Care for your jewellery
Silver jewellery keeps naturally clean by constant wear as the oils in your skin acts as a polish. However, sterling and fine silver will naturally tarnish with exposure to the air and modern day pollutants such as perfumes and deodorants.
Silver pieces with no gemstones or pearls can be washed in warm water with a mild detergent. Completely dry with a soft lint free, or non abrasive cloth before storing.
If you need something a little more robust try a polish specifically for silver like Silvo. Simply shake well, apply with a soft cloth and leave to dry and gently rub off with a clean soft cloth.
Specialist silver polishing cloths are also ideal companions to your jewellery. 100% cotton infused with special silver cleaners. These clever silver dusters will help bring your jewellery back to life on a daily basis, essentially lifting off dirt, grease and fingerprints.
NB Silver Dips work by dissolving the silver sulphide and can damage the surface of the silver and wear it down over time. Even though cleaners might give a temporary shine, the pieces will tarnish much more quickly and have to be cleaned more frequently once you have broken down the surface therefore they are not recommended.
Silver needs to be stored somewhere cool, dark and moisture free such as in an airtight jewellery box or soft pouch and always separately as they can scratch each other. Tiny bags of silica can be placed in your storage box to keep it dry.
22ct Gold Plating is a very thin layer of gold electro plated onto silver. It is usually no thicker that one micron therefore it is also very fragile. It is usually applied to areas that receive very little wear, i.e. inside shells, or the reverse of necklaces to add contrast and a bit of sparkle to a piece. Clean these areas with a soft cloth only and if needed wash with warm water and mild soap, rinse well and dry on a soft cloth. NB do not use a silver cleaner or cloth on gold plating as this will remove or damage these areas. I can re-plate pieces if required.
Care of pearls
Pearls are an organic gem composed of calcium carbonate.
Pearls are vulnerable to the chemicals found in cosmetics, hair spray, perfumes and even fruits such as lemons, so you must take extra precautions in caring for them.
Dress and style your hair, apply your make-up, and spray on your perfume before you put on any pearl jewellery, similarly removed your pearls first when undressing. Gently wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after you remove them for the day. You can also dab a drop of water on them and clean them off with a soft cloth. If a soft cloth is no longer enough to remove the dirt gently apply a baby shampoo or another mild soap using a soft manicure brush.
Support the strand if the pearls are on a necklace or bracelet and do not stretch the thread as you clean.
Only use mineral water or distilled water to rinse your pearls as standard tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can damage the surface of your pearls.
Avoid jewellery cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners.
Keep pearls away from other jewellery such as in a silk bag, velvet-lined box, or satin-lined pearl folder and never store pearls in a plastic bag as some plastics can emit a chemical that, over time, will cause your pearls to deteriorate, they can also cause vapour or sweat inside.
Store pearl strands flat to avoid stretching out the string. Pearl jewellery weakens naturally over time so examine strands of pearls for loosening strings and if the threads begin to fray, you should have your pearls restrung.
Avoid long-term exposure to strong light or heat above 140°F (60°C) as these elements can dry out your pearls, causing them to crack.