Myth Busted: Cleaning Silver with Toothpaste

Silver Jewelry

Many unfortunate silver jewelry owners stumble on the “ol toothpaste method” when looking to find cheap/easy ways to clean their silver jewelry. Sadly, what’s very unclear is that the same chemical used to keep your teeth clean can eat at your fine jewelry.

This is especially true when talking about silver, which is a very sensitive metal. The damage that toothpaste can cause may be so severe that only a professional jeweler will be able to fix it. Toothpaste will also scuff the surface on amber, opal, turquoise and other soft stones resulting in the fine polish to be permanently marred.

So how do you maintain and clean your silver jewelry?:

General Maintenance: gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wear using a smooth, 100% cotton cloth using only the soft pads of your fingers. This will increase the shimmer and shine of your jewelry.

Store Bought Remedy: Find a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner. We prefer Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish. Rub that on the silver (avoid gemstones!) and then rinse thoroughly. It’s important to remember that sterling silver is extremely soft. Even your fingernails can dent the metal.

Home Remedy (can be used with silver, gold, diamonds and gemstones)

  • Drop two tablets of plain Alka Seltzer in a glass of water and add jewelry.
  • Let jewelry sit for a couple minutes, remove and dry with clean towel or microfiber cloth.
  • Enjoy the new sparkle and shine of your jewelry

In order to prevent tarnishing in the future, wrap your jewelry in jeweler’s tissue paper and store it in a tightly sealed zip lock bag.

Although Ice.com jewelry experts recommend a manufactured and approved silver polish, we know many of us lead busy lives and can’t make it to the store or can’t wait a week for our polish to come in. Don’t fret because we’ve outlined the top home remedies to clean your gemstone, gold and silver jewelry. Check them out here!

If you have any questions about jewelry maintenance, care and storage or need helping finding that perfect piece, ask us in the comments below or log on to Ice.com to talk with a jewelry expert today!

Have an Ice Day!
-Reed

Top 3 Style Winners at American Music Awards

Last night’s 2011 American Music Awards was full of entertaining performances and stylish looks from the talented guests. Some of my favorite looks of the night were:

1. Jennifer Lopez: This woman is hot! She can dance better than most of her competitors who are half her age. She donned several outfits throughout the night including a barely-there Britney-esque bedazzled leotard during one of her performances. My favorite look of the night was the black and sheer gown she wore to accept her award. Her hair was pinned back in classic J.Lo style, exposing stunning drop earrings.  If you want to get the same look, try out these CZ earrings for an incredible sparkle.

2. Katy Perry: She’s fun, adorable and sexy all rolled up into one fabulously talented performer. She received a standing ovation during her performance while she wore a Jetsons-like pink ensemble. Her red carpet look was the real attention grabber. She wore a Vivienne Westwood gown on the red carpet with a amazing hairpiece designed by Westwood and accessorized with large cocktail rings.

Katy Perry - American Music Awards 2011


3. Heidi Klum: There were lots of silver looks at the AMAs but the best use of silver award goes hands-down to supermodel Heidi Klum. Her cut-out knee-length dress was simple but made a big impact. Accessorize this look with silver jewelry with bright gemstones to really make them pop.

Heidi Klum - American Music Awards 2011

What were your favorite looks of the night?

Lois Hill Jewelry Collection

So excited to share the launch of one of our new designer collections – Lois Hill. If you appreciate the workmanship of fine jewelry you will adore Lois Hill’s designs. Her line of hand-crafted, sterling silver jewelry shows off the designer’s signature techniques such as filigree designs, hand carvings and weaving.

Jivasukha Lois Hill bracelet
Jivasukha ID Bracelet with Sterling Silver Beads and Red Silk Cord

World traveler Lois Hill has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and draws much of her inspiration for jewelry designs from this practice. One of her collections titled Jivasukha means “joyful soul” in Sanskrit. Several words and mantras from this language helped shape Lois’ life are used within her jewelry.

The Jivasukha Collection includes bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Many symbols such as hearts, peace signs and crosses are featured in this collection as well as these spiritual symbols:

Lotus Flower represents perseverance and grows in mud far away from the sun but when it reaches the light it becomes one of the most beautiful flowers.

Om symbol which represents harmony, bliss and peace.

Hamsa is known as a symbol of protection and good luck.

Aside from the Jivasukha Collection, there is also has a classic collection of jewelry by Lois Hill including the exquisite hand-woven cuff bracelet (pictured right).

