Silver's ShinePosted: 04/02/2019What is sterling silver? What about silver plate? Jewelry lovers might be confused by the different types of silver in the market and how to care for this versatile metal.
Silver has been used for jewelry making for thousands of years. Like gold, it reflects light and its malleability makes it ideal for forming into rings, earrings, necklaces and more. Silver's popularity has only expanded, especially as the price of gold and platinum has increased. Silver offers jewelry lovers a more economical, but still very beautiful, option. It is frequently used for statement pieces, such as bold chains, earrings and cuffs, and looks beautiful with set stones, such as turquoise, amber, aquamarine and topaz.
While pure silver is very reflective and beautiful, it is also soft, which means it tends to lose shape over time and with wear. Therefore, like with gold, silver is often alloyed with other metals to provide strength which improves its function in a piece of jewelry.
Here’s a rundown of six different varieties of silver, along with details on how best to care for your silver jewelry.
Fine silver must contain 99.9 percent silver, and thus is stamped with 999 to identify its composition. Fine silver is rarely used in jewelry because of its softness. When it is used, it is usually hammered or brushed to help mask evidence of wear over time.
Britannia silver contains 95.8 percent pure silver which is alloyed with copper. This variety of silver, usually stamped with 958 to identify its composition, is most frequently used in housewares and some coins. It is rarely used for silver jewelry.
Sterling silver contains 92.5 percent pure silver alloyed with another metal, usually copper. The most popular silver used in jewelry, sterling silver offers better durability while maintaining the metal’s beautiful shine. The addition of the alloyed metal also makes the jewelry more tarnish resistant; and, sometimes gold and platinum are used to increase tarnish resistance. Sterling silver is stamped 925 to indicate its composition.
Coin silver, as the name suggests, is most commonly used for coinage, though it is sometimes used in fashion jewelry. Also known as 900 silver, coin silver is comprised of 90 percent silver with 10 percent copper.
Sterling Silver Plated
Although silver is not as expensive as gold or platinum, jewelry manufacturers will use silver plating to get the shine and beauty of a solid silver piece while using less of the metal to reduce the cost. One form of silver plating, electroplating bonds atoms of silver to a base metal using electricity. This thin coating of silver is reasonably durable but will wear over time. These pieces may be marked with SP, EPS or EP.
Sterling Silver Filled
The other form of plating, filled or rolled silver, is comprised of a thin layer of silver bonded to a base metal using heating or pressing of the silver to create a bond. Filled silver pieces have a thicker layer of silver, though this limits its use in more delicate pieces. These pieces may be marked with an SF or FS denoting silver fill or filled silver and they may also show the silver thickness such as1/20 to 1/10.
Care and Cleaning of Silver Jewelry
There are two approaches to cleaning silver jewelry: removal of oils and grime and removal of tarnish.
When you are cleaning silver pieces with set stones, you can remove oils and grime by soaking the piece in a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formula; this is a safe method to keep from damaging the set stones, while gently cleaning the silver as well. If needed, use the brush tool to give the stones a quick scrub. Don’t forget step two: polishing! Look for a 4-ply cloth or unique “outer” cloth with untreated layers. Buff and wipe with the untreated outer cloth to remove any grime, oils, and fingerprints. An untreated polishing cloth can safely shine silver and gems of any composition.
For tarnished silver without set stones or designer antiquing, use a professional silver cleaning formula designed for tarnish removal. This formulation is safe for tarnish removal on silver pieces such as silver filled, silver plated, or even fine silver.
Our silver cleaner is designed to clean without the need to scrub. Immerse the silver in the cleaner for one minute, then rinse, and blot dry. Finish cleaning with a buffing from the untreated layer of a polishing cloth.
Rubbing a piece with a treated polishing cloth also removes tarnish, then finish your cleaning with a buffing from a soft cloth or the untreated portion of a polishing cloth for a beautiful luster.
To keep your silver jewelry shining, wear it frequently which helps to prevent tarnish. Also, store your silver jewelry in a treated pouch or place anti-tarnish strips in your jewelry box.
