Caring for Jewellery

Beautiful jewellery is to adorned and be adored however. Precious and semi-precious jewellery is not indestructible!  With care and a little attention, your jewellery can enjoy a long life with lots of wear and limited tear.  Here’s our advice:

Be aware of everyday wear and tear to your jewellery, rings usually suffer the most with your hands getting so much use, followed by bracelets and bangles for the same reason.  Ideally you should take off your jewellery to protect it (just don’t leave it anywhere!).  Everyday activities like picking up a cup of tea or opening a door handle, gardening or shopping, driving and even working at a computer can all be things we do which can eventually cause general wear and tear to your jewellery.

Where our hands go, so do our rings, bangles and bracelets and over time this can cause the metal to become thin.  Pure gold is soft and malleable and 9ct is the hardest gold available but it still scratches and will show signs of wear. All types of precious metals will show signs of wear in time.

Look for wear and tear to your jewellery as this can cause stones to loosen. Specifically, check the settings of your stones regularly as this is where wear and tear is most frequently seen. A stone can fall out if the setting is worn. We recommend a professional check-up annual and are happy to do this free of charge for our customers.

Most Gemstones can be gently cleaned with a soft tooth brush and weak solution of washing up liquid.  Just lightly brush over the top of the stones and then rinse in clean, cool water. We advise against poking the brush into the back of the setting, just in case a stone is loose and any dirt could end up pushed further in rather than coming out, the back of the setting needs professional attention.  Take care using this method with stones such as Lapis, Turquoise, Opals and Pearls; they are porous (the surface of the stone is like a sponge) and could be damaged.  Just buff the surface of these stones lightly with a dry cotton bud.

We do not recommend you wear your jewellery in the shower, washing up, swimming, in the gym, mending your car or rock climbing!  Your Gemstones require care as many semi precious stones can scratch or chip. Precious Sapphires and Rubies register 9 (out of 10) on the Moh’s scale of hardness but can still chip or scratch – your Gemstones are not invincible!  Diamonds are the hardest Gemstone at 10 on the Moh’s scale and although incredibly hard to scratch, can still chip. Diamonds occasionally are cut on what’s called their ‘cleavage direction’ and this can make them weak. The point of a cut Gemstone is likely to be the weakest part of its structure for example: a square or pear shaped stone can chip at its points, if knocked hard enough.

Ph levels in our skin and other chemical elements can tarnish jewellery.  Gold can be cleaned with a ‘Gold Polish Cloth’ and this will apply a shine back to the metal but it will not remove scratches. Silver can also be cleaned with a ‘Silver Polish Cloth’ but again it will remove discolouration but it won’t remove scratches.

If you’ve been wearing your jewellery for a while and it’s a little scuffed, only a professional clean and polish is recommended to remove scratches.  Brushed and Matt finishes on jewellery are not permanent, with wear the item will gradually appear more and more polished a sit rubs on items of clothing and so on (just as a highly polished item will scratch and become dull) so we offer a re-finishing service at our workshop.

Take extra care if you own Gold Plated Jewellery.  If scratched the underlying colour of the metal beneath will show through.  With this kind of jewellery, in time the Rhodium or Gold plating will wear off and for a small fee, it can quickly and easily be re plated.

Hair sprays, perfumes and lotions should be applied to the skin or hair and allowed to dry before putting on jewellery. Especially if wearing pearls.

Ensure butterflies are tight on earrings. Listen for a ‘click’ when attaching them, if this doesn’t happen we can tighten and make sure your earring post has a notch for the butterfly to nestle into.

Chains can be very delicate, so please take care not to catch them or pull on them. Always check catches are securely fastened.

We advise you to have your rings and jewellery set with stones checked regularly, especially those with claw settings. We are always happy to give your jewellery a quick check and offer free advice on the condition of items if you visit our workshop.  Look after your jewellery and with care, it will give you many years of joy.

We can repair, clean, polish and re-plate or remodel your jewellery.  If you have any questions about your jewellery, please contact us on 01225 460072, or come and see us in store.