Whale bone is a porous material and over time absorbs oils from your skin. As a result it will turn a soft honey gold colour. This is normal and one of the great beauties of bone crafted jewelry.
A bone carving not only looks good but it also feels nice to touch. Handling the carving will keep it nicely polished and it will allow your body oils to enter the carving making it a part of you. Māori believe it takes on the spirit of all those who wear it so the more colour it develops the more highly it is treasured.
- Be careful not to spill coloured liquids onto the carving, such as red wine, as these will also be absorbed into the material. If this happens rinse it off immediately in cold water. Any stains will usually over time fade and gradually disappear.
- Though bone is a very hard material it can also be brittle and will break if dropped onto a hard surface - so be careful when removing it, slipping it off seems to be time when they are dropped.
- Check the condition of the cord from time to time. If you notice any fraying or nicks in the material that would be the time to change the cord. You can return it to us for this or you can do it yourself - we're happy to help you if you have any questions on how we put cords on to various pendants.
- Never use household cleaning or polishing compounds on your carving. These are usually a little aggressive and they can damage the surface of the carving - this can make them more porous and they will certainly remove any oils in the bone. The oils keep the pendant from drying out and becoming brittle. If you think that your pendant is a little dry you can rub a little baby oil, or olive oil, into the surface with a soft cloth. It's a good idea to do this from time to time, especially if you don't wear the pendant all the time. If you do wear it all the time it is probably going to be absorbing body oils so it will be fine.
- Rain and the occasional swim will not harm the carving but avoid sudden or extreme temperature changes such as wearing it in a hot shower or spa. Swimming with it then allowing it to dry rapidly in the sun is also not good for the carving, particularly when it is new. Over time your body oils moisturise and 'cure' the carving making it less prone to drying out, but protect it from extreme and rapid temperature changes if you can.
- And remember - handle the carving often as the oils from your skin will keep the carving in good condition and protect it from the elements.