Jewelry FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Everything you ever wanted to know about your Cape Cod and Mrs. Mugs designer jewelry.

Do you have a jewelry related question for Mrs. Mugs? Ask it here and we'll post your question and our response on this page.


How do I know what size bracelet I need?
What causes my jewelry to tarnish?
What's the best way to clean my sterling silver and jewelry?
How do I clean my Zable sterling silver beads?
What's the difference between solid gold, gold filled and gold plated?
What's so great about clay bead jewelry?
What's a shell pearl?

How do I know what size bracelet I need?
To determine the size you need for your new Cape Cod bracelet, or any of our nautical or designer bracelets, measure the circumference of your wrist and add 1/2". The bracelet size represents the number of inches of the bracelet, including the clasp. If this bracelet is a gift, and you are not able to measure the wrist size, here are the average sizes: size 6 is considered extra small, size 6.5 is a small, size 7 is a medium, size 7.5 is a large, and size 8 is an extra large. Of course, you may exchange the bracelet if the size is incorrect.

Here is a sizing chart for the Ed Levin expandable bracelets:
Ed Levin Bracelet Size Chart

For bracelets with a magnetic clasp, instead of adding 1/2" to your wrist measurement, only add 1/4". This type of clasp is easy to get on and off, so the bracelet can be a snugger fit than bracelets with other types of clasps.

What causes my jewelry to tarnish?
Sterling silver will tarnish when it is exposed to cosmetics (the most common cause of tarnishing), hairspray, sunscreen, perfume and other items containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferric oxide, and calamine. To prevent this, cosmetics containing these chemical compounds should be avoided. If this is not possible, we recommend that you remove rings and other sterling silver jewelry while applying cosmetics, hairspray and perfume. Also, clean those skin areas which will be in contact with your jewelry with soap and water.

Swimming in a chlorinated pool or soaking in a hot tub will tarnish sterling silver jewelry. Remove all jewelry items before going into any chlorinated water.

Storing jewelry for a prolonged time causes silver to tarnish. If your jewelry came in a box with a cotton bottom insert, the cotton reacts to the silver and will tarnish your jewelry. Never store your jewelry in these boxes unless you first put your jewelry piece in some sort of airtight bag. Surprisingly, the more you wear your silver jewelry, the less it will tarnish. Mrs. Mugs recommends storing your jewelry in a cloth pouch or airtight plastic zip lock bag and keeping it in a separate compartment in your jewelry box.

What's the best way to clean my sterling silver jewelry?
The simplest way to remove any tarnished areas on your sterling silver jewelry is to use a clean, soft cloth and polish your silver as soon as these areas become tarnished. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to remove these blackened spots.

If your jewelry piece has been tarnished for some time, use a chemically treated cloth, such as our Cape Cod Jewelry Polishing Cloth. Just dab your jewelry with the polishing cloth and then wipe clean with a dry soft cloth.

Be careful when using sterling silver dips. Although they are easy to use and work fast, many take the color and polish off many gemstones. A dip should only be used when a buffing with a dry cloth or the Cape Cod Jewelry Polishing Cloth doesn’t work. Carefully follow any instructions included with the dip. Rinse your jewelry after cleaning, and dry completely with a soft cloth.

How do I clean my Zable sterling silver beads?
Silver beads may need to be cleaned occasionally. Simply use a polishing cloth or mild soap to get your Zable beads looking like new. Do not use a silver polish as this could cause the oxidation to be removed.

What's the difference between solid gold, gold filled and gold plated?
We'll discuss four classifications here: solid gold, gold filled, gold plated and vermeil.

Solid Gold: Solid gold starts out as pure 24 carat gold. This is too soft for jewelry so the gold is mixed with an alloy to provide strength. The gold is then rated as 18k, 14k, 10k or whatever ratio of gold to alloy used. The larger the percentage of the alloy used, the lower the carat rating. Gold Filled Jewelry

Gold Filled: Gold filled is an actual layer of gold bonded over another metal. The layer of gold used in the gold fill process is 100 times thicker than gold plated. With normal wear and tear the gold in a gold filled jewelry piece will never tarnish, chip or wear off. It will last a lifetime. Gold filled jewelry is an attractive and cost effective alternative to karated gold jewelry.

To clean gold filled jewelry, use a soft cloth or mild soap and water, if necessary. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives.

Gold Plated: In gold plating, a microscopic layer of gold is applied to a base metal using an electroplating process. Because the resulting layer is so thin, the gold plating will eventually wear off or discolor as the metal underneath tarnishes.

Vermeil: Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is similar to gold plating, except the microscopic layer of gold is applied to sterling silver. As in gold plating, the gold in a vermeil piece will eventually rub off or show the tarnish of the sterling silver beneath.

The jewelry sold at Mrs. Mugs and on this Website is either karated gold or gold filled, and is noted in the product description. We do not sell gold plated or vermeil items.

What's so great about clay bead jewelry?
Our clay beads are hand rolled and strung. Most people think the beads are hand-painted, but in fact our beads are made entirely from polymer-based clay. The color is part of the bead. This process is called Millefiori and can be seen in the She Beads demonstration video below. Colors and patterns are molded into the bead during manufacturing and will never chip, fade or peel.

To see a behind the scenes look at how clay beads are made, take a look at this video.

The color combinations used in our beads are spectacular, ranging from soft pastels to vibrant primary colors. One look at the Cape Cod Beaded Bracelet will demonstrate the richness of colors that can be attained with hand rolled clay beads.

What's a shell pearl?
The shell pearl is a man-made pearl and comes from the shell of an oyster. The base of the pearl is the sea shell, which is coated and polished to the final shape of the pearl. Our customers love them because of the large variety of colors that they come in. Shell pearls are an attractive, relatively inexpensive alternative to natural pearls.