Enamel is essentially jewelry paint. It makes designs pop, it’s colorful, and you can get as fun and creative with it as much as you want. But over time, enamel cracks and splinters off over time. Here’s what you need to know about enamel and protecting enamel jewelry.
What is Enamel?
Enamel is typically a colored powder that is mostly made of glass. It’s heated until it “melts” onto a metal surface. The enamel is then cured to harden it and fuse it to the surface.
Like paint, it’ll start to crack from age and abrasion if you’re not careful with how you wear your enamel jewelry. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when enjoying your colorful pieces.
Ways to Maintain Your Enamel Jewelry
- Clean it properly: Enamel can’t be cleaned with any random chemical you find around the house! To avoid any kind of damage from cleaning it with a harsh household cleaner, stick to lukewarm water, a soft cloth, and something gentle such as Windex or hand soap.
- Avoid keeping it in accident-prone locations: A lot of people like to put their jewelry all over the top of their dresser. That’s not a good habit, since anything can knock the jewelry off and cause it to fall. Enamel cracks on hard impact, so you run the risk of breaking a precious piece if you keep it in a high location.
- Put it down gently and lay it flat in a soft area: While it’s tempting to just toss your jewelry off the moment you get home, you need to remember that enamel is fragile! Don’t just chuck your enamel jewelry into a ring dish; make sure to put it down gently to avoid any abrasion or chipping, and keep it lying flat in a soft, cloth-lined jewelry box. This is especially important for elaborate pieces such as necklaces and brooches; leaving them lying face down or carelessly handling them will cause the enamel to erode much faster.
- Be careful with rings and bracelets: Items on your hand experience much more wear than jewelry on your ears and neck, so keep that in mind when you’re out and about with your enamel jewelry! If you have a ring that has enamel in the design all around the band, it’s probably not the best idea to go exercising with it on, or grabbing onto subway poles as the rough contact will break off the enamel. Bracelets should also be worn with caution, as they will bang against any surface your arms come into contact with.
You’re all set on how to protect your enamel jewelry now! If you have a piece that needs repair, comment below and we’ll help you out.