Sterling Silver Jewellery Care
Caring for your sterling silver jewellery is crucial to maintain its beauty and ensure its longevity. Proper care can help you to avoid common problems such as tarnishing, which is a natural process that can occur when precious metals react with oxygen and other environmental factors. Here are some tips and advice that will help you keep your sterling silver jewellery in pristine condition.
History - In the Making
Metals are like us, they breathe, absorb and react to various environmental factors such as light, oxygen, heat, and humidity. The more you wear your jewellery, the less care it needs as constant motion from rubbing on your skin and clothes creates a beautiful patina that is unique to you and marks the history of your jewellery.
Wear - When to Wear, Where Not to Wear
The more you wear your jewellery, the better it becomes. However, there are times when you should remove your jewellery, such as before sleeping, washing, bathing, playing sports, or engaging in activities that may damage or scratch the jewellery. Bangles and rings, in particular, should be handled with care to avoid denting precious metals and chipping or cracking stones.
Your jewellery is highly sensitive to its wearer and environment, and its behavior is dependent on various factors such as moisture, temperature changes, UV light, water, and everyday man-made products.
Products - Slowing Things Down a Little
To slow down the natural process of tarnishing, avoid exposing your jewellery to harmful products such as makeup, perfume, aftershave, deodorant, saltwater, bleach, or similar products. Even natural oils in the skin and sulphur in wool can cause tarnish. If your jewellery comes into contact with these substances, rinse it carefully with warm clear water and dry it with a soft cloth.
Makeup - Making Up Is Never Easy
To protect your jewellery, you should remove it before washing your hands or face, and wait at least 10-15 minutes after applying makeup, perfume, or any other lotions or potions.
Storage - The Right Conditions Can Make a Difference
When you're not wearing your jewellery, store it in air-tight bags (grip seal) to avoid tarnishing, scratching, or catching on other jewellery items. Avoid storing jewellery in high-temperature or high-humidity environments.
Some finishes such as brushed or plated jewellery may not last forever and may require reapplication after a few years.
Some gold chains are very fine, so they should be stored away from other chains, and care should be taken not to tug or catch the chain on other jewellery.
Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds can be cleaned in warm clear water by gently rubbing them with a soft baby toothbrush and wiping them dry with a soft cloth.
Due to the organic nature of pearls, they require a certain level of moisture to maintain their beauty. Therefore, pearl jewellery should be stored in a humid environment, such as the bathroom.
Sterling silver and gold can tarnish naturally over time, and there are several ways to restore your jewellery to its full glory. Light tarnish can be cleaned by gently rubbing it with a soft or silk cloth in the same direction. Heavy tarnish can be cleaned using a special jewellery dip, which involves soaking the jewellery in the liquid dip for 10 seconds, rinsing it with warm clear running water, and drying it gently with a soft cloth.