Hey Spinner Darlings!
So your new Spinner Ring has arrived! You slide it on your finger, all shiny and sparkly, and show it off to all of your friends! If you’re like me, you hold your hand a certain way on the steering wheel so you can peep it at the stop lights and catch random glimpses of it’s blingy beauty.
Fast forward some months…lots of dishes, cleaning and maybe a party night or two…not so shiny anymore, eh!? This is common with silver, and other metals, and nothing to be alarmed about. If you take care of your Ring, it will last you for years to come and will shine up great with little effort! Keep reading to find out why jewelry can lose its luster, and how to maintain the best shine, all the time!
When metals (silver, copper, brass, aluminum, etc.) are exposed to non-metal compounds, such as oxygen or sulfur dioxide, the chemical reaction that occurs results in tarnish to the surface of the metal. Tarnish appears as a gray or black film over the metal, but can also appear to be faintly orange or yellow at times. Tarnish is self-limiting, unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from deteriorating.
Another name for tarnish is patina, and…guess what!? Jewelry makers often purposely catalyze a reaction on their finished jewelry to give it a deeper dimensional appearance! If you look at your new Spinner Ring you will likely see some areas that are black and not as shiny—that is patina!! Unfortunately, the studio patina does not last like natural patina, so naturally this will fade a tad with wear and time. No worries, if you keep your ring long enough to pass it down to your loves, it will eventually get a nice layer of the good stuff! Or, if you are ever in Colorado, give me a shout and I will make sure to help you out with the speedier version! ;)
I know what you are asking now: If we purposely patina (tarnish) our jewelry, why would we want to tell you how to clean it off? Well, there are parts of the piece that are designed to maintain shine and stand out. And, since you will be wearing your ring EVERYDAY, it will naturally lose a bit of the bright shine and start to tarnish over time. So, let’s get on with the maintenance portion of this chat, shall we!?
Your Spinner came in a little pouch with a small black square in it. This is an anti-tarnish pad, and can be kept with the ring anytime you are not wearing it. However, since you will want to wear it all the time!, just make sure that you take it off to shower or do the dishes, garden, rock climb (I am guilty of this one though, not going to lie…), or any other activity that could damage or compromise your finger bling. Here’s a biggie, and it’s kind of a hard one—NO LOTION ON YOUR RING!!! Take it off to soften your digits, even if you have to put it on someone else’s finger for a minute (they will be stoked, and then you can pass along my card). The oils in the lotion will get sucked into the tiny details of your ring and then attract dirt and other yuck, and that’s just gross ya’ll.
My favorite way to clean my jewelry is with a soft polishing cloth, which I have included with your special package. They are easy, non-messy, and do a great job. They will not remove the purposely-applied patina (unless you press too hard...don't do that!), they WILL shine the tarnished areas, and they fit nicely in your purse or pocket. You can purchase them at almost any department store, on Amazon, or ask your local jewelry store and they might even have a sample size square for you for free!
If you need something with a little more gusto, I recommend Calcium Carbonate. It is made up of naturally occurring rocks and minerals, and is estimated to comprise approximately 4% of our Mother Earth’s crust! It will not damage your jewelry, or our environment, so win-win! You can purchase it at most health stores or grocery stores in the vitamin section, and here are instructions on how to use it:
Work a small amount of the Calcium Carbonate into a slightly runny paste with equal amounts of ethanol (denatured alcohol or ethyl alcohol) and distilled water. Rub the paste across the surface of your jewelry, working a small area with cotton balls or a clean cotton cloth. Detailed areas may be polished with Q-tips. Make sure not to get too crazy on the details, and patina portions so that you keep what you want and eliminate what you do not. When you are finished cleaning, it is important to remove all residual polish with distilled water. Drying may be accelerated by adding ethanol to the rinse water, or by giving the ring a final wipe with ethanol.
And, viola! With that, you have your shiny, amazing jewelry back in no time!
There are a million ways to clean your jewelry, so if what you read here isn’t the same as what Aunt Betty taught you, or what your sweet neighbor Penelope recommends, not to worry!! You find what works for you, and stick with it! As long as what you are using isn’t damaging your new goods, then it’s all gravy, baby!
Thanks you, dears, for reading—I hope that I have been helpful! As always, I love to hear what my customers’ experience is with their jewelry, so feel free to comment or reach out with your recommendations or adventures! Always adventure, and don’t forget to Ador(n)e Yourself!
Cheers & Spins,