As the maker, I am really happy you’ve navigated here to find out some golden rules that will preserve your beautiful jewelry piece you have just bought (or you are about to purchase). I wish to mention that everything you read here applies not only for FMD jewelry, but also for FMD accessories, or any jewelry piece you have already in your hands.
To ensure the beauty of your jewelry, please follow these rules:
REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY BEFORE SWIMMING OR WASHING.
I know there are people that like wearing their jewelry at the beach or pool, swimming, showering or just washing their hands. I highly do not recommend it: firstly, because the silver finish and some porous and soft stones can be affected by chemicals that are present in the soaps or body washers and shampoos. Secondly, even the smallest molecule of water can get through the tightest setting and this can lead to the oxidation of the metal behind the stone. If the stone is translucent, you might see to appear black spots behind the gem. Once this happens, there is no way back, unfortunately.
AVOID HEAT, OVEREXPOSURE TO SUN.
The heat and sun rays over time, and in excess, can fade or damage some gemstones, and some of them (especially amber) can darken over time when exposed to too much light.
The sand is abrasive and can damage the shiny surface of silver (or any metal). If your jewelry falls off of your neck or finger it would also be hard to dig through to find it. In addition, sunscreen will make the surface of the metal and gems become dull. You don’t want that.
REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY BEFORE SLEEPING OR CHANGING CLOTHES.
The edges of your jewelry or earring posts can get caught on your bed sheets or your clothes, and thus bend. Prong settings might open and you could lose the stone.
KEEP YOUR JEWELRY AWAY FROM MOISTURE AND CHEMICALS.
Apply any lotions, creams, make-up, perfume, hair spray BEFORE putting your jewelry on. Chemicals and oils reaction with natural stones and silver may lead to strange coloration. The metals can be restored to their primary finish, but if oils and chemicals seep into a stone, the damage cannot be undone.
REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY BEFORE MAKING SPORTS, GARDENING OR COOKING.
That’s great if you love a healthy lifestyle and go running or to gym, but it’s even greater if you leave your jewels at home. Remove them before gardening, house cleaning, cooking or any other intense activity. Excess sweat may tarnish the silver, dirt can get into tiny places and then it can be difficult to clean. Hard surfaces like rocks, counters in the kitchen or any hard tools are difficult to avoid when working, the stones if whacked can chip or crack, and there is no way back.
STORE YOUR JEWELRY IN A DRY PLACE
when not worn. It’s always good to put in your jewelry box some silica gel bags (usually you can find them in a new bag or new shoes box): they absorb humidity and preserve the metal from darkening. Most of my pieces are already intentionally oxidized and then polished to bring out the contrast of texture and detail of high points of the metal. To avoid darkening on such jewelry and the overall dull effect, store them in the Ziploc baggies! They can make miracles when storing jewels for a longer period: put each piece in a different bag (in that way the chains of the necklaces won’t tangle) and then in a jewelry box.
CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY
To refresh your piece use simply a damp soft cloth, like cotton or similar, and gently rub the piece. Once you are done, dry it off as much as possible using the soft cloth and let it air dry. If you feel that a damp cloth is not enough, you can put a tiny amount of mild soap on the damp cloth and rub the piece, then rinse the cloth and rub the piece again, after that dry the piece with a soft cloth and let it air dry, just as already said before. If needed (but only if really needed!) you can use a super soft tooth brush, always being very gentle with your jewelry piece.
Do not use chemical cleansers as they can damage the stones, especially the pearls.
A good rule of thumb is this: your fashion jewelry should be the last thing you put on before going out the door and the first thing you take off after coming home. After each wear rub your jewelry with a soft cloth or jewelry cleaning cloth, this will remove all body oils/perfumes/lotions that over time may damage the finish of the jewelry.
With a little care your jewelry will last for years!