Our jewellery care guide has been created to inform you about the best way to care for your gold, silver and plated jewellery. Many factors can influence the longevity of your jewellery; follow our simple tips to keep it looking its best so that you can enjoy it for years to come.
As a rule of thumb, your jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off when getting dressed and avoid contact with alcohol-based products, such as perfume, hairspray or sunscreen.
Avoid swimming or showering whilst wearing your jewellery as chlorine, saltwater and fresh water can damage precious metals and gemstones by dulling, discolouring or eroding them. Soapy water when bathing and showering can also leave a thin film, which makes the metal seem dull.
Understanding your Gold Jewellery
The purity of gold is measured in carats; 24ct is pure gold and any carat below this is gold mixed with other alloys.
24ct gold is very soft so jewellers usually use 18ct or 9ct gold as the mixed alloys make the metal much stronger for setting stones, adding design details and make them suitable for wearing.
18ct gold is made with 750 parts of gold and 350 parts of alloy or other metals. 9ct gold is made with 375 parts of gold and 625 parts of alloy or other metals which makes it the most durable gold jewellery, suitable for daily wear and most resistant to scratching.
By mixing different colour alloys with the gold, you can achieve different colour gold which is how we create white gold and rose gold. By definition, it isn’t possible to find 24ct white or rose gold as it isn't naturally formed.
Caring for your Gold Jewellery
Gold jewellery can be restored to its former shine by polishing with a soft, lint-free cloth or by using an ultrasonic cleaner.
Use our Gold Polishing Cloth to bring the shine back to your piece of jewellery.
Chlorinated water (from swimming pools or hot-tubs) and household cleaning products can all damage your gold jewellery so it is best to remove it before swimming.
If your gold jewellery has any gemstones or other metal, check how to care for these before cleaning.
Understanding your Silver Jewellery
Pure silver is a soft metal that is far too soft to be made into silver jewellery that could withstand daily wear and tear. Therefore, most silver jewellery comprises sterling silver, an alloy of silver, strengthened by other metals.
The standard sterling silver (925) alloy is a reference to its composition; 925 parts per thousand silver, 75 parts per thousand other metals, often copper. This enables beautiful silver jewellery pieces to be created without losing any of their splendour.
Cleaning your silver jewellery
Oxygen, perfume, chlorinated or salt water and household cleaning products can all damage or tarnish your silver jewellery.
Tarnishing is where the silver metal darkens due to oxidisation but it is easily rectified. Regular wear of silver jewellery will naturally stop the metal from tarnishing. You can also use a soft lint-free cloth or one of our Silver Polishing Cloths.
Silver is a strong enough metal that it can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner.
Make sure you check how to clean any stones or other metals in the piece of jewellery before you start.
Understanding your Plated Jewellery
Plated metals generally use a non-precious base metal which is then coated in a layer of the precious metal to create the illusion of the precious metal.
Cleaning your Plated Jewellery
To clean your plated jewellery, very lightly wipe away any dirt with a lint-free cloth, heavy pressure could start to remove the plating. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner, this will remove the plating and change the colour of your jewellery.
Plated jewellery should never be submerged in water as this can remove any coating used to enhance the jewellery. You should always remove plated jewellery before cleaning, showering or swimming as the water can damage the jewellery.
Avoid any alcohol-based products touching the plated area; let any perfume or moisturisers be absorbed before putting on your jewellery.
Earrings posts and backs
Tightening Earring Butterfly Backs:
Butterflies earring backs can become loose with everyday wear, pulling them off and putting them back on with regular frequency create warps in the metal causing them to loosen.
This can easily be restored by gently squeezing the two circles of metal back together, either with fine pliers or a very strong finger grip, the circles will close together and make the grip on your earring post tight again.