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How to Care for Your Silver Jewelry

For almost 50 years, Four Winds Gallery has offered quality, handmade Native American Jewelry of the finest silver and turquoise. When you purchase from our gallery, you are investing in a valuable piece of art. With the proper knowledge on how to properly care for your Native American Jewelry, you will be able to pass it on for generations to come.

 

THINGS TO AVOID

Many stones used in Native American jewelry, such as turquoise, coral, and spondylus shell, are very porous which make them very sensitive to harsh chemicals, cleaning solutions, and liquids. Continual exposure to these elements will break down the stones, ruin intentional oxidation, and cause permanent damage. To avoid this from happening to your jewelry, follow the tips below:

  • Put your jewelry on last. Perfume/cologne, hairspray, make-up, and lotion all contain chemicals. It is best to apply these products before putting on your jewelry, and be sure to clean your piece after each wear.
  • Do not submerge your jewelry in liquids or cleaning solutions. Harsh chemicals will break down intentional oxidation and weaken the stones.
  • Remove jewelry before exercising, bathing, swimming, washing hands, and any type of vigorous activity.

SAFE STORAGE

When not wearing your jewelry, it is best to store it in a dry, airtight bag or container, away from any direct sunlight. When exposed to oxygen, sunlight, or heat, silver will naturally oxidize over time.

When traveling with your jewelry, securely pack your pieces using our Four Winds Gallery Canvas Bags. The bags add extra cushion and structure around your jewelry and keep it safe from outside elements. They also make a great fashion accessory to carry in your bag for easy access!

CLEANING & POLISHING

If your jewelry becomes dirty, it is safe to gently clean it using a soft brush (such as a soft bristle toothbrush) and a controlled amount of water with soap. Immediately dry with a soft towel. Once all debris is removed, polish the silver using your Four Winds Gallery Polishing Cloth, included in our Care Kit.

INSPECTING

Regularly inspect your jewelry for any damage or wear. Finding a loose stone, weak bezel, or wear on a necklace clasp can prevent a lost stone or broken piece. Contact the gallery with any concerns and we will send it out to have it professionally repaired.

ADJUSTMENTS

Leave the adjusting to professionals. Squeezing and manipulating silver can weaken it over time and cause unwanted pressure on a stone setting. Eventually the metal can break or the stone can fall out completely. If you find your jewelry needs any form of adjusting or resizing, contact the gallery.

If you have any further questions on how to care for your jewelry, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 412-682-5092.

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