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3714 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL, 60613
United States

773.883.2583 (BLUE)

Jewelry Care

Jewelry Care

Stella Blue Design jewelry is comprised of some of the earth’s most precious and semi-precious gemstones, as well as fine metals. Each item is handmade with TLC in Chicago, IL, with the highest expectations of quality. 

Here are our recommendations for proper storage and care of your jewelry to ensure longevity for years to come.

  • All Stella Blue Design jewelry pieces should be stored in box it was received in.
  • Remove your jewelry before engaging in activities that might damage the stones in your jewelry. Gardening and yard work, housecleaning  and even exercise can put your precious gems at risk of being banged and scraped against dirt, stones, walls and other things that could damage them.
  • The chemicals and oils in hairsprays, lotions and other cosmetics can dull or even damage your jewelry. Remove your jewelry before applying makeup and cosmetics.
  • Check your jewelry settings frequently to be sure that the components aren’t working loose and putting you at risk of losing the stones in your jewelry.
  • Remove jewelry when swimming, bathing or showering. The chlorine and other chemicals in water are not kind to precious gems and metals. 
  • When taking your jewelry on/off, it is best to stand over a rug/carpet. To avoid risk of accidental contact with floors/hard surfaces.  

Vintage/Estate Jewelry Care

Old European Cut 5 Diamond Deco Era Estate Ring

Old European Cut 5 Diamond Deco Era Estate Ring

Vintage is Old; it was worn and owned over several lifetimes before it got to us.  Therefore, it should be considered extra delicate and treated with care.  All jewelry – especially fine jewelry - should be re-tipped & tightened every 6-12 months. To ensure longevity of your heirloom/vintage jewelry, a simple routine tap test can tell you if a stone is loose.  Nothing is jewelry is indestructible – not even a diamond. Metal is mailable and a small prong being bent of broken can cause a stone to fall out.  In costume vintage, know that many rhinestones, crystals & gemstones were glued into the setting.  Especially those made without prongs – glue should be considered “a good time, not a long time.”  Therefore, if you ever lose a stone, please visit Stella Blue Design or a trusted vintage expert to help source/replace any missing stones. Stella Blue Design specializes in vintage jewelry repairs, restorations and re-invetions.

Sterling Silver

Over time sterling silver will tarnish, but its luster can always be revived by simply using a jewelry polish cloth or silver jewelry cleaner.  To eliminate frequency of polishing, keep sterling silver in a sealable plastic bag in between use. 

Brushed Sterling Silver Hoops

Brushed Sterling Silver Hoops

To maintain the original condition of your silver jewelry, polish your pieces regularly using a non-abrasive cleaning cloth. Soap and water will also help keep your silver looking good.  Remember do not dry silver off with paper towels or tissues, always use a soft cloth.  Never immerse your silver jewelry in chlorine, salt water, mineral springs, and suntan lotion. Remember, some household cleaners contain chlorine bleach; these will cause discoloration and also loosen the gemstones. Avoid abrasive cleaners, detergents and commercial jewelry cleaners "dips" especially if the pieces have an oxidized finish. Using harsh polishing cleaners will alter the antique look of your jewelry. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, ammonia or any chemical solution to clean opaque gemstones, such as turquoise, emeralds, malachite, onyx, lapis lazuli and opals. They are a porous stone and may absorb chemicals, which build up inside the stone and cause discoloration. Simply wipe them gently with a moist cloth until clean. Stella Blue Design offers cleaning & restoration services for your sterling silver jewelry. 

Gemstones

While most gems are sturdy, they can be chipped, cracked, scratched or even split. Keeping a few cautions in mind can help protect your beautiful jewelry for years of long life.

