9.09.2009

Behind the Scenes: Polishing Silver Metal Clay Charms

jewelry polishing pads
After Hint Jewelry's charms have been tumbled and given a gun metal gray patina, I use a polishing pad to remove tarnishing and reveal highlights. My favorite brand of polishing pads are made by EURO TOOL, and you can purchase them online at Rings & Things.

I do own other types of polishing cloths such as Sunshine Cloth and Selvyt, but I've grown attached to these little foam pads that have permanently bonded micro-abrasives. I use them for polishing all my oxidized components such as ear wires, chains, and findings. I also sell these polishing pads in my shop for friends that want to keep their Hint charms or jewelry tarnish free.

Several months ago I added a section to my Etsy Policies, explaining how to store Hint Jewelry and keep it free of tarnish. I'd love to be able to include this information on a small business card in all my shipments, but alas it is languishing on the procrastination list :)

Storage
Prevent tarnishing and scratches by placing each individual piece of silver jewelry in a cloth pouch or an airtight, plastic bag. Store these bags in a cool, dry place, such as a jewelry box.

By wearing your jewelry, you will slow the oxidation process and keep your silver polished and shiny.

Remove silver jewelry before sleeping, swimming, and bathing. Avoid exposing your silver jewelry to household chemicals such as bleach or ammonia and beauty products such as hairspray, perfume, oils, make-up, and suntan lotion.

Cleaning
Always use a professional jewelry polishing cloth or pad to remove tarnish. Gently rub the cloth against the metal. Silver is extremely pliable, so remember to proceed cautiously with chains, which could easily break if pulled too hard. Fine silver is more pure than sterling; therefore it is a softer metal, and should be handled with care.

Polish your jewelry after wearing it to remove oils, fingerprints and dust.

Do not use cleaning solutions or “dips” to remove tarnish for it may alter the patina, and cause permanent damage to the silver or gemstones.

To purchase a professional polishing pad, check out the polishing section of my shop.


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For the full scoop on Hint Jewelry's process, be sure to check out my weekly blog series called Behind the Scenes.

2 comments:

  1. Love your tutorials! Filled with bits of info that's always helpful. I was actually thinking of purchasing these foams pads for cleaning earlier today and it was nice to see you actually using one. I will be purchasing one of your lion charms soon to make a "Narnia" themed bracelet for my daughter. Love all your little goodies!

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  2. Glad this tutorial might inspire you to invest in these magical polishing pads! Also, you've stolen my heart with this concept of a Narnia bracelet. LOVE, love, love Narnia!!

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