Each piece of Andrea Shelley jewelry is made by hand with love. Here are some tips on how to care for your pieces so you can have a long, happy life together.

Sterling Silver

Solid sterling is a great choice for everyday wear. 

It’s long-wearing, low-maintenance, and easier on the pocketbook than solid gold.

While contact with the air will cause the surface of your silver to darken (called tarnish), it is easily cleaned up with a soft polishing cloth, or by using this hands-off method.

The best way to prevent tarnish on your sterling pieces is actually to wear them. The friction against your skin will rub off tarnish as it forms. You can wear your sterling in the shower* or to bed, but still remove it during activities where it may become damaged.

Jewelry pieces are delicate and need to be protected from sharp blows, scratches, chemicals and abrasives. Please remove all jewelry during activities such as sports, swimming, gardening or cleaning.

*While it is perfectly safe to wear your sterling silver jewelry in the shower, some stones (pearls for example) may be damaged by water and/or soaps. If your jewelry piece includes stones, it’s best to remove it – or just ask me if it’s safe.

oxidized Silver

Oxidation is the blackening of silver by dipping it in a chemical solution of Liver of Sulfur. It is a semi-permanent treatment that lightens over time with wear. A coating of food-grade wax has been applied to the surface to prolong the colour but precautions should still be taken.

To protect the surface colour, avoid contact with lotions, perfumes etc. Remove rings when washing hands and do not wear your jewelry in the shower or to sleep.

Jewelry pieces are delicate and need to be protected from sharp blows, scratches, chemicals and abrasives. Please remove all jewelry during activities such as sports, swimming, gardening or cleaning.

If you have purchased an oxidized piece from Andrea Shelley, please contact me for information about re-oxidization.

Gold

Solid gold is top quality jewelry. It won’t tarnish or change colours and, in 10, 14 or 18 karat, it’s harder than silver thus more resistant to dents and scratches.

You still need to take care to avoid abrasives and chemicals as they can damage or even remove some of the gold. Other than that though, gold jewelry is something you can put on and *almost* never take off.

That being said, jewelry pieces are delicate and need to be protected from sharp blows, scratches, chemicals and abrasives. Please remove all jewelry during activities such as sports, swimming*, gardening or cleaning.

If your gold jewelry gets dirty, soak it in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap. After about 15 minutes, gently brush off the loosened dirt with a soft bristled toothbrush. Make sure to dry the piece completely before storing.

*This is especially important with gold as chlorine creates a chemical reaction that dissolves gold.

Gold Fill

Gold filled metal is a cross between solid gold and plated gold. While it’s not gold throughout, rather than just a thin layer on the surface as in plating, it has a mechanically formed exterior gold layer that is 5-10 times thicker.

While this thicker gold layer will last much longer than plating, it is still best to avoid contact with lotions, perfumes etc. Remove rings when washing hands and don’t wear your jewelry in the shower or to bed.

Jewelry pieces are delicate and need to be protected from sharp blows, scratches, chemicals and abrasives. Please remove all jewelry during activities such as sports, swimming, gardening or cleaning.

Gold filled a great option for items that withstand a lot of wear, like rings, when solid gold doesn’t fit in your budget.

Gold plated

Plating is the application of a thin layer of metal (in this case, gold) to the surface of a jewellery piece. As with oxidization, the plating will wear away over time.

To protect the plated layer, avoid contact with lotions, perfumes etc. Remove rings when washing hands and don’t wear your jewelry in the shower or to bed. Do not use abrasive cleaners or polishing cloths on plated pieces. Plated jewelry is not recommended for daily wear.

Jewelry pieces are delicate and need to be protected from sharp blows, scratches, chemicals and abrasives. Please remove all jewelry during activities such as sports, swimming, gardening or cleaning.

If you need to clean your plated jewelry, give it a gentle buff with the type of soft, lint-free cloth you would use on eyeglasses.

To prolong the life of your piece, you should have it inspected regularly to check for signs of wear. Once the underlying metal is visible through the plating, it is time to have your piece re-plated. Contact us for a quote.

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