I get a lot of people asking about our materials, what our jewelry is made of, and how best to care for it. So, if you have any questions about your Hailey Gerrits pieces hopefully this will answer them! If not, please feel free to contact us anytime with any care questions you may have.
All of our chains are recycled and vintage. Some of them date back as far as the 1880's but most age between the 1920's and 1980's. We buy in bulk, mostly from warehouses that sell off "deadstock" (items that are no longer being produced). Because of this, many of our designs are limited edition and cannot be reproduced once we run out of certain products. These chains are raw metal, so there is no plating that is going to wear off and because they were made in the good old days, they're also often much higher quality than some of the newer products being produced overseas. Almost all of these chains were produced either in the US or Canada.
Brass is a metal that will age over time, and while it's already done a lot of aging it will continue to do so and sometimes more rapidly when combined with the oils of your skin and its exposure to oxygen. When your jewelry is not being worn, we recommend storing it in a dry air-tight space (like a jewelry box or even just a ziplock bag). Pro-tip: when using ziplocks to store jewelry, leave a bit of the chain outside the top of the bag and zip it up so that it doesn't get tangled. This is always how I travel without doing any damage to my jewelry! Do not store your jewelry in the bathroom, as the humidity in the air there can increase oxygenation and cause tarnish.
What to do if your jewelry gets tarnished?
Because your Hailey Gerrits jewels likely have semi-precious stones mixed in, we do NOT recommend using chemical cleaners as they can damage the stones :( If you'd like to polish up your chains, there is a simple DIY solution: soy sauce, ketchup, or a combination of lemon juice and salt or lemon juice and baking soda. Something magical happens with the salt/acid in these products and they will shine brass right up! And they're all natural. I recommend putting a little bit on a paper towel or dish sponge and just running the chains through. You can give it a little scrub if it needs it but please be gentle with your piece. After, use a damp cloth, dish sponge, or paper towel with a little bit of soap and water to rinse and you're good to go. This is often how I clean chains fresh from the warehouse, before they get used in designs. Polishing cloths used for silver or other metals will often work for a quick clean also.