With a little care your jewellery will last you a life time in perfect condition. Here are our top tips for looking after your precious pieces:
- Try to not wear your jewellery in the shower or bathing, or when swimming. Soaps may affect gems and metal finishes, but mostly we advise this to avoid losing your precious piece down a drain or (worse) in the sea!
- Do not wear your jewellery in a chlorinated swimming pool, to avoid any chance of tarnishing. Even solid gold doesn’t like Chlorine.
- Put your jewellery on last. Apply any perfumes, body lotions or creams and let dry before you put on your jewellery. Chemicals in cosmetics may affect the lustre of your gems and precious metals.
- Remove your jewellery when doing household tasks such as cleaning, playing sport or other strenuous activities. Your jewellery is made to last, but it is not kryptonite! Strenuous activity may lead to damage due to excess force, or hard blows.
- Beach sand and sun creams may spell disaster for your good jewellery, as the abrasive sand and chemicals can damage the surface finishes. We suggest wearing something cheap and cheerful for the beach.
- Store your jewellery in an appropriate container, ideally closed and lined with a soft scratch free lining. There are lots of cute jewelley boxes out there that allow you to store each piece separately so that it does not tangle or damage other pieces.
- Silver likes to be worn to keep its shine and brightness. Pieces you don't wear often do best if stored clean and dry, in an airtight container or ziplock bag to avoid tarnishing.
Most jewellery needs no more that a gentle clean with a soft 100% cotton cloth, to maintain its shine. It is a good idea to get a soft cloth specifically for this purpose. If you feel your jewellery needs a little more attention, here are our top tips for cleaning your jewellery.
Gold & Gem-set jewellery
Take a small bowl and add some warm water and a drop or two of gentle soap. Place jewellery in the bowl for 1 minute. Then rinse with clean water and polish with a soft 100% cotton cloth to completely dry.
If there is a lot of grime trapped in the corners, consider using a baby toothbrush to gently scrub the worst bits. Then rinse and dry as above.
Note that different gemstones have different needs when it comes to care - for instance, Emeralds and Opals aren’t the biggest fan of moisture or harsh cleaning solutions (even those intended for jewellery cleaning). If you have any questions please reach out to Nicole van der Wolf Jewellery at email@example.com
Blackened Silver (oxidised)
If the silver of your piece is dark in colour then the surface has been chemically blackened with an oxide, also known as a patina. Do not attempt to clean it using a silver cloth or silver dip as this will remove the patina to reveal the bright silver beneath and change the look of the piece. Instead you can remove any dirt using warm, soapy water then rinse thoroughly. Dry with a clean cloth or kitchen towel and finish with a hairdryer on cool setting, if necessary.
Over time and with wear you will notice that the surface gradually becomes brighter, especially on corners and edges. This is normal and to be expected.
If the silver of your piece is bright white (not oxidised) then it may discolour over time due to atmospheric conditions. This is known as tarnishing. You can remove the tarnish by rubbing gently with a silver cloth. Alternatively you can submerge the piece into silver dip until the tarnish is gone, usually in about 30 seconds. Be careful not to leave your piece in the dip for more than a minute - it’s best to stay with it. Afterwards rinse thoroughly in cold water, dry with a clean cloth or kitchen towel then use a hairdryer on cool setting if necessary.
Silver cloths and silver dip can be purchased at most hardware stores and major supermarkets.
If you are experiencing problems then you can contact Nicole for advice and if necessary return your piece to be reconditioned in the workshop. This will involve restoring the piece with its original finish.