Please make sure you acknowledge the nature of my jewelry before purchasing. Since many of my findings, components, etc are vintage/repurposed, the metal content is unknown. Most likely the material is base metal such as bronze, brass or pewter (white metal). Since metal oxidizes and tarnishes over time the look of your piece could change. However, any item that is vintage or contains vintage materials will probably not change much due to the fact that it is already aged and been exposed to the elements.
To keep your jewelry in good condition:
Avoid any contact with water or any other liquid to prevent damage and rusting. My pieces are strung with a seven strand core wire with an abrasion resistant nylon coating, which is very strong when cared for properly.
Brass, vermeil and sterling silver may naturally develop a darker patina over time as they react to the environment as well as the wearer's skin. Your piece will become unique to you as it settles in to your personal chemistry. If you prefer to keep your jewelry shiny and clean, try to avoid water (especially chlorine and saltwater) as well as lotions, perfumes, etc. Be sure to store your jewelry in a clean and dry environment.
If you want to give your jewelry a polish to brighten it up, there are many methods. Both brass and sterling silver are is easily cleaned with household substances such as white toothpaste, or by making a paste with lemon juice and baking soda. A typical jewelry cleaner or cloth works as well. If your piece has recessed lines that have been blackened, please do not clean with an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner - it will remove the black oxidation. If you are feeling lazy, your local jeweler would be able to clean up your piece as well. Avoid getting any type of cleaner on the stones themselves; it will weaken the finish and cause damage to the stone itself over time. A gentle cleaning with a damp cloth and diluted mixture of water and dish soap will be adequate to remove any buildup of residue from normal daily wear.
About 14k gold fill: 14k gold filled jewelry is coated with a layer of 14k gold. It is similar to gold plated jewelry but the layer is thicker so it will not wear away like gold plated jewelry. Gold filled jewelry is a good choice for sensitive skin and will not tarnish. Vermeil is either a 14k or 22k overlay/gilded silver or bronze.
Please email Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or are interested in other metal types such as bronze, gold or rose gold.