Jewellery has long been a statement piece in the fashion industry, and the amount of money that may be spent on certain items can be painful… sometimes.
Hence the importance of caring for those treasured purchases, and ensuring that they don’t become tarnished before their time.
Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, as you know, has a vast selection of stores and boutiques that sell, design and manufacture jewellery; so as our gift to you, we’re informing you how to care for it!
Sterling Silver Jewellery
Sterling silver will gradually tarnish over time, but that’s natural.
The idea is to maintain its good condition for as long as you are able.
Silver should be kept completely dry, and when cleaning, ensure to only clean the silver and avoid any embellishments, particularly pearls and soft stones like opals and emeralds.
Sterling silver jewellery should be stored in a tarnish-proof cloth or a quality jewellery box.
Silver-plated items or vermeil (gold-plated) should be cleaned with the same care as solid metals.
Silver jewellery should be removed prior to taking a bath or shower as the soap could cause a film to form on the jewellery, seemingly making it look dull.
Soft, lint-free cloths are the best inexpensive way to keep silver shining.
Avoid chlorine when wearing silver jewellery, as it can damage and discolour your items.
Light tarnishes may be removed with fairy liquid and water, then carefully brush with a soft bristled brush, rinse with lukewarm water and allow to air-dry.
Oxidised Stirling Silver Jewellery
As all oxidised sterling silver has a patina surface, it will be prone to wear, in saying this, the look could be considered ‘vintage’.
Caring for this type of jewellery should be done by using a light wax-like colourless furniture polish or beeswax, and buffing the item with a soft cloth, then wiped clean.
Gold pieces of jewellery require regular cleaning to maintain its beauty and shine.
Gold jewellery, like silver, will obtain a dull/ding look if worn in showers/baths, so ensure to remove all pieces.
Gold requires the same care as sterling silver jewellery, see above for details.
Diamond jewellery is able to withstand heat damage and scratching, however if you are going to be embarking upon some hard-core work, diamond jewellery should be removed.
Diamonds should be stored individually in soft pouches as a way of limiting scratching or dulling other pieces of jewellery.
Fairy liquids are a safe option for cleaning jewellery, as it is effective for the shine.
Tougher dirt can be cleaned with one part ammonia (something that can bought over the counter at a pharmacy) and six parts water, using a soft brush – this will improve the diamond’s brilliance also.
It’s also useful to have your diamonds cleaned and setting checked, so that it is secure, annually.
Fine pearls that have thick nacre layers can last for generations if looked after correctly.
If the pearl is strung on silk with knots, over the years, the silk is likely to become weak and will stretch which is why it is worth getting the piece restrung.
Pearls should not be worn on a regular basis if your environment is likely to contrast with the delicacy of the organic gemstone.
Pearls can be easily scratched and damaged, also perfume and hairspray can play a part in dulling the pearl’s lustre – apply perfumes and deodorants before putting on pearls.
To be sure of the pearl’s cleanliness, wipe them down with a soft, damp, lint-free cloth that will remove any oily residues from the surface.
Avoid using soaps and chemicals on pearls.
The pearl’s delicacy requires it to be stored separately from other jewellery.
Now you have no excuse to not care for your jewellery, plus you don’t have to spend ages searching for a similar piece to the one that looks old!
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