Jewellery Care and Cleaning
Maintaining the sparkleBecause jewellery should be worn and loved it’s inevitable that it will receive the odd knock and scratch over time. Common marks on rings are caused by simple day-to-day activities such as opening doors and windows when you press down on handles. We feel these kinds of marks should be embraced as a record of time worn.
However, we recommend you visit us, or another reputable jeweller, every couple of years to have your jewellery professionally cleaned and to check stones are still secure and claws are still fully intact. We will then recommend any professional work that may need undertaking. See our Repair and Refurbish page
In the meantime there are some simple things you can do yourself to help retain your jewellery’s longevity and maintain a certain level of sparkling.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR JEWELLERYWe recommend you remove your jewellery when doing sports activities and domestic chores. Gemstones are a natural material, and they can chip or scratch if care isn't taken. Ones to be particularly aware of are softer stones such as semi precious stones, emeralds, pearls, opals and amber.
Swimming: Chlorine and seawater may affect the metal, surface finishes and also some softer gems. In addition your fingers will shrink in the cold water and you risk your rings falling off. There’s a chance you may find it again in a swimming pool but absolutely no chance if it falls off in the sea!
Gym and other sports: We recommend removing your jewellery before doing any sports. You risk chains snapping, rings getting knocked and scratched and stones coming loose when handling dumbbells or cycling and rock climbing where the hands are in contact with another abrasive surface.
Domestic chores: We’d recommend removing your rings when washing up, cleaning the bathroom and the car etc. Some detergents and bleaches may affect the metal and stones.
CLEANING YOUR JEWELLERYBefore starting to clean your jewellery please be aware that some jewellery should only be professionally cleaned, particularly those containing softer stones such as Emeralds, Opals, Pearls and Amber. See our Repair and refurbish page
Metal surfaces: Silver and gold dip is a very simple and effective process for removing tarnish from metal surfaces. However we recommend reading the instructions first. After dipping, rinse your jewellery thoroughly with clean water and dry well. We do not recommend that you dip jewellery that is set with Emeralds, Opals, Pearls and Amber. You can purchase dips from any good hardware store or supermarket.
Shiny metal surfaces: It is normal for your jewellery to lose its original shine through wearing it on a daily basis. Polishing cloths are good for removing tarnish and brightening the surface up. However they don’t return the surface back to its original bright sparkling shine. For this you will need to have your jewellery professionally polished by us, or any reputable jewellers. See our Repair and refurbish page.
Take care when using the cloth on a plated surface, such as rhodium plated white gold, that you don’t over rub and wear the plating off. For more information about re-plating jewellery visit our Repair and refurbish page.
The cloth itself is impregnated with a polish and should last a long time if stored in its re-sealable bag. You can purchase these from any good hardware store or supermarket.
Matt and satin surfaces: It is normal for your jewellery to lose its original Satin or Matt finish through wearing it on a daily basis. As long as your jewellery is NOT plated, such as rhodium plated white gold, then you can simply re-apply the satin surface with the green scouring pad on your washing up sponge. Gently rub the dry pad in one direction around the ring or along the surface.
This will satin the surface back down again. However, it won’t remove any deep scratches. For this you will need to have the surface professionally refinished by us, or any reputable jewellers. See our Repair and refurbish page.
Stones: Stones become cloudy, normally from soap or hand cream and other substances that get behind the stone after wearing rings for a long time. You can use small amount of washing up liquid and a soft toothbrush to clean around and behind stone, then rinse thoroughly in clean water and dry.
Dipping your tarnished jewellery
Before - During - After
STORING YOUR JEWELLERYWhen you’re not wearing your jewellery we recommend you store it in the boxes they were purchased in, or in a specified jewellery box. Leaving your jewellery out in the open for long periods of time will cause it to tarnish.
CAUSES OF TARNISHThis predominantly occurs with sterling silver jewellery that is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It's the other metals, primarily copper that reacts to moisture and sulphur in the air, causing it to tarnish. Gold jewellery can also discolour slightly over time. However Palladium and Platinum are hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant.
If you do leave your silver and gold jewellery out on the side, then please be aware that some varnishes and paints will react with metal surfaces, and some natural fabrics such as felt contain oils that can also cause discolouration.
Natural oils in our skin can also be responsible for causing tarnishing and for some people the reaction can be quite dramatic.
Some perfumes and lotions can also affect the surface. We’d recommend not wearing a necklace when you’ve just applied perfume.
The tarnish for all of these can generally be removed using dips, but please read our notes above first.
MATERIAL MYTHSPlatinum is hard and won’t scratch: Unfortunately all precious metals will scratch. It is true that it is harder than gold and so will wear better over time, but it is still susceptible to scratching during day-to-day activities.
White gold turns yellow: The natural colour of white gold has a very slight yellow tint to it. Because of this, white gold is generally Rhodium plated to give it a ‘white’ or more ‘neutral’ tone to show coloured gemstones and the whiteness of diamonds to their best. It almost resembles Platinum but without the cost. When the plating wears off, it’s the natural white gold with the slight yellow tint that’s revealed, not the white gold ‘turning’ yellow.
Diamonds don’t break: It is true that diamonds are incredibly hard stones, however, one nasty knock could result in the diamond chipping, particularly those with inclusions. If that happens there is a risk the diamond could come loose in the setting and eventually fall out.
For more details about materials and plating visit Precious Metals and Hallmarking and Diamonds and Gems.
BUY OUR JEWELLERY CARE KITComing soon…
If at any point you are concerned about your jewellery then please do get in touch and we'll happily advise you.