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The following is only a suggestive care for ivory.  We are not responsible for how one might actually care for ivory, nor is this a standard manual of care for ivory jewelry.  This guide should only be used as a reference for your consideration.  This is how we care for our ivory jewelry, and it only reflects our experience when it comes to ivory care.

One of the common misunderstanding for most people when it comes to ivory care is that it's best to keep ivory locked away in a safe.  That's no necessary the case unless your ivory is already cared for and ready to be stored away.

Unlike many other substance, ivory is a soft material, but it is also prone to discoloration and other forms of damages.  Even if you are extremely careful with ivory, it is still possible to find stress-lines on them (also called hairlines).  Hairlines are thin stress-lines on ivory usually caused by overly dry condition on the ivory surface.  Sometimes these lines are eye clean on a dry ivory surface, and they can be viewed only when you slightly wet the surface with warm water or oil.  Stress-lines usually are surface lines, meaning that they are not structural damages.  However, stress-lines could become serious cracks if it is not treated promptly and properly. 

With that being said, you know ivory needs regular care (once a year perhaps), then you can safely store it away.  To prevent hairlines or to treat them as soon as possible, we use mineral oil with a soft brush.  Some people suggest other types of oil, such as olive oil.  I would not recommend any oil with color because it will leave discoloration on ivory surface.  Mineral oil is sufficient for the job as it is clear and provides a natural and warm glow on ivory surface.  Dip a tiny amount of mineral oil onto the brush and gently brushes the surface of ivory.  The surface will look oily for the moment.  If the ivory is in excellent shape, we can now use a clean soft brush to brush away the oil.  If the ivory is dry, then let it sit there while the oil penetrates gently on ivory surface.  Then do the same with a clean brush.  After brushing away some oil, use a gentle cloth smoothly polishes the surface until it looks oil free.  Now the ivory will have a beautiful glow to them.  Store it away now will be good idea to prevent other types of damages.  Always check the ivory condition to see if more care is needed.

Ivory patina is desirable since it is natural to genuine ivory and because it gives an aged look to antiques.  However, too much patina really is disturbing to an ivory piece.  To prevent discoloration, I would not recommend wearing ivory jewelry, especially not in hot and moist weather climate since human sweat is a main contributor to ivory discoloration on antiques.  Some suggest using blench to remove severe discoloration on ivory, I would NOT recommend such method since it will leave ivory dry with unnatural tone.  If someone already used bleach, then the best thing to compensate is to moist ivory in mineral oil repeatedly until a natural shine is restored.

Caring for ivory isn't expensive or hard, but one needs to exercise caution and diligence. 

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