All Curlicue NZ Jewellery is created by hand with care and passion, from recycled Sterling Silver or Copper wires and genuine semi-precious stones, pearls & crystals. Shop now to find sustainably elegant handcrafted jewellery.
However, your jewellery can easily be damaged if:
Hopefully this is obvious, but all jewellery will be fragile to a certain degree, especially handcrafted jewellery.
Specifically, with Curlicue NZ Jewellery, pieces where Swarovski Crystals, cultured pearls and wire wrapped spirals or flourishes are included, special care must be taken or wires can be bent out of shape or pearls or crystals damaged beyond repair.
Try to not have jewellery pieces all jumbled in together!
They shouldn’t be able to rub against each other, other metals or any harsh surfaces as they will scratch and wear.
Nor should they ever take too much weight or force. You should also avoid harsh chemicals from coming into contact with your jewellery.
It’s a great idea to store your jewellery in small boxes or pouches when not being worn to help keep it clean and prevent it from being scratched.
All jewellery purchased from my online jewellery shop comes in small gift boxes which are perfect for this.
Tarnishing is a natural process which is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with various types of metal. If your once shiny jewellery has turned dark, this is likely to be the reason why.
All precious metals can tarnish to some degree. Platinum and pure gold are the most tarnish-resistant metals and will show very minimal (if any) tarnish over many years.
By contrast, sterling silver jewellery will tarnish relatively easily, meaning it will turn a brown, grey or black colour over time. You may have read that pure or fine silver won’t tarnish, but that isn’t true: it does, just more slowly and in a less noticeable way than sterling silver.
The reason sterling silver tarnishes more easily is because pure silver has been alloyed with copper, which has the benefit of making the metal harder and much more suitable for making jewellery than pure silver, which is too soft for many uses.
All Curlicue NZ jewellery is made of real genuine metals (100% recycled .925 Sterling Silver; .935 Argentium Silver and Copper wires), and may tarnish over time.
These are generally the safest option to remove tarnish from your metal jewellery.
To remove tarnish rub your jewellery gently with a polishing cloth, doing your best to get into crevices, until the shine is restored. You’ll find the cloth getting black marks on it as the tarnish is removed.
While polishing cloths are great for cleaning tarnish from your jewellery, they may not remove general grime and dirt from hard to reach crevices. Soap, water and either a soft cloth or child’s toothbrush are best for this sort of cleaning.
For many silver jewellery designs you can use silver dip which will very quickly and easily remove tarnish, including in hard to reach spots.
BUT – Silver dip can have harmful effects on metals that look like Silver, but aren’t (such as Nickel or some plated wires). When used on such metals, the chemicals can actually alter the colour of the jewellery – so you need to be absolutely positive the jewellery you are cleaning, is in fact Sterling Silver. Otherwise, please don’t use it.
When using silver dip make sure you follow the instructions carefully! Also please ensure that you rinse your piece and dry it thoroughly after dipping.
This is an eco-friendly and low tech jewellery cleaning method and it will help to remove tarnish. Best of all, you should have all the ingredients in your cupboard!
Cut a piece of aluminium foil which covers the bottom of a glass bowl or dish. (I just covered the whole dish). Then mix the following into 1 cup of hot water and pour into the dish:
Put the jewellery to be cleaned into the bowl so it sits on top of the foil and is covered by the solution.
After 5 to 10 minutes you can rinse your jewellery in cool water and dry it with a soft cloth. Discard the solution and the foil, which is likely to have turned a grey colour. Repeat if necessary.
This method can also help to remove scorch marks on silver – BUT don’t use it with soft stones, pearls or crystals as it can change the surface and quality of the items.
Freshwater pearls are created in mussels or oysters in rivers, lakes or ponds and tend to be more irregular in shape and more varied in colour than saltwater pearls.
Man-made freshwater pearls sell for less mainly because they are more abundant and have more variations that naturally occur during their development.
Curlicue NZ’s freshwater pearl jewellery, like the ‘Silver Curlicue Earrings with Black Cultured Freshwater Pearl’ shown here, are not only real and beautiful, but also offer a great value for pearl shoppers.
Freshwater pearls are delicate and can get scratched easily. Cleaning tips for your pearls:
Swarovski crystals have a thin protective gold or rhodium plating, which limits the jewellery cleaning methods that can be safely used.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to care for jewellery containing Swarovski Crystals:
An ultrasonic cleaner will more easily remove dirt and grime from gemstones and crevices than other jewellery cleaning methods – but they will not remove tarnish.
Use a domestic ultrasonic cleaner with warm water and a small amount of detergent.
To remove dirt and grime from your jewellery you can just use a mild soap and warm water with a soft brush or cloth. However, this won’t remove tarnish.
Bicarbonate soda, toothpaste and other harsh cleansers which are rubbed against metal are never recommended for cleaning jewellery. Such cleansers will remove precious metal from the surface, causing scratches and over time will deplete the precious metal content.
PLEASE, DON’T USE THEM!