Native American Indian Jewelry: Caring for Sterling Silver
Caring for sterling silver jewelry is essential in making sure it looks great and maintains value. Since many Native American jewelry pieces contain stones, great care must be taken to ensure the silver is cleaned without changing the color of the stone or otherwise damaging it with chemicals.
Do-It-Yourself versus Over-the-Counter Jewelry Cleaners
At Palms Trading Company, we recommend cleaning your sterling silver jewelry with a do-it-yourself cleaner instead of an over-the-counter cleaner. While a number of products are commercially available to clean your silver jewelry, most of them contain chemicals that may be toxic or may cause damage to stones.
Making your Own Sterling Silver Jewelry Cleaner
To clean your sterling silver jewelry effectively at home, one of the solutions we’ve found to be effective can be made by taking the following steps:
- Line a sink with aluminum foil
- Fill the sink with boiling water
- Add 2–3 tablespoons of salt to the boiling water
Once you’ve made your mixture, just place your jewelry in the mixture and let it soak. After about 5 minutes, take your jewelry out and rinse it in cold water. If your jewelry has a significant amount of tarnishing, you may need to go through this process several times to restore its condition.
Additional Considerations when Cleaning Silver Jewelry
To maintain the look of your sterling silver, store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. This helps slow down the process of oxidation. We also recommend that you store your jewelry in small, individual plastic Ziploc bags, which will also slow the process of oxidation.
If you are considering other methods for cleaning your silver jewelry, avoid any method that requires a toothbrush for scrubbing. This can scratch the silver and loosen your stones over time.
Of course, if you have special stones in your piece and just aren’t sure what the best way is to clean them, contact Palms Trading Company—we are always happy to answer any questions you may have!