Stay tuned for more pieces from the Lois Hill Collection coming soon.

Pack Jewelry For A Winter Weekend Getaway

Diamond stud earrings are perfect for a winter getaway.When packing for a winter weekend getaway, women devote most of their suitcase space to ski gear and outerwear. But while you’ll likely spend the majority of your time on the slopes, there will surely be downtime spent snuggling in the lodge or indulging in a delicious meal, so don’t forget to pack some jewelry for the snowy trip.

Smooth metals are versatile and easy to travel with, whether you’re driving to your destination or boarding a bus. Best of all, they won’t get caught on wintry garments like thickly knit sweaters. Before dinner, throw on a few bangles or a gold pendant necklace for a bit of glamour.

Diamond stud earrings will work on the slopes and in the lodge, so you won’t have to bring a wide array of earrings with you on your trip. Studs won’t interfere with hats or earmuffs, and they will add a chic amount of sparkle to any outfit once you’re out of the snow. You might want to wear your screw back studs so you don’t risk losing them in the snow.

Keep a statement necklace in your bag in case your crew wants to hit the town – it’s an easy way to elevate any ensemble without a lot of effort.

Remember, whenever you travel, your jewelry is at risk to be lost or stolen. Ask the lodge for a room with an electric safe or leave your most treasured pieces at home.

Caring For Your Jewelry: 3 Essential Products

Keep this bracelet sparkling by using a soft cloth to polish it.Keeping a few simple items on hand will make cleaning your favorite jewelry easy as pie.

1. A silver cleaning cloth will keep your silver sparkling and clean. Over time your silver pieces may begin to show finger print smudges and glisten less brightly, but a cloth can be used to give it the shine needed to attract attention.

2. An old tooth brush: Dip the toothbrush in window cleaner and polish your diamonds under hot water. The trick is to actually leave your diamond soaking in the liquid over night. When you get up the next morning, rinse it off under the water and use the soft-bristle tooth brush to give it that extra glimmer.

3. A soft cloth: use the material to wipe and polish pearls after wearing them. Pearls are much more fragile than other gemstones so one should take extra care when cleaning them. A mild natural soap and some water can be (very) gently applied with a soft cloth. Make certain that the label on the detergent specifies that the formula is fragrance-free. It is best to polish pearls after wearing them, catching all of the dirt and grime before it has time to set in.

What are some of the tools you use to care for your jewelry?

3 Ways To Accessorize Sequined Outfits

Caption: A silver bracelet will add shine without competing with sparkling sequins.It’s almost the end of the year and as women begin to look for party dresses to wear on New Year’s Eve, there is one feature that many frocks will have in common – sequins! Glittery getups are all the rage for these midnight celebrations, but they might cause a confusing conundrum – what jewelry should you pair with an already sparkling ensemble?

Picking out pieces for your sequined dress doesn’t have to be difficult – just choose one of these three simple suggestions.

1. Less is more. A little bling goes a long way when your gown already glitters. Stick to one piece of jewelry, such as a gorgeous cocktail ring or a great pair of earrings, and you’ll be ready to greet the new year in style.

2. Opt for metals over gemstones. You won’t need more flash before you head out the door. The sequins will be sparkly enough, so skip the gems. A silver cuff or gold bangles can add shine without looking over-the-top.

3. Pearls can add polish. While pearls are often thought of as more demure accessories, the pieces are actually perfect for a sequined creation. The sophistication of pearls coupled with the edge of sequins creates a balanced look that’s both glamorous and elegant.

Trends for Spring: Flower Power

Floral designs can be sophisticated and chic
Floral designs can be sophisticated and chic
I have to come clean. I can’t hide it any longer. I have a bad, bad case of Spring Fever! We’ve had a couple of 60 degree, sunny days and I am completely ready to bring out the sandals and shorts! I’m getting way ahead of myself because spring doesn’t really start for another week or so. In some parts of the country there’s still a ton of snow on the ground. Well, just because it’s not quite yet spring officially, doesn’t mean that you can be ready for the warmer weather when it comes to your neighborhood.

Year after year one of the hottest trends for spring is floral inspired looks. This is kind of a no-brainer since flowers are out everywhere at springtime. To be honest, I generally think floral jewelry is for two kinds of females – older women and young girls. However, let me be the first to say that I have been proven wrong (yet again) with this sophisticated and chic flower ring. First of all, it’s just $65. This is a great price for a seasonal piece of quality jewelry. Uniquely elegant, this delicately crafted ring combines contrasting tones of precious metal. That means you can wear it with white and yellow gold, platinum, or silver jewelry – very versatile! A graceful floral design is gorgeously rendered in sterling silver and yellow gold. It’s even kinda sexy!

