handmade jewelry

7 tips to take care of your Fine Jewelry - care instructions

jewelry tips & adviceKarolien Severins

To make sure your jewelry is always ready to shine, these tips can help you to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing and becoming dull.

Before I start with the tips / advice let me answer 2 questions:

What is tarnish? Why does it happen?


Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that develops on metals like (sterling) silver and copper as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Oxygen, airborne pollutants, dust and moisture are the main causes for tarnished jewelry. When jewelry gets tarnished / oxidized the metal often looks dull, gray or it looks like it has a black film / coating / patina, which can really reduce the beauty of your jewelry.

In some designs I use this natural chemical reaction, because it can create more dept in a design or give a silver piece of jewelry a more rustic or antique look. This type of jewelry is often called silver jewelry with a patina / oxidized finish. But if you want to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing, here are 7 steps:


1.Jewelry Box

When you are NOT wearing your silver jewelry, it is best to keep it in a closed box, away from (sun)light and air (oxygen). Jewelry boxes (like the ones your grandma used to have for example) are the best, so you can store all your jewelry in one place, but separate them inside the box. This way they are carefully protected and you’re making sure your jewelry will remain beautiful!

ear studs button jewelry box

2. Button

To store tiny earrings / ear studs you can use a button to make sure you don’t loose one piece of a pair. Although wearing 2 different earrings might work for you too? I love to mix and match or wear different earrings! ;)

3. Straw

If you have problems with chain necklaces that get tangled up, this might be a super tip! Especially when you’re traveling, but also to store your chain necklaces in your jewelry box: Open the lock of your chain necklace an put one side of the chain in a straw and the other side out, then close the lock again.

4. Chalk or Silica

If you put a piece of chalk or a bag of silica inside your jewelry box, it will absorb moisture. Change it for a new one every couple of months.

5. Don’t wear / avoid wearing jewelry when:

  • you’re sleeping

  • you’re working out

  • you’re going to a (hair)salon

  • you’re cleaning, since cleaning products can damage your jewelry or you might get it entangled somewhere, so you can put on cleaning gloves to protect your rings, or take off any jewelry you wear and store it safely.

  • you’re swimming

  • you’re taking a shower / bath

  • you’re sun ‘tanning’ or go out in direct heat or hard sunlight, because this might tarnish your jewelry or fade gemstones.


6. A Quick Clean

You can clean your jewelry gently with some water and a soft cloth in order to remove skin oils, dust, makeup,… after each wear, it will really help prevent the forming of tarnish on your jewelry. Just make sure that the jewelry is really dry before storing it in your jewelry box. To be honest, I don’t do this every time for jewelry I wear almost every day. But for jewelry I wear only on special occasions and store it for longer, this is a real time saver (better to prevent than clean)!

7. Jewelry = finishing touch!

Something else that has impact on the polishing and can make your silver tarnish faster: all kinds of soap, lotion, sunscreen, perfume, make up, hairspray,... since they contain chemicals that can be harmful to your jewelry. So when you are getting dressed it is best to first put on everything make up , body lotion or whatever, perfume, clothes,... and than jewelry as your last finishing touch!

How to Remove Tarnish from Your Jewelry?

In an earlier post, I’ve shared with you some easy tips to clean tarnished jewelry, using some a few ingredients that you probably have at home you will make your jewelry shine again!

Natural Jewelry - How it's made

how it's madeKarolien Severins

This blogpost is all about how I use tiny details from nature to create Sterling Silver and (18ct) gold jewelry.

If you don’t like reading a lot, I also made a video about this topic, check it here:

When I go outside for a walk in the park or we’re hiking in the forest : I am always inspired by nature and I am keeping my eyes open, looking out for beautiful, natural details. Like little leafs from a tree or a plant or seeds from a flower. Anything can really inspire me! I might take pictures to use as a reference later or I pick small details from nature and bring them home to my studio, that’s were the real fun begins!

natural jewelry

I’ll start playing around with these natural pieces, combing them, trying out different shapes and compositions. Sometimes I see a ring or a pendant or an earring in a new combination and I’ll work further in that direction. So I usually don’t sketch my ideas for these type of designs on paper, since they grow kinda organically while working at my bench. Some other compositions I might really like, but I don’t know how or where to wear them as jewelry. When I have pieces like that, it might help me to sketch a little to figure out what kind of jewelry it can become. Most of the time these pieces will be put aside and I’ll check them again later, because sometimes it just seems very difficult to know what direction to go with a piece, but after a break it is much easier.

So how do I make those natural items stick together?

Well, I use the lost wax technique, it is one of the oldest techniques in the jewelry making history. I use melted wax like a sort of glue to stick the pieces together.

When I am happy with the designs, they’re casted into solid Sterling silver. The casting process is the only part of the process I am not doing myself, because I don’t have all the machines and materials you need for that. Luckily there are some casting companies nearby.

After casting in silver I finish the pieces at my bench. Sometimes they are perfect and just how I imagine them to be and only need some small touch ups or changes, but some pieces have little cracks or mistakes or casting didn’t work out perfectly. I finish all the designs and than see which ones I love most. The designs that I love most are selected to create a mold from, so the mold can be filled with wax and that wax again gets casted into silver or gold. This way I can re-create the exact piece again. Or well... exact might not be the correct word, since I finish every piece by hand and I like it that they’re all a little bit different and unique. So the steps of finishing after casting are the following:

STEP 1: I’ll start by cutting off the sprue with my piercing saw.

STEP 2: I’ll file the area where the sprue was to make it smoother.

STEP 3: With something like ear studs, for example, this is the moment I solder the Earring posts or do any other soldering that I need to do on that specific design.

When it is cleaned after soldering it is time for STEP 4: to sand down the whole piece, but I’m always very carefull with this step, because I don’t want to take away the natural texture of these pieces.

STEP 5: they are polished and cleaned up, ready for packaging and ready to wear. 

If you’re interested in finding out more, since this is just one of the many processes and techniques I use to create my jewelry, consider subscribing to my newsletter or follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Thank you very much for reading my blog and have a great day