Rule # 1. Never dip into liquid cleaners!!
Turquoise and other semi-precious stones commonly used by Native artists in their jewelry tend to be less hard than their gemstone counterparts ie: diamonds, rubies, etc. Because of this, cleaners and detergents can have an abrasive and dulling effect on the surface of the stone. We recommend using a dry treated jewelry cloth like Connoisseur Jewelry Wipes or a similar product.
If it is an older piece, it is not necessary to polish. Many collectors want to see that patina on the older jewelry. If it is too dull for you, just lightly rub the piece with a cloth, not with the intent to “deep clean” but more to “hit the highlights” and give a little gleam to it.
Squash Blossoms and large pieces can be a chore to clean. Save some time after cleaning and store in a large zip lock bag to prevent tarnish buildup.
Rule # 2. Be gentle!!
In other words, wear with some care. Handmade jewelry is not indestructible and rough wear will result in damaged stones. Some styles can be more delicate than others, with many tiny stones pieced together. Wear your beautiful jewelry knowing they are original works of art meant to be loved, enjoyed and passed down to future generations.
Rule #3. Don’t wash dishes with your rings on!!!
To absorb concussion, a very fine sawdust material is under some larger stones. Because the bezel around each stone is not watertight, the material can absorb water and swell, loosening and dislodging the stone. This also applies to hand washing. Yes, please wash your hands but maybe remove your rings first or try to avoid a long soak for your ring. Remember, detergents are not good for the stone anyway. !
Rule #4. Size matters!
We’ve all done it. Put the squeeze on that favorite bracelet and pop goes a stone or snap goes the silver. While some cuff bracelets can be adjusted slightly, others cannot, due to design. And once adjusted, (to the point you can slip them on and off without adjusting further), leave it alone!! No more squeezing. Metal will weaken when repeatedly bent, first softening, then breaking. So proper fit is important.
Also, if a bracelet is an inlay or multi stone bracelet, they CANNOT be adjusted at all. The fit must be perfect from the start with NO BENDING!! Remember they are little works of art with many many hours put into each piece!!
Rule #5 Enjoy Your Jewelry!