Here is a quick guide on how to take care of jewellery made from different types of metal.
Gold-Plated jewellery only contains 0.03-0.05% solid gold, and this thin gold layer is added onto the base metal via electroplating. The base metal is usually made of non-gold metals such as brass or copper.
Sterling Silver(S925) jewellery consists of 92.5% silver, and the rest of it comprises copper.
Gold Vermeil jewellery has Sterling Silver (S925) as its base material. It uses a thicker type of gold plating that is more than 2.5 microns and is at least 10k (karats) or higher. This means that Gold Vermeil jewellery has a minimum of 41.7% gold. The Gold Vermeil jewellery listed on our stores are usually between 14-18k
14K/18K/Gold Filled jewellery are made of a variety of non-gold metals such as brass or copper and has a layer of gold on top. This layer of gold on top is much thicker than gold plated jewellery and gold vermeil. 14K Jewellery contains 58.3% gold while 18K Jewellery contains 75% gold.
316L Stainless Steel is best known as the material used to make surgical instruments. This hard metal resists scratches and corrosion thanks to an invisible layer of chromium that prevents oxidation
Sterling silver will tarnish over time. Silver reacts to moisture and chemicals in the air such as sulphur (in the same way it can react to perfumes and lotions on our skin). It is a completely normal and natural reaction.
Silver jewellery remains at its shiny best when worn daily or kept in a dry, air-tight box or bag. To clean any tarnishing, simply polish with your silver cloth to regain a silver finish.
Regular use of a silver cloth removes light tarnish and inhibits re-tarnishing, prolonging the original sparkle of your silver.
Silver is a soft metal, so its best to remove jewellery while cleaning or in situations where rings are likely to get knocked against hard surfaces.
Chemicals like chlorine and salt can damage silver so avoid wearing while swimming or when in the shower. Alway remove necklaces before sleeping and avoid storing in humid environments such as the bathroom.
CLEANING JEWELLERY WITH MATT / MATTE FINISHES
To keep matt finishes clean, wash gently with warm, soapy water. Make sure it is fully dry before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage. Avoid using a polishing cloth as it may remove the matt finish (if needed, just rub lightly). Matt finishes are a surface treatment so they will naturally fade with wear (becoming more shiny over time).
Tip: Gently sanding with an ultra fine sanding sponge or steel wool, in one direction, will lift the matt finish after fading.
CLEANING NECKLACE CHAINS AND DELICATE SILVER
For tarnished chains and delicate or detailed silver jewellery a silver bath or "silver dip" may be required.
It’s incredible how quickly it strips your silver of any grease or tarnish and returns it to its former glory. It is able to reach deep crevasses and fine detail, so for silver lovers this is a handy product to have at home.
It is important to rinse very well with warm water to remove any residue before drying.
Once fully dry, rub with a silver polishing cloth to help slow re-tarnishing and give the piece a brighter shine and a protective layer.
Make sure the piece is fully dry and polished before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage.
Tip: Gently brush with a soft toothbrush to remove any imbedded dirt in deep crevasses.
ANTI TARNISH TIP
If you don't have a jewellery box, we advise you keep your silver jewellery in the box it came in or inside a ziplock bag or air tight container. Add in any silica gel packs you have (often found in shoe boxes and vitamin jars) known as desiccants, they absorb moisture so will help prevent and slow tarnish.
Reduce, re-use recycle!
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 up to 5-6 times for badly tarnished pieces.
To clean your gold jewellery, wash it gently with warm, soapy water.
Allow to dry and then buff with a soft dry cloth or gold polishing cloth.
For a deeper clean, an ultrasonic cleaner or a gold immersion bath or 'gold dip' may be used.
Tip: Gently brush with a soft toothbrush to remove any imbedded dirt (be careful not to disrupt any loose stones, if present).