You don’t even have to give a second thought to, “what earrings will I wear with this ring?” That’s because this ring comes has a matching pair of sterling silver and yellow gold floral earrings. Just like the ring, these striking earrings are unique and very stylish. Delicate floral two-tone silver and gold earrings are a gorgeous combination for any outfit.

Together the ring and earrings combine to create a perfect spring look.

Time for Saint Patrick’s Day Fun

Saint Patricks Day is right around the corner!
Saint Patrick's Day is right around the corner!
Don’t get pinched this Saint Patrick’s Day; be sure you’re wearing some green! While an entire green outfit might make you look like a Christmas elf rather than a harbinger of spring, it’s easy to add just a touch of green with the right accessories.

You could really get into Saint Patrick’s Day with a clover design sterling silver pendant. Polished green agate and diamond accents in this pendant won’t pinch your wallet either at just $85.

When lots of folks think of green jewelry they think of emeralds. Emeralds have a beautiful, intense and radiant green. The green of the emerald is the color of life and of springtime. They’re definitely a great way to add green to any outfit this spring.

For a fresh and modern look this Saint Patrick’s Day, you could try a less traditional gemstone like green chrome diopside. Lush green tones sparkle gorgeously in this elegantly unusual diopside pendant. While perfect for springtime, this pendant’s bright green color will carry you right into sunny summer days. Honestly, it would even be a great choice for parties. It’s definitely a versatile piece for your jewelry collection.

Athletic girls need bling too! Jewelry tips for an active lifestyle

Venus and Serena Williams always look stylish on the court. As the spring approaches and the weather changes across the country, athletes will begin to emerge from the gym and take to the streets, outdoor tracks, tennis courts and golf courses to enjoy the sun and get some fresh air.

If your warm-weather routine involves heading straight from the office to the activity of your choice, it can be a frustrating to fit all of your athletic gear and your work stuff into one bag.

To make things simple for yourself, wear jewelry to work that will look great during the day but be comfortable during your work out.

Because chunky items may get annoying if you jog or play an active sport, stick to delicate necklaces with small charms, so that you won’t have to stick one of your favorite statement pieces in your pocket and risk losing it.

If you plan on burning some major calories in your accessories, it’s best to stick to pieces that are pure silver, gold or platinum. Fillers like nickel may eventually irritate skin, especially if you put in a rigorous workout.
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Locket Jewelry Hers and His!

Sterling silver polished locket cufflinks - a great gift!
Sterling silver polished locket cufflinks - a great gift!
The one piece of jewelry that is so incredibly personal to anyone that owns one is a locket. Lockets have been around for hundreds of years and during all that time they have been used for many things. Lockets are generally associated with pendants that are worn on a chain (it keeps the charm close to your heart), but lockets were often used on a ring as well.

Today even men can wear lockets – as cufflinks. Timeless and sophisticated, these elegant cufflinks show of the classic beauty of sterling silver to perfection. Gleaming silver is exquisitely crafted into a dramatically simple design that requires no outside adornment to take away from the pictures he chooses to place inside.

In the past a locket was used to carry around small things that had some value to the wearer. Medicine could be kept inside them as well as poison! Lockets were also used by those who held certain beliefs in herbs and like charms to ward off evil and sickness. The hair (a lock!) or ashes of loved ones was often kept inside a locket as one of many items kept as a keepsake.

Lockets were often used to put a miniature hand painted picture inside. These tiny images of the person inside were very tedious work, but done by an expert artist the result was a beautiful work of art. In the past hundred years or so is when the most popular use for lockets developed so to speak. Placing photographed pictures inside them became their most common use and photos could be had by almost anyone.

The Victorian era was an extremely popular time for the locket. They used the locket for a jewelry piece as much as for their storage capacity. The heart locket was very fashionable. These lockets were made in some very elegant ways. Monogramming a locket was one way to personalize the piece even more. They could be set with gemstones or pearls and the finest metals were used for making them. Although in the past lockets had been made from all sorts of metals such as copper, brass, platinum and silver amongst others. Antique and vintage lockets are very collectible for jewelry lovers.

Lockets are still widely available today and can be bought in many styles. The techniques used for making lockets have improved over time, but they are still delicate, which really only adds to their beauty. They still make as lovely a gift for someone you love as anything you could give them in the way of jewelry.