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Costume jewelry and how to prevent it from turning your skin green.
Of course, the most obvious solution is simply not to buy any costume jewelry; but I can tell you right now that, not buying any costume jewelry, would be an impossibility for some of the women in my immediate family. So let me share something I observed with you. I enquired once after watching one of the jewelry collectors I know applying clear nail polish to the inside of one her costume jewelry rings and not on her nails, why!?
She told me that the process of applying a thin layer of clear nail polish on the side of her ring that came into contact with her skin prevented the skin on her finger from turning green. What I came away with from the experience was that if the upside to the process of applying a thin layer of clear nail polish to the under surface of the ring prevented the look of "Night of the Living Dead Skin" under the ring, the downside would have to be that the nail polish wears off rather easily so be prepared to re-touch up your costume jewelry rings on a regular basis.
When I lived my life in the world of electronics I used clear nail polish to lock potentiometers (aka Pot) in place once I had meticulously tuned an electronic circuit board. Leave it to the jewelry wearers I know to introduce me to yet another use for clear nail polish. Aside from removing your jewelry before you remove your clothing to avoid any jewelry and wardrobe entanglement, especially sweaters, removing all costume jewelry before you put your hands in soapy water, take a bath, or shower will slow costume jewelry from tarnishing and prevent the greenish skin discoloration associated with some costume jewelry. It's important when wearing costume jewelry to keep your skin that will make contact with your jewelry dry and I guess the other important thing to remember is that clear nail polish for your fingernails can also come in handy when it comes to keeping your original, non-green, skin color under your costume jewelry pieces.
Taking Care of your jewelry
Taking care of your jewelry is important for lots of reasons be it resale, insurance purposes, or estate planning knowing the current value of your jewelry all depends on how well you have taken care of your investment. For those of you that are in-the-know about taking care of your jewelry what I am about to share will not come as news to you. My hope always is to find that one person with an interest in my subject, topic du jour, who will actually find this info useful. If that is you then let me start by saying that I think of jewelry as more than just bling, its also an important investment, and it retains its appearance and value longer if it is properly taken care of.
Let's start with How to Clean Gold Jewelry
Gold is tarnish-resistant, a quality that made gold stand out in the high energy physics electronic life I once upon a time used to live, but when it comes to the personal gold jewelry I have collected over the years in spite of this precious metal's ability to resist being tarnished gold can still get smudged and even become grimy. The brilliance of gold jewelry can be greatly reduced by simple household necessities like lotions, powders, soaps, even natural skin oils can cover your jewelry and cut down on its visual intensity. Jewelry cleaning removes this residue and restores the original brilliance of your jewelry, and!
Evan, though there are many commercial products available to clean gold jewelry, a basic solution of detergent and water goes a long way to restore the radiance of gold, a soft brush helps to gently clean stones and intricate filigree designs. Depending on the age of your jewelry once in a while, it can be helpful to soak the gold jewelry in a mixture of 1 part ammonia and 6 parts water for about a minute just make sure to dry and polish your gold jewelry with a chamois or soft cloth afterward.
Professional jewelry polishing cloths are an inexpensive and effective way of keeping your gold collection glittering and pleasing to the eye. The treated cotton cloths help to dislodge tarnish and to buff jewelry to a magnificent shine.
It's a good idea never to wear jewelry in the swimming pool or while doing chores. Even though gold is said to be non-reactive, the fact is that contact with chemicals such as chlorine in pools or household cleaners will discolor and even damage your gold jewelry mounting.
When you are not wearing your jewelry, proper storage is essential. Take care to prevent your jewelry pieces from tumbling together in a crowded jewel box if you want to avoid scratching and a potential loss of brightness. It's best to store your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewel case, or even a compartmentalized box so that each piece of jewelry resides in an individual soft cloth pouch. If the climate you live in is damp, storing jewelry in small resealable plastic bags can extend intervals between cleaning, and works especially well for silver.
It's important to check for damage to the bezels or prongs on the stone settings of your jewelry from time to time. Immersing the jewelry in rubbing alcohol for a couple seconds will restore the gorgeous sparkle to a cloudy stone. It's critical to dry the jewelry thoroughly after cleaning prior to wearing or even storing. Never soak Pave set (glued in stones) jewelry in water while cleaning gold jewelry, especially the glue used in older jewelry as they are often not waterproof.
Care for your Special Gems
Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are relatively hard, though the latter two can still acquire scratches. However, opals, pearls, and emeralds are softer and need a gentler touch. Emeralds and opals contain water in their matrix so if allowed to dry out may crack. Repeated application of cod liver oil from the drugstore every few months is recommended by antique jewelry dealers. Pearls should be worn as often as possible to expose them to skin oils. If they dry out, their luster will weaken, so don't clean pearls with alcohol or detergents and avoid exposing pearls to vinegar and other acids to prevent them from dissolving. A soft damp cloth is all that is needed to clean pearls.
When it comes to ultrasonic jewelry cleaners
Do not use them on opals and pearls -- they will be damaged.
Line a broad flat dish with tinfoil, then place your silver jewelry in the dish spaced out so the pieces do not touch. Mix together 4 cups of hot water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Pour this over the silver and leave for a few minutes until tarnish is dissolved, then rinse and polish with a soft cloth.
Take care to remove the silver as soon as it is clean, and resist any temptation to let it soak for hours because the electrolytic reaction will continue.