Our "Reel" Fish Leather Designs are durable, and like any leather product will take naturally take on a softened look over time. This process will be hastened if they are submersed in water, which tends to mat down the scale pattern. If necessary, spot clean the leather using a little gentle soap and soft, wet cloth. Species that have a larger scale pattern (like carp), tend to have a "fluffy" look in the suede finishes. With frequent wear, the scale pockets sometimes start to soften and look a little more loose with time. If it looks too rugged for your taste, try giving your piece a "haircut" and trim with scissors. If you have an embellished cuff with metal components that need to be shined, we recommend using a dry polishing cloth.
To best protect your Real Orchid Jewelry, store it in a jewelry box or zippered plastic bag out of direct sunlight and excessive humidity. If you need to polish your necklace, do not submerge the flower in water. Instead, use a dry polishing cloth or apply a liquid jewelry cleaner only to the tarnished portions of the necklace. When traveling with your Real Orchid Flower jewelry, please use common sense to protect the blossom in your luggage. We recommend wearing it or packing it securely in your carry-on luggage inside the original gift box or another crush-proof container.
To protect your jewelry from damage or theft during travel, we recommend packing your jewelry in your carry-on luggage whenever possible. Better yet, wear it! When you pack your jewelry for travel, make sure you pad and protect it from being crushed under the weight of your luggage. (Don't put it at the bottom of your suitcase, please!) The Moonrise Jewelry gift boxes that come with you order will also work well to protect your jewelry when you travel.
Place the front of your necklace inside a zippered plastic bag. Don't just drop it in there, but separate the left and right sides of the necklace and leave the clasp ends hanging outside the ziplock bag. Seal the bag in the middle between the two sides of the necklace, and leave the clasp hanging outside the bag. Do this for each of your necklaces and they'll arrive at your destination ready to wear! This is also a good way to store them at home since the plastic bag will retard tarnishing as well.
The best defense against tarnish (a natural process, not a defect) is to store your jewelry out of the open air in a zippered plastic bag or jewelry box whenever you're not wearing it. Once your jewelry does get tarnished, the best way to restore the shine depends on the materials that it's made from. Since many of our designs feature Freshwater Pearls and soft Semi-precious Gems, please use a tarnish remover that's gentle enough not to damage these delicate materials. Always read the labels to make sure your jewelry cleaner is safe for the jewelry you want to polish. This is our favorite:
Jewel Brite is the only jewelry cleaning product we sell because we think its the best formula on the market for safely polishing mixed-material artisan jewelry like ours. We've used it for years in our Studio with great results, so we feel confident recommending it to you for use at home. Jewel Brite is an easy-to-use product that's non-toxic, biodegradable, and complete free of harsh ammonia, acid, and alcohol. It's gentle enough to use on all of our jewelry and effectively removes tarnish from all metal types including silver, gold, copper, brass, and plated items. Click to Purchase Jewel Brite...
Directions for Use: Apply a small amount of the Tarnish Remover paste with your fingers or cotton swab to the metal parts of the jewelry that look tarnished. Let it sit for a second then drop it into the pink Jewelry Cleaner solution. Swish the jewelry around in the basket, then use the included brush to remove any of the paste that remains on the piece. Rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly, then it's ready to wear! (We don't recommend immersing wood, orchid flowers, or Fish Leather, so if your piece has any of those components take care to keep them out of the Jewelry Cleaner solution or use a polishing cloth.)
Pre-treated jewelry polishing cloths are great for quick touch-ups on Silver jewelry, or items that can't be immersed in a liquid cleaner (i.e. embellished Fish Leather Cuffs, or pieces containing Real Orchids or wood). Use light pressure and only rub the polishing cloth on the metal areas that look tarnished; they will not polish the gemstones. Let the cloth do the work for you; if your arm starts to ache, you’re pressing too hard.
Ultrasonic cleaners for personal use at home are widely available, and simple to use. We find them to be very effective at cleaning tiny crevices that are harder to reach with other polishing methods. Always read the manufacturer's directions before use, and start with short cleaning cycle to make sure the ultrasonic cleaner doesn't damage the piece. You can always repeat the cleaning cycle, if needed. Since your jewelry must be submerged in water to use an ultrasonic cleaner, we don't recommend using this method for pieces that contain Fish Leather, Real Orchid Flowers, or wood.
Even though homemade jewelry cleaners are non-toxic, you should still use them sparingly to prevent damage over time to delicate gemstones or plated metal components. They're not as effective as products like Jewel Brite that are especially-formulated to clean jewelry, but in a pinch these recipes are worth a try:
• Sterling Silver can be polished using a paste made from Baking Soda and Water. Apply it just to the tarnished areas with your fingers or a cotton swab. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse and dry thoroughly. (We don't recommend this method if your jewelry is made with silver-plated components, however, as it is abrasive and could damage the plating.)
• Gold-plated jewelry sometimes gets dirty, making it appear dull and dingy. You can remove the dull film with a gentle jewelry cleaner like Jewel Brite or using soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Use a soft cloth to carefully clean the item, then rinse with lukewarm water and dry completely.
• Copper will darken and develop a natural patina rather quickly once it's been in contact with your skin. Some people find this look desirable, but if you want to restore the original shine give Ketchup or Worcestershire Sauce a try. Lightly rub a small amount on the tarnished spots, let it sit for a few seconds, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
• Brass jewelry can be polished using Ketchip or Worcestershire Sauce, as well.
• Bronze jewelry can be shined with a paste made of Baking Soda and Lemon Juice, applied with a soft cloth. Rub until the item is clean. Wash the mixture off with running water, then dry and buff with a clean cloth.
If you're near the Cape Charles, Virginia area, Visit our Showroom & Studio and we'll clean your Moonrise Jewelry for free! Not local? We'd be happy to provide the same service if you'd like to send us your jewelry by mail. You can find shipping instructions and our address on our Returns & Exchanges page. Sorry, but we cannot offer cleaning services on jewelry made by other designers.