Amethyst Drops

Amethyst Drops

Cleaning gem jewelry

Oils and dust can collect in the crannies behind your gem’s setting, dulling the beautiful sparkle. Gemstones should be cleaned every one to two months – more often if you wear it every day. There’s no need to invest in special cleaning solution, cloths or machinery. The best solution for cleaning most gems is water with a little mild dishwashing soap added.  To clean your jewelry at home:

  1. Check to be sure settings are tight.
  2. Fill a small bowl with warm water and a little dishwashing detergent.
  3. Place the piece of jewelry in the bowl and let soak for 10 to 20 minutes for hard gems like diamonds, sapphires and rubies, no more than 5 to 10 minutes for porous stones. See individual care guides for cleaning instructions for opals, pearls and other porous gems.
  4. Remove jewelry from the bowl and scrub gently but firmly with a soft bristle brush. A baby toothbrush is ideal.
  5. Rinse under clear water.
  6. Repeat if necessary.
  7. Dry well with soft, absorbent cloth.

Storing gemstones

Keep in mind that while gemstones are tough, they can damage each other. When storing your gemstone jewelry in a jewelry box, place each piece in a separate compartment, or carefully wrap it in a soft cloth or jeweler’s bag.

Pearls

Quality pearls are durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous. Here are important tips to care for your pearls and maintain their allure.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater Pearls

Quality pearls are durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous. Here are important tips to care for your pearls and maintain their allure.

Gently wipe the pearls with a warm, damp cloth to remove body oils or dirt (which may harm the colors) before putting them away.

Keep pearls away from chlorine bleach, vinegar, ammonia, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics, as these substances will damage the pearl surface. Make sure to put pearls on after finished spraying perfume or hairspray and putting on makeup. Also, remove pearls before exercising to keep them away from perspiration. Be very careful with substances, as they will eat holes in the pearl nacre.

Wash pearls periodically with mild soap (NOT detergent) and a soft cloth. When finished washing the pearls, rinse them in clean water and wrap them in a thin, damp cotton towel to dry. If the pearls are especially dirty, wipe the pearl with acetone polish remover. Acetone will not hurt pearls. DO NOT use jewelry cleaners with ammonia or vinegar in them.

Pearls should be stored away from other objects or jewelry that may scratch the pearl’s surface. Wrap the pearls in linen, soft cloth, or place in a soft pouch. Do NOT store pearls in an airtight package such as a plastic bag because pearls need moisture. If the environment is too dry, the pearls may crack. If placing the pearls in a safety deposit box or in a hot environment, leave a damp cloth nearby.

Restring pearls once a year if worn often. Be sure to have each pearl knotted separately, preferably with silk, so they do not rub together and wear on the pearl nacre. If pearls are very small, knots between each pearl may be undesirable.

Swarovski Crystals

Like changing the crystals on your grandmother's chandelier, Swarovski Crystal should be handled extra carefully during cleaning/storage to maintain finish and never dropped on hard surfaces. 

Swarovski Crystals in Various Finishes

Swarovski Crystals in Various Finishes

Swarovski Crystals will show grease, oils and fingerprints. ONLY ON CLEAR CRYSTAL:You can spray a “squirt” or two of Windex/glass cleaner on a soft cloth and gently rub to renew the sparkle.  Please store apart from other jewelry in cotton or cloth, as Swarovski crystals can scratch and break. 

Gold-Filled Products

Gold-Filled Victorian Bracelet

Gold-Filled Victorian Bracelet

The majority or staple fashion collection is comprised of 14KT gold-filled ear wires, chains and clasps - all hypoallergenic. Gold-filled, also known as "rolled gold" is made by bonding gold with a core of brass.  Gold-filled became popular in the Victorian Era.  Today in the U.S., gold filled items must contain 20% gold by weight and will last 100 years longer than a gold-plated product.  Gold-filled jewelry will last a lifetime if cared for properly.  The absolutely best thing you can do for your gold-fill jewelry is to clean regularly using a little bit of warm water, and a soft cloth to dry and shine after. Many chemicals marketed for cleaning jewelry are actually somewhat abrasive or corrosive and can cause some damage or color alteration to your jewelry. The best way to avoid this is to keep it simple. Warm water and a soft cloth is the best thing you can do to maintain the beauty of your gold-filled jewelry.