Some simple ways that you can care for your new piece of Jewellery.
Your jewellery will age well if cared for well. It will develop a personality , nicks and scratches , making it an individual . However there are some things you can do to protect it.
These are top tips for helping your jewellery stay looking great.
Take off your jewellery when you go swimming, things come adrift in the water. The water shouldn't damage your piece if metal and stones, but cold water will make bits of you shrink. Rings and bracelets become looser. All that splashing around could dislodge earrings and necklaces.
Take off your jewellery before you retire for the evening, necklaces and chains get twisted and kinked as you move around in the night, fine ones can snap. Settings for stones could get spoiled.
Take off your rings when you are doing housework, gardening, heavy work and sports. The chemicals and abrasives we come into contact with can be powerful abrasives, acids and alkalines which could take the polish off your jewellery and mark the metal and stones.
Don't use perfume near Pearls.
Cleaning and Polishing
Jewellery gets dirty and can tarnish with time even if its not worn .
There are different ways you can ensure your jewellery stays clean.
Stones and settings can get clogged with gunk and grease. A top tip is to use a toothbrush, warm water and some domestic washing-up liquid or detergent and gently brush away the dirt. Dry with a soft cloth. Toothpaste is an alternative when the grime is particularily persistent. Its a gentle abrasive, so don't use on very soft stones ( Pearls, Lapis, Flourite, Coral ) or special metal finishes.
Tarnishing is a chemical change in the surface of the metal which leaves it looking darker than originally. It tends to happen quickly with silver, going from bright white, through yellow, then to brown and eventually black. Some peoples skin chemistry make the process happen within hours or days. Living in cities and with air pollution will also set it off more quickly, as do some household chemicals.
In Gold it happens only in lower carats where there is silver or copper added to the Gold to make 9ct, 14ct, 18ct. Gold itself does not tarnish, one of its amazing properties.
Platinum does not tarnish.
There are several different way to deal with tarnish.
Make sure you've dealt with any grease or gunk before using polishes.
An impregnated jewellers cloth, great for buffing a shiny surface. Not so good on a matt surface , as it will start to polish the metal
A polishing paste and soft cloth , a bit messy to use , especially messy when trying to polish chains .
A dipping solution , ( Goddards silver dip for instance ) our recommended way of dealing with tarnished chains , fiddly bits and bobs . Just dip, wait a few minutes, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Don't use with pearls coral or turquoise or lapis.
You can get any of these from good hardware shops or department stores and some high street jewellers.
There is also a very old fashioned way to clean silver, which is great for special finishes, especially whitened silver. Used for generations in 'big' houses for cleaning the best silverware.
You'll need a piece of Aluminium foil, a handful of soda crystals and some hot water, in a glass ( pyrex, heat resistant ) bowl. Put the foil in the bowl and the Soda crystals onto it. Place the jewellery you want cleaned onto the crystals and poor hot water into the bowl. Watch as the preparation fizzes, in a few minutes the silver will be white. Magic. Rinse and dry as before. Don't use this with pearls, opals ,coral , turquoise or lapis, they will start to dissolve. You can tip the solution down the drain safely after you've finished with it.
Whitened Silver care
Whitened silver is a bright white mat finish, which we use a lot at Sian Evans. It is a transient finish which means that on surfaces that come into contact with other metals, abrasive, wear and tear, it will become more polished and silvery finish. Rings and bangles will polish to a shiny finish quite quickly. Earrings and pendants will keep their whiteness for longer. The white finish can tarnish to yellow or brown. To keep it bright, you can use silver dip or use the old fashioned method above using Aluminium foil , warm water and Soda crystals . Don't use a cream polish or polishing cloth, it will remove the white bloom and polish the silver to a shine.