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Care Guides

How to Care for Mixed Metal Jewelry

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Historically polite society has snubbed the notion of wearing yellow gold and silver jewelry at the same time.

But, in recent years, mixed metal jewelry has exploded in popularity and combining different metals is a far cry from the fashion faux-pas of yesteryears. Instead, trendsetters and the fashion crowd regularly sport a variety of metal types and colors together.

And designers have followed suit. David Yurman’s Cable Classics Bracelets are made with sterling silver and 14-karat yellow gold. And for their Tiffany 1837 collection, Tiffany & Co. combined sterling silver and their exclusive rose-colored Rubedo metal, an alloy of gold, copper and silver, for their pendants and bracelets.

But each metal included in these designs requires a different type of care. To ensure that your mixed metal jewelry retains its luster and is safely polished, follow these crucial cleaning and storage tips for mixed metal jewelry.

David Yurman Cable Classics Bracelet with Sterling Silver & 14K Yellow Gold

David Yurman Cable Classics Bracelet with Sterling Silver & 14K Yellow Gold

Preventative Care for Mixed Metal Jewelry
Regularly wipe down your jewelry with a polishing cloth to keep build up from forming. Do not use facial tissues or paper towels to clean your piece as the paper fibers can scratch the surface of your jewelry.

Storing your jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry box will also keep your pieces that include silver from tarnishing or collecting dust. We also recommend placing anti-tarnish strips inside your jewelry box. These strips absorb sulfides and other air pollutants to prevent (or at least slow down) tarnish from forming. However, these strips will not help remove pre-existing tarnish from your jewelry.

Cleaning Mixed Metal Jewelry
When it comes to cleaning mixed metal jewelry, you want to err on the side of caution and use the least abrasive cleanser. Dip your item in warm water with mild dish soap and gently polish the item with a soft cloth.

If you have a vintage item or a mixed metal piece that is in need of a deep clean, it’s best to bring it to a professional for cleaning. They can use stronger cleaning agents that will restore the item’s luster without compromising its integrity.

Tiffany & Co. 1837 Pendant Necklace with Sterling Silver & Rubedo

Tiffany & Co. 1837 Pendant Necklace with Sterling Silver & Rubedo

Cleaning Mixed Metal Jewelry with Precious Stones
If your mixed metal jewelry also includes precious or semi-precious stones, proceed with extreme caution. Precious and semi-precious stones each require very different care; while it may be safe to scrub a diamond, pearls and opals are incredibly soft and should never be immersed in water or cleaned with even a soft bristle toothbrush.

Therefore, when it comes to cleaning mixed metal jewelry with any kind of stones, you should only clean it with a soft cloth to lightly wipe away any dusty films. You should never use any cleaning products or an ultrasonic cleaner without consulting a professional jeweler first.

For more information on how to care for metal jewelry, read our post on the topic here.