LOOKING AFTER YOUR JEWELLERY
Many factors can influence the condition of jewellery. Therefore you should make sure that your jewellery is properly cleaned, polished and stored. Please read through the care instructions to ensure your precious jewels are kept looking their best.
Please follow these steps to ensure your beautiful jewellery lasts a lifetime.
Always protect your jewellery from knocks, scratches, chemicals and extreme temperatures to minimise damage or wear. We recommend removing your jewellery when you shower or bathe and particularly when on the beach, in the sea and in chlorinated water. Avoid spraying perfume or applying creams where they might come into direct contact with your jewellery.
Storage: To protect your jewellery, pieces should be individually placed in pouches or within a soft lined box to stop them being scratched or tangled. Ideally, store your jewellery in a dark, cool and dry place and try to keep pieces separate, so that they don't rub together or tangle up.
Metal: Silver jewellery will naturally tarnish over time. Using a jewellery polishing cloth (available from most jewellers) is an effective way to keep silver, 9ct, 14ct or 18ct solid yellow and rose gold jewellery looking shiny and lustrous. A metal cleaning solution such as Tarn off (available at hardware stores) is particularly good for removing tarnish from plain sterling silver pieces. Ideally, store silver pieces in an airtight bag to help reduce tarnishing. Do not use tissue paper or paper towels to clean metal as they can cause scratching. Do not use polishing creams or polishing cloths on plated jewellery, as it can remove the plating.
Plated Jewellery: Silver, and solid 9ct 14ct and 18ct gold are not indestructible. Plated jewellery finishes are even more fragile.
All jewellery is vulnerable to the hard knocks of the physical universe. Rings scratch, bracelets dent, and links rub against each other and wear out.
It is important to take care to extend the life of your gold plated jewellery.
How Fragile and Thin is Gold Plating?
With carat jewellery, the gold metal with its hardening alloyed metals mixed in, is solid throughout the whole piece.
With plated pieces, the gold comprises only a very thin outer layer—so thin in fact, that it’s measured in microns. One micron equals one millionth of a meter.
Very, very thin layers of almost any substance are more susceptible to damage than thicker layers. Makes sense, right? A sheet of writing paper is easier to tear than a piece of cardboard. For this reason, it pays to be careful with your plated jewellery.
Perfume can Spell Doom for Your Plated Jewellery
Chemicals in Our Lives Effect Your Gold Plated Jewellery
Perfumes, creams, lotions, and makeup all contain substances than can affect plated jewellery. Some soaps and detergents are stronger and harsher than others. Certain fruits and vegetables are acidic. Some are more alkaline.
The point is, any substance that isn’t PH neutral can potentially affect your plated jewellery. We can offer you a few suggestions to extend the life of your gold plating.
Ten Ways to Extend the Life of Your Gold Plated Jewellery
1.Wash your hands before putting on or taking off plated jewellery.
2. Put on gold plated earrings after you’ve applied your perfume.
3. Put on your plated jewellery after you have applied lotion or put on makeup.
4. Take off your plated rings or bracelets before chopping tomatoes for dinner.
5. You also might want to remove your plated jewellery before changing baby's nappy.
6. Avoid rubbing plated bracelets and necklaces against each other. Try to prevent plated rings from banging into counter tops and rubbing against car keys buried in pockets and purses.
7. Don’t swim in your plated jewellery. See below
8. Don’t wear your plated jewellery when you’ll be sweating profusely.
9. Clean your plated jewellery gently, and DON'T rub it.
10. Store your gold plated jewellery in a pouch or soft cloth separate from other jewellery
Seriously, Water can Hurt Your Plating
The chlorine and other chemicals added to swimming pools and hot tubs can also produce adverse effects. Ocean salt water can effect plating, as well. The ocean thing is a long shot, but if you swim regularly in the ocean it will speed the breakdown of your plating.
Remove your plated jewellery before swimming in chlorine laden water, be it the neighbor’s backyard swimming pool or a patio Jacuzzi. You’re probably fine swimming in the local reservoir, or skinny dipping in a water hole.
Perspiration and Your Personal PH level
Last but not least, one’s own body chemistry can be harsh on plating. Just like fruit, some people are more acidic than others. Depending on one’s diet, it’s not uncommon for chemicals perspired through the pores of the skin to cause plated jewellery to tarnish and discolour.
Some people sweat more than others. Jill works out for two hours every day. Joyce is more of a relaxed girl. Jill would be wise to remove her plated rings before going to the gym. Joyce, on the other hand, is stylishly safe wearing her plated bracelets and necklaces while chilling out.
Cleaning Your Plated Jewellery
Plated jewellery should be cleaned periodically. Even if you’re sure your ring hasn’t been exposed to any of the aforementioned substances, it has been in contact with your skin—which does perspire.
Wash plated jewellery with warm water. Use a mild soap only if necessary. Getting junk out of nooks and crannies with an old, soft toothbrush is Okay. If you need to use toothpaste use a gentle one with no whitening agents or abrasives in it.
Be gentle and don’t rub too hard. We’ve seen examples of gold plated jewellery where vigorous rubbing with a polishing cloth took off some of the gold plating.
Re-plating, Like Reincarnation for Your Jewellery!
Don’t despair if the thin layer of gold on your jewellery eventually wears off in spots. It can be fixed! Click here to purchase re-plating for your jewellery item.
Gemstones & Pearls: Since many gemstones are quite delicate, hot water, harsh chemicals and cleaners should be avoided at all times. We advise cleaning your precious stones with a clean, soft, damp cloth after wearing. Stones such as pearls should be cleaned using an untreated, dry, soft cloth only. Avoid exposing your pearl jewellery to extreme heat or cold as this may cause the stone to contract or expand and can loosen the setting. Do not use tissue paper or paper towels to clean gemstones as they can cause scratching.