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Jewelry Care

How can I treat my Alma & Co. jewelry right?

  • Last on, first off! Put your jewelry on after you’ve applied your makeup, lotion and perfume.
  • Give it a little polish after each wear with a polishing cloth, which has special micro-abrasives that will clean but not scratch your jewelry.
  • Put your jewelry to bed in separated sealed, air-tight plastic baggies. Don’t store your jewelry in the bathroom- it’s humid in there!
  • Store your pearls separate from other jewelry. It’s better to place them inside a pouch rather than a jewelry box to avoid any nicks.
  • Keep your Alma & Co. jewels out of the shower and pool.

Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution (try Ivory flakes). Never clean your pearls with solutions that contain ammonia, harsh detergents or rub pearls with abrasive cloth. Both can wear away the nacre coating, leaving you with a plain looking bead.

Are the ear wire hypo-allergenic, lead and nickel free?

The majority of our ear wires and posts are stainless steel, sterling silver or 14kt gold electroplated those that are not, are gold or silver plated.

What is Sterling Silver?
Silver jewelry looks bright and gorgeous when new. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver, with the remaining 7.5% being another metal, most often copper to make the metal stronger and perfect for jewelry! We use this type of .925 sterling silver, the same quality as the finest jeweler’s in the world. Over time the jewelry changes in color and turns yellowish and even black. Tarnishing is a natural process and occurs on high quality jewelry. You just need to take good care of it to keep it looking fabulous!

What causes Silver to tarnish?
The presence of Hydrogen Sulfide in any material that silver comes into contact with, is one of the prime reasons for silver tarnish. Sulfur containing materials generally cause silver to tarnish and Hydrogen Sulfide is just one of these. Materials like wool, rubber bands, salad dressings, vinegar, fruit juices, a few types of paints and rubber (latex) gloves are some of the common materials that cause tarnishing of silver. You can therefore realize that, touching silver jewelry with oily hands or after a meal could also stain your silver jewelry with tarnish. The extent and speed with which your silver jewelry tarnishes is also related to the climate and in general, high humidity would result in silver tarnishing much faster. Keep your jewelry away from perfumes, lotions, hair spray and other cosmetics!

How can I clean tarnish?
Read jewelry polishing instructions carefully and use ones made for jewelry (3M makes less abrasive types). Some will provide protection from future tarnish. Do not over rub or clean as you may rub the sterling silver finish right off over time. No toothpaste or baking soda – too abrasive!

Is Oxidized Silver supposed to look blackened?
Yes, some silver is oxidized on purpose to turn it dark and give it a certain style. The darkness gives details more “depth”.

What is 14kt Gold-filled?
We all know that gold is not inexpensive. So we offer a more affordable alternative that keeps a solid layer of 14kt gold in contact with your eyes and skin! It has 1/20th by weight layer of 14 karat gold permanently bonded over a core of base metal. There is 100 times more gold in 14kt gold filled (rolled gold) than in gold plate!

Under normal wear with reasonable care that you would give any precious metal jewelry, 14KGF jewelry will not peel, flake, or ware off and can be treasured as heirloom pieces. It is tarnish-resistant like solid 14 karat gold and is safe for most people with sensitive skin who can wear solid 14 karat gold jewelry. Caring for 14kt gold filled jewelry is as easy as caring for other precious metal jewelry, too. So all in all, 14kt gold filled jewelry is a long lasting, economical way to enjoy the luster of gold without the big price tag. A simple inexpensive way to clean rolled gold jewelry is to soak it for a minute or two in a mild liquid jewelry cleaner. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly with water afterwards and let dry.

What is Vermeil?
Gold vermeil, which is pronounced “vehr-MAY,” is sterling silver plated with gold. Have you ever heard of gilded silver? That’s vermeil. Modern gold vermeil is usually created using an electrolytic process, which is much safer than fire gilding yet produces a similar result. Electrolysis is also called electroplating or just “plating” for short. You can find gold vermeil in different colors, including yellow, white, pink and tri-color. Gold vermeil is comparable to pure gold in appearance and artisanship. But because of its primary composition of sterling silver, gold vermeil is considerably more affordable than pure gold. Vermeil is also a bit more delicate than gold-filled, but comparing them is a bit apples to oranges. Gold vermeil will last for many years without tarnishing and without the gold plate wearing away if you properly care for it.

You should avoid wearing gold vermeil jewelry in the bath, shower or when swimming. Do not have gold vermeil jewelry machine polished (typically performed by a jeweler), as this process can wear away the gold layer. Use a soft, clean, lint-free cloth to remove dirt, oils and other material from the jewelry. Glass cleaner can provide added luster if necessary.

What is Alma & Co. Gold Plate or Goldtone?
Our fashion line offers gold plated pieces with a great look at a great price. Alma & Co. uses an electroplating process to minimize the gold plating wearing off. Our electroplated process is a quality way to achieve a gold tone at a great price. We also offer some goldtone pieces, please see description. Please note that over time gold plating may wear off and this is normal, not a manufacturing defect.

What is the difference between Natural and Cultured Freshwater Pearls?
Unlike cultured freshwater pearls, natural freshwater pearls of excellent quality are extremely difficult to find or create. That’s because everything is left to nature. As such, maybe it’s not too hard to understand why freshwater pearls, in spite of its imperfections, are still incredibly more expensive than the best cultured pearls. Natural freshwater pearls form when a foreign object finds its way inside the mussel or oyster. It can be anything from a parasite to a tiny pebble. If the oyster isn’t able to take it out of its system, it will begin to feel irritated. To reduce its discomfort, it will start secreting nacre. This will form a pearl. In the case of cultured pearls, pearl divers or makers will create a small opening in the oyster’s shells in order to insert mantle tissue from other oysters. The insertion will cause the freshwater oyster to start producing nacre. Pearl manufacturers can guarantee the outcome or quality of their products by taking control of factors like water temperature, the oyster’s health, and so forth.

How do I care for my pearls?
Freshwater pearls, whether they’re natural or cultured, possess a soft surface which can easily be scratched or damaged. The acidity level of a woman’s skin may affect the wearing life of pearl jewelry.

Avoid spraying perfume, hair spray or applying lotions while you’re wearing your pearls. You must also avoid spilling any liquid on them, especially when it has rather strong properties such as lemon and vinegar. Heat and dry unmoving air can also cause damage to pearl jewelry.

Make sure to use only jewelry cleaners specifically intended for pearl cleaning and nothing else. You can not steam-clean pearls as well. Your fine pearl necklaces should be restrung periodically so that you’re sure the silk or nylon cord holding them is in good shape.

Does Alma & Co. uses Natural or Cultured Freshwater Pearls?
Our jewelry line offers cultured freshwater pearls  pieces that offer a fabulous look at a great price. Please note that you must take proper care of your pearls for them to stay pretty for a long time!