Sparkle Sparks JoyPosted: 03/12/2019With spring finally on the horizon, we are all
itching to get outdoors, open the windows and maybe put the top down on your ride. Plus, it’s the season for spring cleaning. If you started the new year with Marie Kondo and her life-changing
magic, you may have gotten a head start on cleaning your spaces. But, have you tidied up your jewelry box yet?
Spring is the perfect time to do so. So, here are our top tips for bringing spring cleaning magic to your jewelry box. You’ll find what sparks joy and you’ll find joy in the sparkle.
1. As you transition your wardrobe from winter to spring, you probably need to transition your jewelry wardrobe as well. Your deep colored jewels (think rubies and emeralds) that brought richness to your holiday outfits make way for beautiful turquoise, aquamarine and citrine pieces that put you in mind of the ocean, sky and sun and bring pop to your spring wardrobe.
2. Rearrange your jewelry box so that pieces that will get more wear in the warmer months are in a spot with easier access. This is also a great time to make sure your jewelry is stored properly. Use pouches to separate pieces so they don’t scratch one another. Make sure chains are not tangled. Use anti-tarnish strips or bags to protect your sterling silver. If you take a few minutes to organize things now, you’ll be able to find what you need and protect your treasured jewelry from damage.
3. Does any of your jewelry fail to spark joy? You may actually want to consider paring down your jewelry wardrobe. As Marie Kondo has taught so many of us, you can let go of items that no longer bring you joy, offering them gratitude for what they have meant in your life. Consider donating fashion pieces (maybe a local theatre would like them for costuming purposes). Remember too, you can let go of fine jewelry too. You may want to sell your fine jewelry, or some jewelers will allow you to trade it for credit toward a new purchase. If the piece has sentimental value, consider repurposing. Gemstones can be reset into a new piece that you will love to wear, but which still offers you an emotional connection to your past.
4. Don’t forget to freshen up your spring baubles. You want your favorite jewelry to sparkle in the thank-God-it’s-finally-here sunshine. Whether they are pieces that were in winter hibernation or ones you wear daily, spring cleaning is the perfect time to spiff things up. Diamond, topaz, peridot, gold and platinum jewelry should be soaked in a professional fine jewelry cleaning formula and buffed with a professional polishing cloth. Pearl, turquoise, aquamarine, coral and opal jewelry needs to be cleaned using a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formulation. Give the piece a quick soak and buff it with a polishing cloth. Your bling will sing.
5. Once you have attacked your spring cleaning with gusto, you definitely deserve a getaway. If you are heading out for some fun in the sun, don’t forget to pack a jewelry cleaning stick or wipes to keep those pieces you just pulled from the depths of your jewelry box sparkling on the go.
Dillion-GyurcsikPosted: 02/26/2019Periodically, we like to introduce you to a member of our staff whose hard work is integral to providing our customers with the very best
products and customer service. This month, meet Lynn Dillion-Gyurcsik, one of our outstanding Account Managers. Lynn has been with The Kingswood Company for two years.
You came to The Kingswood Company with so much consumer product experience. Can you fill us in a bit on your background and how it relates to your current position?
I have been in consumer products for a long time. I started out in the food industry with Chef Boyardee. Back then, sales reps traveled from store to store, selling and merchandising the products. One funny story from those days on the road: I would travel from store to store by car and on one day when I was running behind, I actually was pulled over for speeding twice. In the same day. By the same officer!
I love working in the jewelry industry, which definitely has more sparkle than ravioli! But the thing that carries through is the relationships I am able to develop.
What is something you have enjoyed most about working at The Kingswood Company compared to other places you have worked?
I have really enjoyed building relationships with my customers over the last two years. And it’s wonderful when I am able to meet some of them in-person at the trade shows. It’s also really fun to see a project that has been in planning for weeks come together with our production and assembly teams. They bring to life the designs we have poured over, and it’s so exciting to see the first few jars, cloths or gift sets come off the line.
