You’ve just taken your beautiful handmade piece of jewelry with exquisite beads, gems, stones, and other accent features out of your jewelry box and notice it has tarnished and the beads are no longer shiny. Now what? Some people prefer the tarnished look of the metal, but some don’t. And no one really wants beads and pearls that have faded. Do you have to buy a replacement, or can you salvage this one? Is this preventable?

Good news! You don’t need to replace it—unless you want something new, of course—and it is preventable.

Follow our care guide to successfully care for and maintain your favorite pieces of jewelry, so you can have a lifetime of experiences, and be able to hand the pieces down to others when you are done.

Jewelry Care Guide

Maintain the beauty and prolong the life of your jewelry through a cleaning and maintenance routine based upon the best care method for your gemstone, metal, or pearl. Our jewelry care and maintenance guide will help you retain the beauty and luster for all types of beads, gemstones and metals. We do not recommend the use of Commercial Ultra Sonic Cleaners on any jewelry as they can be chemically harsh or may cause damage to your beads or finished jewels.


Most gemstone beads can be cleaned using a washing solution of slightly tepid water and mild soap such as Ivory Dish Liquid. Dip a lint free cotton cloth into the liquid to dampen, be sure to wring out the excess water. Using a circular motion, gently wipe the cloth over the full body of the bead to remove dust or buildup on the exterior. Cleaning of beads with exceptionally heavy buildup, may require that you disassemble the necklace to clean the beads. Of course, the best care for your beads is proper use! As a rule of thumb, your jewelry should be the last item on and first item off while dressing and undressing. This will diminish environmental or accidental damage to the jewels. We do not recommend the use of commercial “cleaning immersion solutions” as they will remove titanium metallic or aurora borealis coatings on beads.


Metals react with the environment through a natural process of oxidization that occurs when exposed to sulfides in the air. This process will affect most metal beads and plated beads in the same manner. Some people prefer the antiqued or oxidized appearance that results from environmental reactions. Those who prefer the natural un-oxidized appearance can apply a coating of Urethane Spray to each bead before using the jewelry. To remove the oxidation or tarnish, we recommend a jewelry grade ‘Tarnish Removal Solution’ on the metal beads only. If the beads are in a finished piece of jewelry then a solution may ruin the finish of a gemstone, a coral, or a pearl. Store your beads in an ‘anti-tarnish’ pouch or ‘anti-tarnish’ strip to diminish the oxidation.


Pearls thrive when worn because they absorb the natural oils and moisture from your skin! However, the same rule of thumb for gemstones applies to pearls as well—last on, first off when dressing/undressing—to avoid chemical exchange or damage. Store pearls in a non-airtight container within a soft pouch to avoid drying out and nacre, also known as mother of pearl, damage. Clean pearls by gently rubbing each pearl using a slightly damp, soft cloth to remove debris such as perfume, makeup, or perspiration. Be sure to completely dry the pearl strand before storing to avoid thread deterioration. When cared for and stored properly, pearls will retain their luster and nacre providing you with heirloom quality organic beads.


Storage is the key in maintaining gold filled metals. These items can be stored in a non-airtight area in a soft pouch. We recommend cleaning these items with a dry, clean, soft cloth to remove any oils or debris that may have accumulated during wear. When the chains or beads require more extensive cleaning, we suggest your local jewelry store will have unique methods and compounds for cleaning gold-filled items.

If you want more detailed care instructions for specific gemstones, we suggest reading the Gemstone Care Guide by the International Gem Society.

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