What is the best way to care for my handmade jewelry?
To ensure your Cowgirl Relics jewelry and accessories last a very long time, here are some tips we recommend for their care. Beaded necklaces should be stored laying flat. Hanging your necklaces, in particular, puts undue tension on the wire and components used to create your special piece. Over time, this stress can cause the wire to fray or even break. Storing jewelry laying flat or in a hanging jewelry pouch will keep the components free from added stress and beautiful for years to come.
While our leather cuffs are typically very durable and are made to last with quality components, we have a few recommendations to help maintain that quality and durability. We do not recommend repeatedly getting them wet. The soaking and drying process from being submerged in water or from prolonged exposure to wet conditions can damage the leather and the accents, rivets, and/or adhesives we use in crafting the cuff. We recommend storing your cuffs in the rounded shape (either snapped or unsnapped) in which they arrive. Avoid constant bending/flattening/re-shaping of the metal plates on your cuff. This action can cause "metal harding" and can eventually make the metal brittle.
To clean your jewelry, simply wipe gently with a soft, dry cloth to remove excess dirt, grime, dust or to remove excess tarnish of your stamped metal pieces. You can also use a professional polishing cloth and/or jewelry polish, as needed to remove heavier tarnish or for a deeper cleaning. Use light steel wool to renew the finish on your antiqued brass and copper pieces.
What is the best way to care for my vintage jewelry?
Cuffs: Put your vintage cuffs on and take them off with extreme care, so as not to repeatedly bend the sterling silver each time. Every time the sterling is bent it begins to "work-harden" and will eventually stretch and possibly fracture. Your body heat can also warm and soften the silver, so this is even more important as you take your pieces off. If your cuff/bracelet has stones set on it, this is vital, because as you squeeze your cuff to fit your wrist (#1 thing you should NOT do), or stretch it to take your cuff off, this can also stretch and bend the silver under or near the stone settings causing the setting itself to stretch and loosen around the stones. You then run the risk of having the stones fall out.
Each time you put on your cuff, you should also make it a habit to check each stone to ensure that it is not loose before you wear it for any length of time.
Sterling Silver: Always take your sterling silver pieces OFF to wash your hands, sanitize, or shower. Water and other chemicals/liquids/etc. can cause your sterling silver to age/tarnish much faster. Also, if your jewelry has stones set on it, water can cause sawdust or paper found under the stone settings of many older jewelry pieces to wash away or shrink, making your stones more susceptible to falling out.
Stress fractures: Periodically, examine the undersides of your pieces for the beginning of possible stress fractures. It is much less expensive to have some minor repair work done to prevent a complete fracture than to repair a piece after it is broken.
Polishing: You can easily self-polish your sterling silver pieces. We do not recommend using any kind of silver polish or cleaner that requires water to clean or rinse. Our favorite ways to polish are 1) using a Sunshine Cloth; 2) using a small foam polishing pad. Both are available from most jewelry supply stores and can be found on Amazon.
Storing: Store all your sterling silver pieces, when you are not wearing them, in a moisture safe environment (cloth bag, plastic bag) and not out in the open.
Is vintage jewelry really sterling silver if it is not marked sterling?
It can be. We acid test all of our jewelry to verify that it is sterling silver. Many older pieces of vintage southwest jewelry and Native American jewelry pieces were not marked sterling and do not always have artist hallmarks, particularly if they were created prior to the US Hallmark Act of 1973.
Can you polish my sterling silver jewelry for me prior to shipping?
Yes, in most cases. We usually try to list in the product description if a piece have light, medium, or heavy tarnish and whether or not polishing is available for that piece. Just message us after purchase or include a note in your purchase that you would like to have it polished. Some more expensive, heirloom quality pieces will not be offered with polishing service available.
Will you be re-stocking that vintage item?
Most of the time, our vintage apparel items and jewelry are one of a kind and we cannot re-stock them. On the rare occasion, we do get lucky and find two or three multiples of a vintage item over time, but that, unfortunately, does not happen very often.
My package says delivered, but I do not have it. Can I get a refund?
We hate to hear when packages have been lost or even stolen, but once your package is in the hands of USPS or your country's postal service, there is not much we can do on our end. Particularly when the package is scanned as delivered. Your best bet in these situations is to contact your local postmaster for assistance. USPS now has GPS scanning for packages and they can show you the exact location where your package was when it was scanned as delivered. Unless your package was lost or damaged due to an error on our part, we do not offer refunds on packages marked delivered.
Do you offer layaway?
We do offer layaway on items meeting our layaway policy requirements. See our policies page for details.
Do you ship internationally?
We ship internationally to select countries that we have had good experiences shipping to (both with customers and international postal services). Full list is available during checkout. Please do not ask us to send your international package as a "gift" or to change the package value to a lesser value to avoid fees, taxes, or tariffs. That is 100% illegal and we will not put our business at risk for such a thing.
Copyright on all original designs and photographs is retained by Cowgirl Relics. All rights to reproduction reserved by designer. All product descriptions, images, and product design are property of designer/website/store owner and may not be used in any manner without express written consent of designer/website/store owner.