A professional should regularly check jewellery for damage or wear. If you have any concerns about your jewellery condition, take it to your local member of the NAJ. They will take great pride in helping you keep yours looking as good as the day it was bought. Here are a few tips on some of the things you can do to keep it in great shape:
- Take your jewellery off if you're involved in any activity which could scratch, knock or damage it. If in any doubt, take it off and keep it safe.
- Take it off when you go to bed.
- Keep it well away from chemicals, especially chlorine. If it does come into contact with chemicals, rinse it in water immediately.
- Bathe and apply any lotions or perfumes before you put your jewellery on. Organic gemstones like pearls and opals are particularly vulnerable to acids, even perspiration.
- Store it separately, ideally in a soft-lined box or case, so that your favourite pieces don't tangle, rub or scratch one another. Pearls in particular should be kept separately as they are easily scratched by hard gemstones.
- Make sure chains and necklaces are fastened when storing to avoid tangling.
- Remove jewellery while cooking and cleaning.
- When storing jewellery, please keep it away from sunlight, excessive heat or damp conditions.
Silver is subject to tarnishing over time, resulting in dull or even black jewellery. Tarnishing occurs when silver is exposed to oxygen and sulphur in the air. It is unavoidable, but, thankfully, it doesn't damage the metal and can be removed easily with cleaning.
How to prevent tarnishing:
Simply wearing your silver jewellery will slow the process of tarnishing. Being careful with how you store and wear the silver will also help reduce the speed of tarnishing.
- Remove silver rings and bracelets when washing your hands. Residue from soap and hand gels can result in a dull surface.
- Keep silver jewellery in separate airtight bags.
- Avoid humid environments.
However, when the metal begins to look dull or starts to turn black, it is time to get the cleaning products out to get the jewellery looking like new.
How to clean silver:
The simplest way to clean silver is to buy a specialist cleaning solution or cloth. There are numerous examples on the market. Just make sure that they have been specifically designed for cleaning silver. Silver cleaning cloths should be soft and infused with anti-tarnishing agents.
If you don't have specialist cleaners at home, then do not fear as there are household options to get your silver shining. A bowl of lukewarm water and a few drops of washing-up liquid will help remove tarnishing.
- Soak the silver jewellery for ten minutes in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of washing-up liquid.
- Gently scrub the silver with a soft, clean brush.
- Rinse in clean, warm water.
- Leave to air dry.
For more stubborn tarnishing, you can use a white vinegar and water mix.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl.
- Soak a clean toothbrush in the solution and gently brush the affected areas of silver.