If you have questions, please check our FAQ below. If you don't find the answer you were looking for please send us your question via the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of The Sophia Code jewelry is made out of either solid 925 Sterling Silver solid Brass. We put a clear coating on all the Brass pieces to delay tarnishing.
Both sterling silver and brass will take on a natural patina with exposure to moisture and oxygen. This is a normal and natural process, and cannot be avoided entirely. The patina or tarnish can always be cleaned.
This has nothing to do with the quality of our metals, which are certified 925 Sterling Silver and Solid Brass. All silver and brass will eventually oxidize with exposure to oxygen, strong scents, chemicals, sweat, and water. This process is highly dependent upon what you expose your jewel to either on your body, or in your environment.
Sterling Silver naturally oxidizes with a black surface-level residue.
Brass will tarnish black, and occasionally express a green patina from the small copper content. We do put a clear coating on all the Brass pieces to delay tarnishing but like a plating, this clear coat will wear off, especially on the inside of bracelets which are constantly rubbing against your skin.
We will send you a best-practices care card with details on how to best care for your jewelry. Please also check our Q & A below for more detailed information about best practices and jewelry care.
Q. Will my jewelry turn my skin black or green?
It might. This reaction happens due to the copper content in brass, and the alloy content in 925 sterling silver. 925 actually means 92.5 % pure silver, 7.5 % alloy. We mix silver because pure silver is too soft to wear well. 925 is a standard industry mix. If your jewelry turns your wrist black or green, this is not dangerous. If it bothers you, you can prevent this by applying a thin layer of clear nail polish to the inside of your piece. All our brass jewelry has a clear coating pre-applied which will wear off over time on surfaces that rub against other surfaces. See questions below for more information about this.
Every individual’s PH and sweat content varies, and this has an effect on the reaction your metals will have when you wear them. Some people can wear silver without it ever turning black, and some people will find their jewels turn black very quickly, leaving a black residue on their skin. This is unpredictable and can even vary depending on what you eat, or if your body is detoxing. If you are doing a cleanse or detox, we recommend taking extra care to clean your jewels daily.
Strong scents on the body or in the environment, like air fresheners, chemical cleaners, or salon chemicals will have an effect on the rate of oxidation, so please be mindful of this.
Q. What is patina and is it the same as tarnish and oxidation?
Patina, or oxidation is the same thing as tarnish.
Q. What causes patina?
Metals exposed to oxygen, sweat, chemicals, strong scents, moisture, and especially sulfur will all cause oxidation. These can be either on-body or in the air or environment, and will affect the rate and extent of this process.
If you wear two pieces of jewelry and they touch one another, this will cause scratches on your jewel. This can cause small cracks in the clear coating on brass jewelry which will allow moisture inside, and can accelerate tarnishing and make it more difficult to clean. This can also happen if you exercise or dance with your jewelry on, or bump or bang your jewel on a hard surface.
Excessive bending of jewelry, especially the wristlettes, can damage the metal and even cause it to crack or break. Please use care when opening your wristlette and only put it on from the narrow side of your wrist and twist it instead of bending it open fully to put on via the widest part of your wrist. If you need assistance with this please reach out to customer service and someone will assist you.
Best practices to prolong the shine and beauty of your jewelry are to remove your jewelry before:
Swimming, showering, exercising, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, or applying scented care products to your body. Also remove your jewelry before going anywhere with strong scents, such as to the gym or salon.
Ideally, after every time you wear your jewel you should wash it gently with soap and water and dry it thoroughly. When you are not wearing your jewelry, store it in a clean, dry, air-tight container. A tupperware or re-sealable plastic bag will work best, as simple exposure to oxygen will patina metals. We send your jewel out in a biodegradable plastic bag and wrapped in tarnish-resistant tissue paper. You can easily store your jewels in this.
Q. How can I clean my jewelry if it tarnishes?
If a layer of patina does build up on your jewelry, we recommend you use a treated polishing cloth to lightly buff the surface. We love Sunshine Polishing cloths available for purchase HERE
. After buffing, rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. Avoid harsh chemical dips as these can damage metals and gemstones.
Alternatively you can also use a baking-soda based toothpaste with a gentle-bristle toothbrush to clean in the groves of your jewel and remove surface-level oxidation. Afterwards clean with a gentle soap and rinse with water and dry thoroughly. We strongly discourage using harsh chemical dips on your jewel as this can damage the metal.
Remember that the oxidation that occurs naturally in the recessed surfaces of your jewel is a natural process and can often add to the depth of the texture and design and increases the beauty of your jewel.
If you want to restore your jewel to its original luster, just as you would take a delicate garment to the dry-cleaners, you can take your jewelry to a professional jewelry stores that has an in-house jewelers. A bench jeweler should be able to quickly and easily buff and polish your jewel and clean it for you for a very reasonable cost. If your jewel is brass read the suggestions below for what to tell your jeweler before cleaning.
Q. What is the clear coating on the brass and will it last forever?
We apply a clear hypo-allergenic ceramic coating to all Brass jewelry, which delays tarnishing. This is applied with electric currents like plating, only clear. Because of this it will eventually wear through, especially on surfaces which are constantly rubbing against skin such as the insides of bracelets and the backs of pendants. If your jewelry bangs into hard surfaces or rubs against other pieces of metal or jewelry, this can damage, scratch, or crack the coating, which will allow moisture in and can cause tarnishing. If this happens, we recommend bringing you jewel to a trusted local jeweler with a bench-jeweler and having them polish your piece professionally. Remember to tell them it has a clear ceramic coating on it as they will need to remove this with heat to clean it. They can polish it to a high polish. Afterwards, your jewel will not be as protected so take more care to clean it after wearing with our suggestions above, and storing it in an air-tight container when you are not wearing it. All tarnish is only surface-level and can always be cleaned off.