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product care

many of the collections (travelogue, sacred band, saudade and sisters of mercy) feature one of a kind necklaces composed entirely of antiques; please keep this in mind when wearing these special pieces and take extra pre-caution.

for longest life, we do not recommend showering or exercising in jewelry.



why are some sterling items dipped in rhodium, hematite or 14k gold?

we apply a thin layer plating on most sterling silver items in order to slow the rate of tarnishing. this layer of plating is intended to come off after some use, leading to an antique look, which is the essence of cartography. to learn how to slow down and limit the wearing away of plating, keep reading...

the plating finish is coming off of my item.

plating naturally fades over time from exposure to oils in the skin and the environment. this fading can take months or years. if your product begins to fade within 30 days of shipment, please contact us and we will replace your item. 

to decrease the chances of fading out, here are easy ways on keeping the luster of your dipped jewelry.

  • wear the jewelry on the outside of your clothing, thus reducing exposure to sweat and other body chemicals
  • do not spray on perfume or other sprays while wearing your dipped jewelry
  • wait until your lotion or cream is dry or has been absorbed by your skin before you wear your dipped jewelry
  • substances like oil, nail polish, nail polish remover, chlorine, and perfume may react with metal/dipped jewelry and cause it to tarnish. this is also true for sweat, so make sure you remove your jewelry when you exercise or doing anything requiring heavy work and when swimming.
  • after every use, clean your jewelry with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove any dust and dirt. gently rubbing the surface of your dipped jewelry using a soft jewelry cloth, helps restore shine. do not use a polishing cloth as this will strip away the dipping.
  • if your jewelry needs more cleaning you may clean it with warm, soapy water. soak it for a few minutes and you may clean it with a soft cloth. stay away from jewelry cleaners and antibacterial soaps which may have certain components that will make your dipped jewelry tarnish more quickly.
  • to avoid scratches, wrap your jewelry in a soft cloth after cleaning or keep it in a jewelry box separate from other types of jewelry you have. small zip-locks work great.
  • store like items together. do not store mixed dipped jewelry together. the different metals will cause each other to tarnish, fade and/or turn colors. have different storage places for different colors of metals like gold and rose gold. store in a dry area. 

tell me about the sterling silver and how to clean it.

sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver, and the remaining part is copper. this is the reason why sterling silver is popularly referred to as "925 sterling silver" or just 925 silver. silver needs to be combined with other metals because it is very difficult to make great designs with just pure silver, which is soft and malleable.

a bit of hardness has to be introduced, by adding other metals such as copper or brass. that’s why jewelers - (oh, hay) - are capable of making intricate and complex designs with 925 sterling silver.

pure silver is not susceptible to tarnish in a pure oxygen environment.  however, the copper that is contained in 925 sterling silver may react to the ozone and hydrogen sulfide in the air and cause sterling silver to tarnish.  perfumes, hair sprays, and profuse sweating can also cause a quicker formation of tarnish.  

you won't be able to 100% prevent tarnish from forming, but there are a few ways you can significantly delay the formation of tarnish. 

the best way is to wear your sterling silver jewelry frequently.  the oils in your skin will "clean" the sterling silver every time you wear a piece. 

another way to delay tarnishing is to store sterling silver in an airtight container, preferably with an anti-tarnish strip (a specially formulated material that absorbs moisture).  anti-tarnish strips are available on amazon or your local walmart store.

while it may not look pretty, plastic zip-top bags are the best container to use to store your jewelry.  a jewelry box with a tight-fitting lid is also a good option.

a great way to clean tarnish off silver is with dish soap. form a lather with your hands and rub the tarnish off your silver.