What do you love about your job?
I really love working with our customers and offering something new to them. It might just be a color change to a jar of Fine Jewelry Cleaner, but it’s fun to work together to keep things fresh. If I visit a customer’s website and see that their branding incorporates blue but they have a green formula, I might suggest changing things up. I have received notes from customers thanking me for a great idea, which makes me feel wonderful. It’s also fun working on fully customized product lines, which lets us get really creative with things like Pantone-matching on our Sparkle + Shine® Sticks.
What are some of your favorite projects?
It’s so difficult to choose one favorite. I will say that my favorite product is Royal Purple Fine Jewelry Cleaner in our Luxury Jar with a black lid and black ink. It looks so beautiful. Working on fully customized projects is exciting too. We partnered with a brand to do a silver jewelry cleaning kit that included anti-tarnish products, which was something we had never done before. It came together beautifully and now those products are available to other customers.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend most of my free time with my two very active daughters. My older daughter is a classical ballerina who hopes to continue to pursue dance. She finally got her driver’s license recently, which makes my life much easier! My younger daughter is a wonderful artist and enjoys playing field hockey.
What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
My all-time favorite movie is The Sound of Music. I have loved it since I first saw it when I was 12 years old. My daughters watch it with me every time it is on TV. I’ve probably seen it 30 or more times! I love the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” which can apply to so many life lessons.
Around the WorldPosted: 02/05/2019Women worldwide are drawn to jewelry that shines. But how women approach jewelry cleaning varies from place to place, because
different cultures admire different varieties of jewelry.
With Chinese New Year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the jewelry most beloved in the Chinese market and - of course - how to clean it.
Gold is a precious metal worldwide, but China has become the world’s largest gold market.
In China, gold is associate with purity, beauty and power. Gold is most commonly used in Chinese wedding jewelry, but as the middle class grows, there is more demand for gold bangles and motif pieces.
• To safely clean gold jewelry, it is important to know how pure the piece is. Twenty-four karat gold, or pure gold, is very soft and prone to scratching and bending. Therefore, most jewelry is made by alloying gold with another metal like silver, copper or nickel
• The closer a piece is to 24 karat, the more carefully you should handle it.
• Do not apply much pressure with a jewelry cleaning brush or polishing cloth, which could cause the piece to lose its shape.
• To remove grime and oils, a professional fine jewelry cleaner is safe for most gold pieces.
• If the piece is gold plated or gold filled, a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation is a better bet.
• A professional polishing cloth should be used to buff the piece to a beautiful shine.
The Chinese culture has adored jade for millennia. It is known as the royal stone, the Imperial Gem, acting as a symbol of status, purity, health and spirituality.
A Chinese proverb states that “Gold has a price; jade is priceless.” The demand for this precious stone has only grown, and Jade is comparable to diamond and gold in the west, some pieces fetching $3,000 or more!
• Jade is the generic term for jadeite and nephrite, falling between 6 and 7 on the Moh’s scale
• Care should be taken to avoid using harsh cleaners and scratching the stone.
• We recommend cleaning jade jewelry in a professional fine or gentle jewelry cleaning formulation.
• Clean with a quick soak or by wiping with a soft cloth moistened with the cleaner of your choice.
• Because many jade pieces have intricate carvings, you may need to use a small jewelry cleaning brush to gently remove grime from the crevices. Our Sparkle + Shine Stick would be perfect for the job!
The Chinese discovered the luminescent pearl when diving for food millennia ago. Pearls have been integral to Chinese culture, featured in beautiful jewelry and said to represent purity.
In fact, a gift of pearl jewelry was given to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC. The Chinese were also the first to develop cultured pearls almost a 1000 years ago.
• Pearls are beloved for their luminescence which is the result of the layers of nacre formed around an irritant inside a mollusk.
• These layers are very delicate, which requires special care when cleaning.
• Pearls are ranked at a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, so are very soft and susceptible to scratching and damage.
