Buying Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver is a wonderful alternative to white gold or platinum. Many people like sterling silver jewelry because of its affordability and beauty. Also because trendier, contemporary designs are more readily available in this metal. When making a sterling silver purchase, look for the mark 925, .925 or Sterling Silver, the mark is proof that the silver is 92.5% pure rather than being plated or an imitation made with other white colored metal alloys. If it's higher than 92.5%, the piece will be too soft and won't stand up to everyday wear. Every piece J & J Creations carries is 925 Sterling Silver. If you're buying sterling silver charms or jewelry as a gift, think of the person's style. Would he or she enjoy a new chain or bracelet? Would she love a new pair of earrings or a ring? J & J Creations carries many styles from the classic chains to the more modern bracelets and necklaces. Have a picture of the person's fashion sense when picking out a gift. With these things in mind, you can find a great gift for anyone.
Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry, Including Pieces With Jemstones
(1) Sterling Silver tarnishes from the interaction of silver and sulfides in the air. First the tarnish will take on a golden hue, and eventually, it will turn the piece black. This is a natural process. Higher sulfide levels are associated with humidity and/or air pollution. Remember, the more humid the climate, the faster sterling will tarnish. On a summer day in Miami, Florida, all you have to do is walk out the door and the sterling starts turning black very quickly.
(2) Sterling silver will polish up by rubbing or buffing it with a soft cotton cloth. A chemically treated cloth, like our Polishing Cloth, makes the job a lot easier and faster.
(3) Sterling silver dips are fast and easy. However, be careful! First, many dips will take the color and polish off many gemstones. Second, when using a dip, if you leave the piece in too long, or don't rinse it well enough with fresh water, white residues will be left on the piece when it dries. The residue is difficult to rub or pick off. When using a silver dip, dip the piece quickly in and out of the dip. Then immediately rinse it in clean water. When the piece dries, buff it with a soft cotton cloth or a Polishing Cloth. The buffing brings out more of the shine, helps take off any residue left on the piece, and with a Polishing Cloth, leaves a little bit of a protective anti-tarnish coating on the piece to keep it shiny longer. When using a dip, it is better to do an in-and-out dip, then rinse and dry, then another quick in-and-out-dip, then rinse and dry, than to leave the piece in the solution for a long time. Any dip, however is a last resort. The piece would have to be very difficult to buff up with a soft cloth.
(4) Tarnish Shield, or similar lacquer shield, will keep the piece of jewelry shiny until the tarnish wears off. We rarely use this ourselves. We primarily use this when we make a lot of jewelry that has to be on display for a long time, such as when we're selling our pieces at an arts and crafts fair.
LOTS of cautions here.
Pieces that have been lacquered don't age well, until all the lacquer has worn off. In spots where the lacquer has loosened from the sterling, but not worn off, the silver will tarnish, but you won't be able to buff it. If you use a dip to clean a piece that has a tarnish shield, often the dip will get under parts of the lacquer, leaving a residue, wherever the lacquer is beginning to wear off. If the piece is a chain, or a filigree, the lacquer will form a film within the openings and cracks. This obviously makes the piece ugly.
Cleaning Liquid Silver Jewelry
Liquid silver jewelry is very difficult to clean. You can use a soft cotton cloth or a Polishing Cloth. Avoid dips. They leave residue deposits between each bead, and make the necklace stiff. A good alternative is to take dry baking soda (or baking powder), and rub it on the liquid silver beads. Then pat and brush the dry powder off.
Cleaning Gemstone Jewelry
When cleaning gemstone beads or cabochons, immerse them in warm, soapy water, and scrub gently with a soft brush. Then rinse them and lay them on a soft towel to dry.
Ultrasonic cleaners only work with hard crystalline stones, like amethyst; for most gemstones, however, we'd suggest avoiding ultrasonic cleaners.
The big trick is cleaning sterling silver jewelry that includes gemstones within the piece. Polishing Cloths are OK. The chemicals in the Polishing Cloth won't hurt the stones. Silver dips should be avoided, however, except with crystalline stones like amethyst. Stones like black onyx, malachite, lapis and the like do not survive long when cleaned with dips. A lot of their shine comes from an oily polish which is dissolved by the dips. [NOTE: Sometimes you can restore that oily polished look on gemstones by rubbing them with black shoe wax.]
Caring for your sterling marcasite jewelry
Your concern is to prevent dissolving the glue holding the marcasites in place.
First, use a soft cotton cloth or Polishing Cloth to buff up your jewelry. Never use a silver dip. The dip will dissolve the glue. Finally, take off your marcasite jewelry before you wash your hands in soapy water. Never wash dishes with your marcasite jewelry still on. Dish detergent dissolves the glue.
[If you need to replace your marcasites, use an epoxy glue. Never use superglue! This same advice holds true for rhinestones!]
General Care and Information
• To avoid tarnishing, wrap silver in tissue paper and store in poly bags with anti-tarnish strips. Use a polishing cloth to buff sterling silver. Anti-Tarnish polish may be used. Cleaning dip should only be used as a last resort. Do not dip pieces with stones, it may cause damage to the stones.
• Minimize exposure of silver to perfumes, hair sprays or household cleaners. Avoid wearing sterling silver in pools, hot tubs or the ocean.
• Some people may cause sterling silver in contact with their skin to turn black, which may be difficult to clean.
Here to open a printable ring size tool
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, or use the instructions below.
How To Measure Your Finger For Ring Size.
1. Take a thin strip of paper about the width of a pencil or less.
2.Wrap it around your finger snugly, (not tight or loose) , and mark where the end comes around.
3. Lay the strip down on a ruler, and convert that length to the ring size on the chart. We prefer to use use millimeters because it is much easier to read small differences.
Ring Size Chart ( USA )
|3||1 - 3/4||44|
|3.5||1 - 25/32||45|
|4||1 - 13/16||46|
|4.5||1 - 7/8||47.5|
|5||1 - 15/16||49|
|6||2 - 1/16||52|
|6.5||2 - 1/8||53|
|7||2 - 5/32||54|
|7.5||2 - 3/16||55.5|
|8||2 - 1/4||57|
|8.5||2 - 5/16||58.5|
|9||2 - 3/8||60|
|9.5||2 - 7/16||61.5|
|10||2 - 1/2||63|
|10.5||2 - 17/32||64|
|11||2 - 9/16||65|
|11.5||2 - 19/16||66|
|12||2 - 5/8||67|
|12.5||2 - 11/16||68.5|
|13||2 - 3/4||70|
|13.5||2 - 13/16||71.5|
|14||2 - 7/8||73|
|14.5||2 - 15/16||74.5|
1. Measure the diameter istance across) in milimeters of a ring you currently wear.
2. Find the nearest measurement on the chart below. That's approximately your ring size. (When in doubt between two sizes, it is always safer to go to the next larger ring size. This ensures your new ring will fit you.)
An example of measuring the diameter of a ring. The inside of this ring is approximately 18mm in diameter, making it a size 7 on the chart below.
|Ring Size||Diameter (in mm)|