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Jewelry 101: Caring for Fashion Jewelry

As an accessory lover and a jewelry boutique owner, I know trends may fade, but that perfect jewelry find can endure.

We all know some of the rules: Sterling silver needs a good polish every once in a while, pearls should always be the last thing to put on, and you shouldn't wear leather into the shower (duh). But even fashion jewelry can take a little extra care to keep its sparkle through the season.
Fashion jewelry (n): Cheaper, more disposable jewelry intended to be worn with a particular outfit or as part of a certain trend. Not generally regarded as a collectible or investment, and usually crafted of synthetic materials. Sometimes called "costume jewelry."

The first step to proper care is taking note of the materials at the time of purchase. If it's a true fashion piece, you may see "gold-tone metal" instead of "24K gold" or "resin accents" instead of "gemstones," and so the following instructions (and common sense) will apply: 
  • Store jewelry in plastic bags or in a closed box.
  • Remove while sleeping, showering, or working out.
  • Take off when applying lotion or perfume
  • Don't wear while cleaning.
  • Instead of using soap or a jewelry cleaner to clean, try Windex. Rinse with water, then dry carefully. (NOTE: Never use a silver cleaner - it can strip a silver finish in seconds!)
If you're looking for a day-in, day-out statement piece, finding one crafted of genuine materials is worth the investment. Fashion jewelry, while just the thing to satisfy our trend-loving style and of-the-moment outfit creations, simply isn't made to withstand the everyday grind. But hey,  while we have them, we sure love them! (And we'll take any excuse to keep our jewelry box freshly stocked each season.)