Jewellery isn't indestructible; even your highest-quality pieces are susceptible to grime, tarnish, scratches and breakage if they aren't looked after well. To keep your pieces in immaculate and good-as-new condition, you should take regular steps to maintain them. To do this,
- Clean them on a regular basis.
- Store in a jewellery box when you aren't wearing them.
- Remove when you shower, swim, exercise, clean and cook.
- Avoid contact with perfumes, lotions, and other cosmetics.
- Keep out of hot or humid rooms.
Although these are the essential steps you should take for all of your jewellery, how you take care of individual pieces will depend on the material.
Silver jewellery can tarnish when exposed to salt, chlorine, sulphur, perspiration, cosmetics, household cleaning products and other chemicals. To prevent this, you should follow the steps above, and use a jewellery polishing cloth to keep it bright and clean between wears.
To lightly clean your silver, mix a small amount dish soap with warm water and use a soft toothbrush to clean your piece in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse in fresh warm water and leave to dry on a soft cloth.
If your silver jewellery does become heavily tarnished, use Silvo Polishing Cream with a soft, non-abrasive cloth to clean and polish the piece. A microfibre cloth will often do the trick.
When working with earrings, be sure to store the backs somewhere safe, so they don't get lost in the process.
To clean your gold vermeil jewellery, wash it with a small amount of gentle washing-up soap or non-chemical soap and warm water. Use a soft (non-abrasive) cloth or jewellery cloth and gently rub the surface in a circular motion to clean. Rinse well and leave to dry on a clean cloth. Do not use a paper towel as these can scratch the surface.
When in doubt, a certified jeweller's gold cleaning solution is the safe option.
To maintain your gemstone pieces, use a combination of lukewarm water and detergent and a soft toothbrush to clean the surface.
All gemstones should then be stored in soft compartments, as harder gemstones can scratch softer ones.
For diamond pieces, have these examined by professionals on a regular basis. In time, the stones can become scratched, chipped or loose (amongst other things), but a professional jeweller can spot and fix this. For similar reasons, it is best to take your diamonds to a professional for a clean.
The other exception to the gemstone rules is pearl. Pearl is a very delicate gemstone that can get scratched with ease. To clean it, you should use a fresh makeup brush and warm soapy water, laying the pearls on a soft towel to dry after. Avoid submerging the gemstones in water or stretching the string.
You should never use baking sofa, bleach or ammonia based cleaners on your pearls.