All That Glitters Is Gold: Talking Jewelry Upkeep With AOKO SU

Style Features Jewelry
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With this year’s focus on cuffs and rings, collar necklaces and boho-chic vibes, jewelry is in and everywhere. For some, tarnish and oxidation from daily wear adds to the piece’s story, but other special items may need a little extra help after a day in the sun.

We spoke with Elizabeth Hunter of AOKO SU American made jewelry brand created in 2012—about her favorite ways to keep jewelry in tip-top shape. AOKO SU’s minimalist designs and eye-catching rhythms evoke a chic city vibe though still every bit as natural as the Mojave Desert. With gemstones, exposed raw materials and clean, sweeping lines, AOKO SU has a definitive look and feel to their unique, one-of-a-kind creations.

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Paste: Are there any specific cleaning routines you recommend for buyers of your pieces?

Elizabeth Hunter: While gold requires less upkeep, alternatives to gold can take a bit more elbow grease to keep looking shiny and new. I highly recommend getting ahold of a polishing cloth that is impregnated with a polishing compound. Routinely give a good rub to your pieces when you start to notice oxidation, and they'll be back to perfect in no time!

Paste:Have you come across any DIY tricks of the trade that work better than others?

Hunter: Yes! I think the best way to keep jewelry looking its best is to wear it as much as possible. I wear my AOKO SU Have Heart Bangle every day—I never take it off. The oils in the skin help to protect the metal while also naturally polishing it.

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Paste: Do you prefer a type of storage for treasured pieces over another—i.e. jewelry box versus hanging pegs?

Hunter: Of course storing in an airtight container is most ideal, but where is the fun in that? Part of the magic of jewelry is seeing it atop your dresser next to a vase of fresh cut flowers or dangling off your bedside table after a late night. Keep your jewelry away from humid environments like the bathroom as oxidation will occur more rapidly. I tend to wear a few select pieces over and over, so I always try to store my jewelry in the box it came in when I'm not wearing it. It's like a treasure chest when you open up your jewelry drawer to find all sorts of colors and sizes of boxes to choose from.

Paste: Any final thoughts you would like to share on jewelry upkeep?

Hunter: I've always felt that jewelry carries energy that is best expressed when worn, when shown off, cared for—loved. I have beautiful memories of my grandmother bringing out pieces to show off and tell stories of. Whether purchased from a department store, a local designer, a thrift store or a yard sale, jewelry should always be treasured. So, to answer your question, jewelry is best cared for by loving it—by bringing sentimentality and admiration for the earth, the maker, the wearer.

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Home DIY for Jewelry Buffs

If your jewelry box has seen better days, try these DIY recipes at home to get a bit of sparkle back to your silver and gold. But, as always, do your research on what works best for the materials you are cleaning or wearing. While copper may shine from a home polishing solution, silver or stone may not fare quite as nice from the same treatment.

For a homemade silver polishing cloth, this eHow article breaks down how to make one from scratch.

Avoid harsh chemicals with this DIY jewelry cleaner recipe from PopSugar.

For those sick of the tarnish, go all-natural with this recipe from DIY Natural.