Caring for your jewellery
There are things you need to know in order to extend the life of your plated piece, as the plating itself has a definite lifespan.
However, with the proper care, you can extend the lifespan and get more wear out of your plated jewelry. It can’t be said exactly how long it will last – it all depends on how and when you wear it.
How to look after and store your jewellery
· Protect all jewellery from scratches, sharp blows, chemicals, extreme temperatures, and sunlight.
· After each wearing, gently wipe each piece of jewellery clean of make up and skin oils with a 100% cotton cloth.
· Store jewellery separately so it doesn't scratch other jewellery.
· Remove jewellery when doing household tasks such as gardening, cleaning, household repairs or other strenuous activities.
· Apply make-up and hair spray before putting on your jewellery. Make-up and hair spray contain chemicals that may affect your jewellery.
· Do not store jewellery next to heating vents, window sills, or in the car.
· Store jewellery away from sunlight. The sun may fade some gemstones.
· Do not wear jewellery while in a pool, hot tub or bathing. The chlorine in the water can damage various gemstones and metals including gold.
· Always store bead necklaces strung on silk flat because silk stretches over time.
· Frequent cleaning is recommended to maintain its true beauty.
· Salt water, chlorine in swimming pools, soap, perfumes, personal products and perspiration take their toll on all fine jewellery.
· Wipe your jewellery carefully with a soft cloth to keep it clean and enjoy!
How to clean your jewellery
Commerical Silver/Gold Cleaners
Read the label, and if in doubt, do not use a chemical cleaner. Some gemstones that cannot be placed in commercial cleaners are: pearls, lapis lazuli, malachite, opals, coral and turquoise.
Jewellery Polishing Cloths
Use lightly to restore lustre. Do not press hard when polishing gold filled or plated jewellery or you will damage the surface.
Easy Homemade Solutions
The best way to clean in places where a polishing cloth can't reach is simple. To keep your jewellery in top condition, clean using lukewarm water and a small amount of mild washing up liquid.
Can be prevented by storing your jewellery in a resealable plastic bag with anti tarnish paper. Pearls and opals, however, should be stored in fabric instead of plastic because they need to "breathe".
How to clean and care for silver jewellery
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The first thing to understand is sterling silver tarnishes typically by things that we do or not do and/or wear. Perfume, colognes, lotions, sweaty skin and hair products can all be contributing factors to tarnishing your shiny silver jewellery. When the jewellery is removed and the residue isn't wiped off, the chemicals will contribute to the tarnishing process. Harsh chemicals from dishwater detergents, chlorine and the like will tarnish sterling silver jewellery. If sterling silver is exposed to the air and left unprotected when not being worn, tarnish becomes inevitable.
A few easy steps will ensure your silver jewellery to be as brilliant as the day it was purchased. Before you put any jewellery on, be sure any lotions and/or perfumes are absorbed into your skin. Apply all hair products, especially hair spray, before you put on the jewellery. Remove your silver jewellery before swimming, an invigorating workout or prior to bedtime. When you remove your jewellery at the end of your day, take a couple of minutes to wipe it off with a jewellery cloth or an old t-shirt. Never use tissues or paper towels for cleaning silver. These products will scratch the jewellery, which will detract from the beauty of the pieces. After the silver jewellery is wiped clean, store it in an airtight container, such as a resealable plastic bag, a cloth bag and/or an airtight jewellery box. Please be aware that many display units and boxes may contain sulphur, which interacts and tarnishes sterling silver. The less air and light your silver is exposed to when you aren't wearing it, the less tarnish will occur, making it easy to have shiny jewellery each and every time you're ready to wear it. Taking the time to keep your silver jewellery clean after wearing it and storing it away from light and air is all that's needed to cut down on tarnish significantly.
How to clean and care for gold jewellery
Pure gold is very soft which makes it unsuitable for most jewellery. To make it stronger, it is mixed with other metals - this is called alloying. The carat (ct) tells you how many parts of gold and how many parts of other metal are in the gold alloy.
Gold Plating is a method of depositing a layer of gold onto the surface of sterling silver through an electrochemical process. Care should be taken when cleaning gold plated jewellery to protect the layer of gold from being worn away or nicked. Do not use abrasive compounds to clean gold jewellery.
Although gold jewellery will not tarnish, it will get dirty. The oils from your skin transfer to the metal and need to be washed off periodically. The easiest way to care for it is to scrub it with an old soft toothbrush and a mild dish washing liquid. Rinse it well and lay on a towel to dry. Be sure it is completely dry before storing.
Another cause is actual corrosion of the metals. Gold itself does not corrode, but its primary alloys of silver or copper will do so (forming very dark chemical compounds) under moist or wet conditions. When we perspire, it can cause corrosion of the gold, especially when exposed to warmth and air. This problem can be worse in seacoast and semitropical areas, where chlorides combine with perspiration to form a corrosive element that discolours skin. Smog fumes gradually attack jewellery and are evident as a tarnish that rubs off on the skin. We suggest that you remove gold jewellery often and use an absorbent powder, free of abrasives, on skin that comes into contact with your jewellery.