• Pearls should be cleaned using a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formula.
• Strung pearls should not be soaked in a liquid formula but can be wiped with a soft cloth dampened with the cleaner. Our Jewelry Cleaning Wipe, which utilizes a gentle formulation is a great solution for pieces that cannot be soaked.
• Pearls should also be wiped down with a soft cloth, polishing cloth or microfiber cleaning cloth after each wearing to remove any build-up of oils or grime.
Cleans Up His AdPosted: 01/22/2019 Who ever suggested Mr. Clean in the first place!?
At The Kingswood Company, we have heard every old wives tale that has even been invented about how to really clean jewelry. One product that comes up over and over again, is Mr. Clean. And so we wondered... where did that ever come from anyway?
Our team spent some time researching, and learned about the amazing story of launching Mr. Clean in 1958. In the original launch advertisement, the jingle included the words:
Q. Can he clean a diamond ring?
A: Mr. Clean cleans anything!
So that is where it came from! As it turns out, P&G figured out that the risks of recommending that customers clean their precious and fine jewelry with household cleaner was really not a good idea. The phrase was actually removed, almost immediately, from the advertisements. While it remained part of the copyrighted jingle lyrics until 2016, it was removed from every single version of the recorded jingle other than that original version.
Click here to view the very first advertising video, of a product that sold 35 million bottles in its first nine months after its introduction.
One other thing – that original 50s version also suggested using Mr. Clean on your family dog…. No one is recommending that any more either!
Time Is HerePosted: 01/08/2019Each New Year's Day, we resolve to do things - big things and small things - a little better. While many of us will resolve to exercise more, to eat
healthier and to learn a new hobby, we have some jewelry-related resolutions to keep your jewelry and your business sparkling in 2019.
1. No More Mr. Clean.
Mr. Clean is not a safe jewelry cleaning product. Resolve to use jewelry cleaning products specially formulated to safely and effectively clean jewelry. If you wonder why Mr. Clean became known as a jewelry cleaning product, we will share more later this year!
Other tales recommend Windex, ammonia or even hydrogen peroxide for jewelry cleaning, but you (probably) aren’t a chemist and cannot be sure to measure the correct quantities. Again, the safest and most effective option is choosing a professional jewelry cleaning product specially formulated for the job.
2. No More Toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes keep your pearly whites shining, but are not a safe tool for cleaning jewelry. The bristles on toothbrushes are too rough for softer metals like gold. Plus, the long handle allows you to put too much pressure on the settings and mountings. The small brush included in a jar of our professional jewelry cleaner isn’t just sized to fit in the jar. It is a tool precisely designed and sized to safely brush grime and oils from your favorite pieces.
3. No More Pyramid of Products.
As you resolve to make your jewelry business even better in 2019, consider approaching the display of your jewelry care products as carefully as you do the jewelry in your cases. Stacking jars of cleaner in a pyramid near the cash wrap does not elevate your brand strategy. When you have invested in quality, private-label products, your display should also be representative of the luxury nature of a jewelry store brand. Consider using a quality display, designed especially for displaying jewelry care products.
4. Shine on Social Media.
Whether your focus is new brides, antique collectors, or haute couture customers, they all need to care for their jewelry. Today’s savviest jewelers and retailers will make 2019 the year that they embrace the reality that all jewelry gets dirty, it all needs some type of at-home or on-the-go care, and no one has time to get a professional cleaning every week!
Jewelry Care and Cleaning is an evergreen topic that you can use across multiple platforms to engage all types of customers. Beautiful visuals are necessary, so if you want images of your private-label jewelry care line, please reach out to your account executive to take advantage of this free service from The Kingswood Company. You are also welcome to reuse our blog content; you might even want to share some of the resolutions outlined above with your customers.
Let's resolve to make changes that elevate you, your brand, and your Clean + Care™ strategy in 2019!
Call today to order
Don't miss any of
our sparkling news!
Subscribe to our monthly
newsletter to stay in the know.
Call today to order