Perhaps you are lucky enough to own, or maybe you inherited, a piece of shell cameo jewelry. That’s lovely! I just love cameos, don’t you?
Here are the seven secrets to keeping your cameo healthy and beautiful:
1. Keep your shell cameo out of direct sunlight. Light will fade a cameo – I found out the hard way.
2. Store your shell cameo in a closed jewelry box that has a velvet or flocked surface. Keep it away from other jewelry to avoid scratching. Don’t place it on that fluffy cotton lining found in gift boxes – the cotton will wick away precious moisture, making your cameo brittle.
3. Take care not to drop your shell cameo. It can break.
4. Dust your cameo periodically with a soft brush, such as a clean makeup brush. Dust can scratch the surface of the cameo.
5. Twice a year, apply a generous amount of baby oil or mineral oil to the cameo, and allow to soak in overnight. Next day, wipe off the excess with a soft cloth. Avoid using colored oils such as olive oil – your cameo will be stained yellow.
6. You may clean your cameo when needed, using a soft-bristle or baby toothbrush, and Woolite (TM) or non-abrasive toothpaste. Brush gently, then rinse with warm water and dry carefully.
7. NEVER, EVER use a commercial jewelry cleaner on your shell cameo! It will etch and erode the surface, and make the cameo dry, brittle, and breakage-prone.
Follow these simple secrets, and your precious shell cameo jewelry will last for generations.