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Guide To Polishing Jewelry with Jewel Brite Polishing Cream

Polishing is an often neglected aspect of jewelry care. Simply cleaning your jewelry will improve it's appearance, but only polishing will make the precious metals shine like new. It is not very complicated in practice, but it isn't as straight forward as cleaning.

There a few things polishing removes, and it's these things that make the metal dull.

  • Oxidation: When a metal reacts with the air, to create oxides. For gold and silver, this is from the alloys that make it strong enough to wear, which causes oxidation as now the metal isn't pure it will react with the air.
  • Tarnish: Something that silver does when in the presence of sulfur gasses, a corrosion (like rust). The sulfur gas in the air creates silver sulfide, which is a yellowish layer on the surface. Silver will also oxidize from the copper.
  • Scratches: From normal wear and tear, the metals will scratch and create a rough surface that doesn't shine as well as a smooth one. Removing scratches from precious metals should be done as gently as possible so that you are not removing any more than is needed to create a smooth shiny surface. Less is more, but also a bit more effort.

Our polishing cream is a different approach to most polishing solutions for precious metals. Our polish is biodegradable, non-toxic, non-caustic, non-scratching, and can be used with a variety of cloths, a soft toothbrush, or even your fingers.

  • Gently and quickly removes the oxidation and/or tarnish from the metal, along with any contaminants leaving your metal clean and shiny with an attractive luster.

  • Foams and lathers with water to polish hard to reach areas.
Most people are familiar with the treated polishing cloths, normally of a brushed flannel material.
  • Most cleaning solutions for jewelry come with one as a package, or they are offered separately.
    While some cleaners will remove tarnish or oxidation, when they do they are very specific to the type of jewelry they are safe on. Because what can remove tarnish in a solution, can also damage stones.
    • Cleaners that do remove tarnish or oxidation are usually described as dips, and are typically for silver alone (without gemstones).

      Our Jewel Brite Polishing Cream can be used according to three methods to polish all types of surfaces with desired results.

      Method 1: Applied to a suitable cloth (something smooth, and soft). You then rub the metal to be polished on the cloth with the cream applied to give it a nice polish.

        • This works great for flat or smooth surfaces. Rub gently to remove oxidation or tarnish.
        • You can remove light scratches with added pressure (creating friction) on the cloth. Dampening the cloth prior to use will reduce the friction if you want to target only oxidation and tarnish.

      Method 2: You can wet a soft bristled toothbrush and apply a dab of polish to it when you want to polish more intricate or uneven surfaces.

        • For example, rope chains, earrings, pendants, bracelets or wire wrap jewelry.
        • Add water to the brush to increase viscosity and foam/lather, making a little polish go a long way.
        • Allows you to polish areas that aren’t flat or easily accessible with a cloth.
        • Take care to not scrub over soft or porous stones, placing a thumb over one helps to avoid it.

      Method 3: For jewelry with engraving, or any negative space design where you would want to leave behind a patina, use the polishing cream with a damp cloth and little to no pressure (so as to not wear down the design with excess friction), or even just using your fingers with a little water to get a nice lather.

      • Allows you to create a contrast between shiny metal, and patina to emphasize the design.
      • Use in place of a toothbrush when you want to leave patina in low parts (negative space).

      Short and Sweet Synopsis: Rub, Scrub, Rinse

      With each method described for polishing your jewelry, go ahead and rinse in water when you are done.

      For deeper scratches that are hard to remove using a soft cloth, you can use the polishing cream with a tougher cloth, or a standard polishing cloth. Good examples are something of a denim type material, or suede/chamois. Look for something with a tighter knit or weave.

      Advantages of Jewel Brite Polishing Cream

      • The advantage of using our polish vs a one size fits all treated polishing cloth are that you can effectively polish a variety of surfaces, and do so with as much or as little friction as is needed to remove scratches.
        • It allows you to tailor your polishing method to the jewelry being polished, instead of the other way around.
        • Polish areas that you can't with just a cloth.
      • The advantages of using our polish vs a “dip” solution are that you can use it in the presence of any type of semi-precious or precious gemstone, and even leave a patina in circumstances where that is desirable.
        • The dips are acidic, and actually etch the surface of the metal exposing the pores and causing them to tarnish again quicker.
        • They also tend to leave a flat white appearance to silver, which while bright and tarnish free, doesn’t give the desirable luster to the metal.

      Metal specific Care:

      White Gold: Most of the alloys are made with a rhodium finish. The rhodium is a thick plating on the surface, and doesn’t oxidize, after a while though it will begin to wear off and you will notice a duller (more oxidized) appearance.

      • If the rhodium finish is good, there’s no need to polish it. If it begins to wear, you can get it re-dipped at a jewelry store.
      • When the plating is gone, you can polish it like you would other metals, although eventually the gold will yellow as that is the natural color of gold.

      Platinum: Like 24K gold, Platinum is a pure metal and does not oxidize. Platinum will scratch though, and the scratches are much more noticeable than in gold or silver. So to get the luster back, you will need to remove those scratches.

      • Polish with the cream on a tough cloth, or use the Miracle Cloth available on our website.
      • Being .999 pure, you can get a bit of a patina over time.

      Stainless Steel: Resistant to corrosion, but not immune. Stain-less, not stain-free. Under normal conditions it won't oxidize, but chlorine is corrosive to it. The main concern with stainless jewelry is scratches, as with platinum.

      • Polish with the cream on a tough cloth, or use the Miracle Cloth available on our website.

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