All jewellery requires care and attention to keep it looking its best. Surface finishes inevitably change over time: matt items will polish up, and polished items will dull down. Jewellery in any metal will scratch with wear and tear (though some metals are harder than others).
It is important to remove your jewellery if you are undertaking any activity that could harm it. Exercising, swimming, showering, gardening or cleaning while wearing your jewellery can put it under strain. Do not wear fine chains or earrings overnight as they can get squashed or caught.
Some metals are harder than others. If you wish to wear two rings alongside each other they should ideally be made from the same material, to prevent the harder ring damaging the softer one.
- Silver jewellery is susceptible to damage and tarnishing from perfumed substances such as scent, hand cream and body lotions. Chemical cleaning substances, as well as chlorine and salt, can also damage it.
- To help stop silver jewellery tarnishing, store it in an airtight container.
- If a piece of silver jewellery becomes tarnished, you can gently clean it with a specialist jewellery-cleaning product. A soft toothbrush is a useful cleaning tool for more delicate pieces. However, be aware that some gemstones are sensitive to the chemicals in jewellery dips and polishes and should not come into contact with such substances (see below).
- Silver is one of the softest of the precious metals and will scratch if knocked and bend under pressure.
- Very occasionally skin can react to silver. In such instances, jewellery may turn the wearer’s skin green or black, or the item of jewellery itself may become discoloured. It is thought that such reactions can be attributed to acid levels in the skin.
- The blackened finish on oxidized jewellery will wear off over time (this happens more rapidly with rings than less vulnerable items of jewellery such as necklaces and earrings). In most cases items can be re-oxidised.
Gold Plated Jewellery
- Wear and tear will cause gold plating to fade over time. How long this will take depends on how regularly you wear your jewellery and how you care for it.
- Gold plate can get dirty and/or corrode as a result of contact with chemicals and moisture. High temperatures can also discolour or permanently damage gold plated jewellery. Avoid wearing gold plated jewellery whilst in the shower, swimming pool, or whilst using household cleaning products, and protect it from contact with perfumes and body lotions.
- Clean gold plated jewellery in hot, soapy water. Do not use chemical jewellery cleaning products on gold plated jewellery.
- In most instances jewellery can be re-plated if necessary.
- Gold is sensitive to bleach and chlorine, so avoid wearing gold jewellery when using strong household cleaning products or in the swimming pool.
- Clean gold with hot soapy water or a cleaning product especially designed for gold.
- A relatively soft metal, gold can scratch or bend under pressure.
- Some white gold is plated with rhodium to lighten its colour. Whilst our jewellers use a dense, thick layer of rhodium, it is inevitable that this layer will wear off over time. Items can be re-plated on request.
Palladium and Platinum Jewellery
- Platinum and palladium are relatively hard metals. Nevertheless, both metals can scratch, bend or dent as a result of wear and tear.
- Palladium and Platinum can be cleaned in warm soapy water or with a specialist jewellery-cleaning product.
- To clean, soak your diamond jewellery in warm water with washing up liquid for a few minutes to loosen grease and dirt. Then clean around and behind the diamond with a soft toothbrush. Rinse and dry.
- You can also dip diamond-set jewellery in jewellery-cleaning solution.
- Most stones, including sapphires, rubies, garnets, topaz, amethyst and aquamarine can be cleaned in the same way as diamonds.
- However, some stones shouldn’t be cleaned in this way as they are porous and sensitive to chemicals. This includes emeralds, pearls, opals, turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli. If you are in any doubt about how to clean your gemstone jewellery, feel free to give us a call.
- Pearls are very sensitive. Household cleaning products, chlorine, cosmetics and perfume can harm them.
- Clean pearls with a soft cloth or a specialised pearl cleaner.
- Pearls can be scratched very easily so take care when wearing them and protect them from coming into contact with other jewellery when storing them.
- You should arrange to have your pearls restrung from time to time.
Repairing and Refinishing Jewellery
- Where possible, we are happy to carry out repairs on items purchased from us. We charge a fee to cover the cost of a repair. Please contact us to discuss a repair, before posting an item to us.