Jewellery Care

A few simple guidelines to keep your jewellery looking its best for years to come.

General Care

  • Avoid exposure to household chemicals, perfume, hairspray and cosmetics – put your jewellery on after applying cosmetics and hair products.
  • Remove jewellery before showering.
  • Do not use silver dip on items with stones, pearls or oxidisation as it is known to remove colour from certain types of porous stones, for example pearls, and if your jewellery has an oxidised finish the dip will remove the patina.
  • To minimise scratching and wearing off of oxidisation it is advisable to store your items of jewellery so that they do not touch and scratch each other.

Sterling Silver

  • Sterling silver is an alloy made with 92.5 % silver and 7.5 % copper, over time copper reacts with sulphur found in the air, and this naturally causes the item to tarnish.
  • To clean sterling silver polished items I would recommend a silver polishing cloth, such as those made by Goddard’s (these are widely available). For pieces with stones, polish the chain and pins with your cloth but avoid rubbing the stones.
  • Alternatively use warm water, mild detergent and a soft toothbrush – I’ve explained this method more thoroughly in this post.

Gold Vermeil

  • My gold vermeil items are plated with a durable, 2.5 micron-thick layer of hard gold plating. This type of plating is known as “hard” because there is a small amount of alloying which reduces the pure 24ct gold to 23.7ct. This doubles the hardness of the deposit.
  • Avoid using a silver polishing cloth. Clean with a soft cloth, or with gentle detergent and a soft toothbrush.

Oxidised Silver

  • A black or grey oxidised finish is created using a chemical treatment which advances the natural tarnishing process. It is not a permanent finish and over time can wear off. This can give the piece a wonderful antiqued character, as raised areas will wear away to a polished silver finish, leaving recessed areas black.
  • Do not use silver dip on items with stones, pearls or oxidisation as it is known to remove colour from certain types of porous stones, and if your jewellery has an oxidised finish the dip will remove the patina.
  • Store separately from your sterling silver items as it may cause them to tarnish more quickly.
  • If you’d like to restore the dark finish of your jewellery I am happy to reoxidise pieces. Please email me to see if this will be possible – items including pearls and other soft stones cannot usually be re-oxidised without damaging the stones.

Cleaning your beaded jewellery
How to clean your beaded gemstone jewellery with soap and water and a soft toothbrush.

  1. First, soak your piece of jewellery for 5-10 minutes in warm water with a little dish washing liquid added. I prefer to use distilled water because it’s free of the mineral deposits which can dull your jewellery, but tap water is absolutely fine.
  2. Then take your soft toothbrush and give the piece a gentle scrub. I like to hold the beads firmly and give the wire-wrapped parts a good scrub, as that’s where the grime (and lint, hand cream, you name it!) tends to build up.
  3. Tip your soapy water away and dunk your jewellery in fresh, clean water. Give it a good rinse (you might need to change the water a couple of times to remove all the soap).
  4. Set your clean, sparkly jewellery on a towel to dry thoroughly before wearing it or storing it away. Storing silver or gold-plated jewellery when it’s damp can cause it to oxidise, or blacken, so do make sure it’s dry – use a hairdryer on a low setting if you’re in a hurry

For more information, see this post on how to clean your beaded jewellery https://katewoodjewellery.com/2020/09/24/how-to-clean-your-beaded-jewellery/

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