How to care for your jewellery
Silver oxidizes (tarnishes) when it is exposed to oxygen in the air, subsequently causing the surface to turn black. Here is how to get rid of the tarnish and make your silver jewellery look new again
For plain silver jewellery:
Make sure your piece has not been oxidised on purpose (some silver jewellery are oxidised for aesthetic reasons), as this will turn your jewellery completely white. In addition, make sure your silver jewellery does not contain any gemstones or any materials other than silver for this method.
You will need:
- 1 aluminium tray (alternatively, you can use aluminium foil and a cooking tray)
- 2 tbsp. of bicarbonate of soda or borax
- boiling water
- impregnated silver polish cloth
If you do not have an aluminium tray, cover the entire base of your cooking tray with aluminium foil.
- Place your silver jewellery to be cleaned in the tray.
- Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the piece of jewellery.
- Add boiling water, making sure it covers the entire piece of jewellery.
- Leave for a few minutes.
- Remove the jewellery from the tray and dry them with a soft cloth.
- Finish off using an impregnated silver polish cloth; it will bring up a lovely shine (Do not use on jewellery with sand blast, matt or satin finish).
For silver jewellery with gemstones or other materials:
The heat can cause gemstones to crack, so do not use the method described to clean PLAIN silver jewellery on pieces containing gemstones. You can use an impregnated silver polish cloth to revive the shine of your jewellery, but make sure you protect the stone. Notably, however, it is best to take your stone-set jewellery to a professional jeweller to get it cleaned.
Cleaning gold & Platinum:
For plain gold & platinum jewellery:
Make sure your gold jewellery does not contain any gemstones or any other materials other than gold or platinum for this method.
You will need:
- 1 bowl
- 1 squeeze of washing up liquid
- 1 tbsp. of ammonia
- 1 old tooth brush
- boiling water
- In a bowl, combine together the squeeze of washing up liquid, 1 tbsp. of ammonia, and the boiling water.
- Immerse the plain gold jewellery into the bowl.
- Leave for a couple of minutes.
- Taking care not to burn yourself, take the piece out of the bowl.
- Dip your old tooth brush into the mixture and rub it over the jewellery.
- Rinse the jewellery with clear water.
- Dry with a soft cloth.
For gold & platinum jewellery with gemstones or other materials:
You can use the method described above to clean gold or platinum jewellery containing gemstones, but do not immerse your jewellery into the boiling mixture; the heat will cause your gemstone to crack! Instead, leave the mixture to cool down for approximately 15minutes before dipping your old tooth brush into it. Then, rub the piece of jewellery with the old tooth brush. Do not use this method on pearls, lapis lazuli, opals, amber, or any green-coloured gemstones, such as emerald or turquoise, and any porous gemstones or materials, like coral, as this could result in a change of colour. If you are unsure about the gemstone, take your jewellery back to your jeweller to have it polished!
- Do not immerse the jewellery into the mixture!
- Do not use on pearls, emeralds, turquoise, amber, lapis lazuli, opals, and any other porous gemstones or material, such as coral!
- Always store your jewellery item back in its original box or pouch after you have worn it.
- Keep each item of jewellery separate in your jewellery box to avoid them scratching each other.
- Store silver jewellery in plastic bags with an interlocking seal to reduce tarnish.
- Wrap your pearls in a soft cloth to avoid them becoming scratched as they are softer than other gemstones.
- Clean your jewellery on regular basis.
- Check that the stones mounted in your jewellery are not loose; if this is the case, take the piece back to the jeweller as soon as possible.
- Make sure you wait at least 10 minute after you have put on your perfume, make up, hairspray, hand cream or body lotion before you put on your jewellery.
Avoid wearing your jewellery:
- When washing the dishes, washing your hands, and in the bath or shower. Porous gemstones are heat-sensitive to the change of temperature, and can result in a change of appearance and colour.
- When undertaking any household duties, such as gardening, any hard knocks or bangs could damage them.
- When handling harsh chemicals, such as bleach.
- On a sunbed or for periods of prolonged long sun exposure.
- When you go swimming as the chlorine can damage your jewellery.