Pro Tip - With Sterling silver the more you wear your jewelry, the less it will tarnish due to the oils your skin naturally produces. 
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How can I clean my Gold Plated Jewelry
A polishing cloth will remove the gold plating on your jewelry, instead use a soft, non-abrasive, and lint-free cloth or chamois to keep the shine. Gently rub the surface of the metal as needed to remove tarnish. If the jewelry needs a deeper clean I suggest soaking it in warm water, mixed with a small amount of dawn dish soap for about 5 minutes. Gently massage the piece of jewelry, or use a soft bristled brush to get to hard to reach places. Repeat if necessary. Make sure to completely dry the piece after cleaning – letting it air dry will create water spots and encourage the piece to tarnish again. 
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I hope this helped to get to know why your jewelry may be tarnishing and how to spruce it back up! Again, I believe jewelry should be lived in and loved, which sometimes means adding some extra character through scratches, or tarnish through living. Either way if these tips didn’t help you to get your Cassondra Justine jewels nice and sparkly again or you think you need a more in depth repair, send me a message on the Contact Us page and we can see what we can do to get your piece in tip top shape again! 
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