CARING FOR YOUR JEWELLERY
General Jewellery Care:
To get the most out of your jewellery it is important to understand how to look after it properly. All jewellery is delicate to some extent and is susceptible to damage when not worn or stored correctly. To avoid scratching the surface of polished or patina coloured jewellery, pieces should avoid rubbing against each other when worn or against other types of metals or rough surfaces. Harsh chemicals should be avoided when wearing any jewellery (yes even your gold and diamonds!) as they can react with precious and non-precious metal alloys, causing them to tarnish prematurely or change colour. So be sure to take your jewellery off before using cleaning products, swimming or showering and avoid spraying perfumes and hairspray onto your jewellery or on skin where your jewellery will rest. Storage of your jewellery is also really important, the best way is in the box or soft pouch which it came in or in a jewellery box or rack. Every purchase from Fold Formations will come with either a pouch or box for you jewellery to be gifted and stored in.
All Fold Formations jewellery is made from sustainable 925 Sterling silver and copper alloys. All copper components are coated with either an enamel lacquer or microcrystalline wax finish to preserve the patina treatments and protect against copper allergies. Each listing will give you information regarding all the materials used in a particular design. See below for more information on how to best look after Fold Formations Jewellery.
Caring for Copper Jewellery with Coloured Patinas:
We love using colour in our designs and copper is an amazingly versatile metal when it comes to natural and dyed patinas. We use anything from heat generated colour to salt baths and oxidising solutions to achieve the beautiful surface finishes that makes Fold Formations Jewellery truly unique. All copper components are sealed with an enamel lacquer with the exclusion of antique oxidised pieces which are sealed with a microcrystalline wax. Enamel lacquer creates a vibrant finish and prevents further oxidisation of the copper. It is the most effective way to seal in patinas, is very durable and prevents issues in relation to skin allergies. Wax is great for antique pieces as it has the benefits of sealing the surface and reducing oxidisation while keeping the matte finish and rustic look of the patina.
Like with most jewellery wear and tear is normal, however there are simple ways to prevent this and get a long life out of your copper jewellery. The most important thing to understand is that like with your precious metal jewellery, avoiding chemicals will mean preserving the pretty finish on your copper. In particular, try to remember to put earrings in after using hairspray and spray perfumes onto your skin somewhere that your necklaces or bracelets will not come into contact - you would be surprised what types of chemicals are in some perfumes! The enamel lacquer and wax will protect your copper from being directly exposed to these chemicals however prolonged exposure, or exposure to particularly harsh chemicals may wear through this protective coating.
Cleaning you copper jewellery is super easy! Should you accidentally get your jewellery near chemicals or if they become dirty over time you can easily clean the copper components using a damp microfiber cloth - no polishing required! There is no need to use ultrasonic cleaners for your Fold Formations Jewellery, in fact we strongly advise against it as they may clean your jewellery too well and remove the protective sealants or damage the patina.
Should you find that the protective coating on your jewellery is wearing off , it can easily be reapplied. This usually only happens with heavy wear and tear or chemical exposure and is very rare, I am yet to even re-seal my own personal jewellery! However, please contact us if you have an issue in regards to the coating on your jewellery.
Sterling Silver and Cleaning Metal Tarnish:
All silver alloys, and in fact most precious metal alloys, are susceptible to natural tarnish. Oxygen and moisture affect the finish of silver, causing it to go dull, grey or sometimes yellow. This is completely normal and will vary greatly with factors such as the skin acidity levels of the wearer and the climate of storage. If you live in a humid climate, consider placing moisture absorbers with your jewellery and wipe your jewellery with a cloth after wearing if it has been a warm and sweaty day.
To clean silver tarnish and restore its shine, the best method is using a silver polishing cloth. Be sure to use these only on silver components of your Fold Formations jewellery as they contain an abrasive polishing compound not designed for polishing copper. If you have silver dip cleaner, you may use this with caution - only insert silver components into the chemical cleaner. This is best for designs where the sterling silver hooks can be removed and placed in the solutions without the copper components. Silver dip cleaner should never be used on the copper components of our jewellery as the chemicals in them may react poorly and it may ruin your jewellery or cleaner. Never put coloured gemstones or pearl jewellery regardless of what metal they are set with in dip cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners as it may damage your beautiful gems.
Be sure to contact us if you have any questions regarding cleaning your Fold Formations jewellery.
Courtesy Chains and Rope Necklaces:
Every Fold Formations pendant comes with some form of courtesy chain or rope, with most of our designs currently including the latter. These lovely faux silk ropes look great with the natural aesthetic of our jewellery and have the added benefit that they can be easily cleaned by rinsing gently in water and allowing to dry flat. Most people who buy a Fold Formations pendant already have a sterling silver chain that they desire to wear it on, but these rope necklaces are great for casual wear or for giving them as a gift. Courtesy chains (which we now rarely use) are silver plated chains and are not designed for prolonged wear. These chains are designed for occasional wear or as a temporary alternative to sterling silver chain.
Some of our adjustable necklace designs have a waxed rope cord which can be worn both long and short. If you need to clean this rope, a damp cloth should do the trick, no need to soak them. If the sliding knots become loose or begins to come undone from frequent adjustment, they can easily be re-knotted - if you know how to do this yourself go right ahead! If not please contact us and we can organise to tighten them for you.