La Montagnette pieces are made with love and care. Each piece is handmade and aims to sparkle on you every day. However, precious metals and gemstones are still subject to occasional scratches, dents, and the build-up of grime of our daily lives. Here are a few tips on how to care for your delicate pieces, so that even if life gets a little rough, your jewelry won't!
We recommend taking your jewelry off before gardening, engaging in sports/outdoor activities, and swimming.
Try to avoid storing your pieces with other pieces --they can get entangled which could lead to breakage. When storing your silver/gold-plated/gold-filled jewelry, use an airtight plastic bag, like a Ziploc. Adding a silica pack to the airtight bag, will help prevent your pieces from tarnishing. *Silica packs are normally found when you purchase new clothes/shoes.
As a rule of thumb, if you aren't entirely sure if a specific activity will ruin your piece, it's just safer to take it off and put it back on after.
For Sterling Silver pieces: *best for every day wear
This might be a surprising fact, but wearing your sterling silver pieces everyday actually keeps them from tarnishing. Your natural body oils will continuously coat the surface of your pieces therefore sealing the silver from the rough elements. If you are going about your day-to-day, feel free to wear your silver jewelry all the time!
If you don't wear your silver pieces all the time, make sure you avoid contact with water and always place your silver pieces in a sealed bag (zip-loc bag etc.) when you're done wearing them.
For Gold-Plated pieces: *best for occassional wear
Our Gold-plated pieces are always gold plated on-top of silver. The reason for this is because we still want your jewelry to be made of a precious metal even if the plating wears off. Other jewelry companies will typically gold-plate brass/copper pieces, therefore leaving the piece unwearable after the plating wears off. La Montagnette pieces still remain as a solid sterling silver piece if the plating wears off, but if you follow these simple care instructions, you won't have to worry about that!
When wearing gold-plated pieces, remove pieces before washing hands, cleaning, and showering. Avoid contact with water, especially ocean water (salt water) or hot pools as they contain corrosive properties that will tarnish and eat away at the layer of gold-plating. After wearing gold-plated pieces, place in a sealed bag to avoid oxidation.
For Gold-filled pieces:
Gold-filled jewelry is similar to gold-plated jewelery, however, gold-filled pieces contain more than 100x more gold. The layer of gold is much thicker and stronger, therefore more resistant to tarnishing. Still, try to avoid contact with water. Remove pieces before washing hands, cleaning, showering, swimming (pool or ocean), and participating in sports. After wearing gold-filled jewelry, place in sealed bag to avoid oxidation.
For cleaning sterling silver, gold-filled, and gold pieces (with/without gemstones) simply mix a small amount of mild dish soap with lukewarm water in a bowl. Allow the jewelry to sit in the bowl for a few minutes, and then use a delicate toothbrush and gently scrub the jewelry. With chains, hold the clasp with your thumb and have the chain lay against the palm of your hand while scrubbing the toothbrush against the chain gently. Once you are satisfied with the shine of the piece, rinse it with lukewarm water until all the soap is removed, and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
If you want extra shine, purchase a small polishing cloth to remove any excess tarnish. Even 14K gold can tarnish and lose its original shine. It all depends on the acidity/pH of your skin and your lifestyle.
Gemstones on rings tend to be the most commonly scratched, cracked, or lost due to the fact that we do everything with our hands. Gemstones on rings tend to absorb most of the impacts of our daily activites so avoid wearing gemstone rings while participating in any sporting/outdoor activities. We recommend that you have the stones checked regularly by a professional jeweler to ensure that the stones still sit tightly in its seat as stones may become loose overtime. A good timeline is to have your prongs checked every 6 months. If you notice that even a single stone is slightly loose, refrain from wearing that piece until it can be tightened. Do not tighten soft stones like moonstones/opals.
Opals and Moonstones are extremely delicate and soft stones. These stones are quite porous therefore making them very sensitive to heat, humidity, and force. The best way to care for pieces with these stones is to take preventative measures. Don't wear opal/moonstone pieces in a hot tub/hot spring, sauna/steam room, during physical activity, and avoid contact with soap, water, and detergents.
Diamonds are the hardest gemstone on earth. They are a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale and can often cause damage to other pieces of jewelry when worn with softer stones/metals. It wouldn't be wise to wear a diamond ring with other soft stoned rings. Also, if you notice that a diamond is loose in its' setting, have it tightened as soon as possible as a loose diamond is capable of damaging the metal prongs.
Pearls have extremely soft bodies so should not be tightened. Do not where pearl pieces when participating in physical activities. However, they do tend to shine more brightly when worn daily --your natural oils will bring out its glow, but as they are sensitive to chemicals, keep them away from detergents, cosmetic products, sprays & perfumes.