How to Clean and Care for Alternative Metals

How to Clean and Care for Alternative Metals

Alternative Metals

JCK Magazine has stated *”it's clear that our economy is driving the popularity of alternative metals.”  Blitz has a number of cleaning choices for these new economy fashion metals.  Some jewelers prefer the term 'contemporary metals' to alternative metals.  Either term is a contrast to the traditional precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum.  Consumers are looking for attractive items to fit their stressed pocketbooks.  The first metal of choice is the "other white metal", palladium.  It's a less common precious metal, then platinum, with a somewhat whiter look.   It tends to be less expensive and therefore more used now in jewelry items.

Palladium Palladium does not tarnish.  Therefore our #9617 Blitz Jewelry Care Cloth and #651 Blitz Gem and Jewelry Cleaner are recommended for cleaning simple band, and precious stone mountings.  Today’s jewelry can be very complex, so make sure you ask your jeweler for advice.  Palladium can be used for earrings and bracelets.  If your jewelry is plated with any precious metal, always consult your jeweler for care and advice.  Rubbing or brushing a thinly-plated piece of jewelry may wear the plating and be detrimental.  For plated metals, use our #7808, Blitz microfiber cloth.

Trendy Metals Trendy, alternate metals are stainless steel, titanium and tungsten.  They are discussed below.

Stainless Steel Stainless steel rarely tarnishes, but is susceptible to other issues.  Depending on the grade, stainless steel over time can begin to look dry as it loses some of the oils that lubricate it.  We recommend using  #20641, Blitz Stainless Steel Shine Polish and our #20614, Blitz Stainless Steel Shine Polishing Cloth.  For stainless steel rings or other jewelry that are worn on a day-to-day basis, we recommend our #651, Blitz Gem and Jewelry Cleaner.

Iridescent Titanium Titanium is versatile.  In thin sheets, it appears tinted with iridescent colors.  For this type of jewelry, we recommend #661, Blitz Fashion Jewelry Cleaner and our #7808, Blitz microfiber cloth.

Titanium Metal For durable white metal titanium bracelets and other jewelry, we recommend our #651, Blitz Gem and Jewelry Cleaner.

Titanium and Other Removable Body Jewelry Titanium is often seen used in body jewelry since it's hypoallergenic, use our #661, Blitz Fashion Jewelry Cleaner. CAUTION:  However do not use our product directly on non removable body jewelry.  While our products are non toxic, we don’t want you to use them near piercings.  Only use products recommended by your trusted body-jeweler.

Tungsten Tungsten is a very hard metal.  It resists impacts, scratches, and abrading.  It rarely shows corrosion.  That's why it's good for sports.  It maintains a high luster, so we recommend cleaning it with #651, Blitz Gem and Jewelry Cleaner.

Alternative Alternatives This is an industry catchall phrase that represents the ultimate in complexity in jewelry.  There are numerous trade names, and brands, but these tend to be a blend of either a few precious metals (like gold and silver mixed) or unique alloys or even a composite of woods, metals, fibers, and stones.  The best advice is to use caution.  If you wear these items in the shower or while swimming, then it's safe to use #661, Blitz Fashion Jewelry Cleaner and our #7808, Blitz microfiber cloth.

Composite Jewelry If these are delicate, fragile, art-work, or heirlooms then only use what your artist, jeweler, or antique dealer recommends.  Use of any other cleaner may be detrimental to your composite item.

Rhodium Plated Items See our article about Rhodium plated jewelry.

Anodized Items Anodized items are usually non-precious metals that have been specially coated in process that makes the surface not only very hard and durable, but colorful.  Medals, pins, and other ornamental jewelry are made this way.  We recommend using #661, Blitz Fashion Jewelry Cleaner and our #7808, Blitz microfiber cloth.

Reference Article *Alternative Metals Show Their Mettle By Rob Bates, Senior Editor -- JCK-Jewelers Circular Keystone, 7/1/2008