GENERAL CARE INSTRUCTIONS:
STERLING SILVER/STERLING SILVER GOLD VERMEIL OVERLAY/GEMSTONE JEWELLERY
Tarnishing is a natural process which is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with various types of metal - all precious metals can tarnish to some degree.
If your once shiny metal has turned dark, this is likely to be the reason why.
Understanding tarnish is a key part of cleaning your jewellery.
“Oxidized” is another term used to describe silver. For some works silversmiths intentionally allow parts of the jewellery to darken and oxidize to make them stand out more. This detailing can be lost, though, with excessive cleaning and polishing. Identify any purposefully oxidized silver bracelets, earrings, rings or necklaces you have and set them aside for separate cleaning.
As well, jewellery pieces should not rub up against each other, other types of metal or any harsh surfaces as they will scratch and wear. Nor should they ever take too much weight or force. You should also avoid harsh chemicals from coming into contact with your jewellery.
To prevent dullness and tarnish, each silver piece should ideally be cleaned (see cleaning tips below) then stored in its own soft jewellery pouch or bag.
If possible, keep jewellery away from moisture by storing your pieces in a cool, dry place.
Look after your precious pieces and they will look after you!!
STERLING SILVER - WITHOUT GEMSTONES:
If you don’t have any silver cleaner at hand, or you don't like to use chemicals, you can try the following method on all-metal pieces, such as chains or bracelets. Do not use this method on jewellery containing gemstones (the heat may cause them to crack or change colour).
Find a glass bowl, or dish suitable for the type of jewellery being cleaned, and line with aluminium foil. Place your jewellery inside the lined bowl and cover with baking soda, just enough so you can barely see the jewellery. Next, pour hot water over the jewellery and wait for the bubbling to stop. After the solution has stopped bubbling, remove the piece, rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cotton cloth. You may need to repeat the process a few time times for badly tarnished pieces.
Gold vermeil (overlay) is sterling silver that has been gold plated.
As with sterling silver, preventive care is important for maintaining your gold vermeil jewellery. It's best to keep vermeil jewellery separate from other jewellery as the plating is susceptible to wear.
Gold vermeil jewellery will tarnish like silver (as it is sterling silver, plated in 18ct/24ct gold) so it is best to keep it in an airtight box or bag.
Remove gold plated jewellery before swimming, bathing or washing your hands with chemical soaps.
Perfumes, creams and hairsprays can also have a negative effect, so always apply before putting on your jewellery.
If you would like to clean your gold vermeil jewellery wash it with a small amount of gentle dish soap or non-chemical soap and warm water.
Rinse it well and allow to dry on a cloth or paper towel.
Next, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or jewellery cloth and gently rub the surface in a circular motion to clean.
Make sure it is fully dry before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage.
Do not use a silver cloth as it will quickly remove the gold plating.
All plating will naturally fade with wear.
The most effective way to clean sterling silver is with warm water and mild bar soap. (Liquid soap is likely to leave a film on your jewellery, resulting in a dull finish.)
This cleaning method is safe for hard, non-porous gemstones, like topaz, amethyst, garnet, citrine, peridot, and cubic zirconia.
Apply the warm, soapy water with a soft cloth or very soft toothbrush.
Rinse clean and gently pat dry with a soft cloth.
Examples of porous gemstones include pearl, opal, emerald, turquoise, amber, coral, and onyx.
Porous gemstones should never be soaked in water.
If porous gemstones do become wet, gently pat dry and allow them to dry completely before storing.
Take care not to expose porous gemstones to makeup, lotion, perfume, or hairspray.