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Caring for your jewellery

You're now the proud owner of a lovely new piece of silver jewellery.  How do you keep it looking as good as new?

 

Cleaning plain silver jewellery

Silver is a fickle metal, either liking to be out and about being worn and shown off, or else kept in the dark in a box, or wrapped in acid-free tissue, away from humidity and temperature extremes.  

The best thing about silver, is that the more often you wear it, the less it will tarnish.  Darkening of the silver is due to oxidisation; our best advice is to polish your jewellery on a regular basis to avoid it becoming very tarnished, and to wear it often, so the natural acids in your body slow the tarnishing process.  Still, with the best will in the world, your jewellery will at times need a little care, so here are some tips for keeping your jewellery sparkling and beautiful:

Fine chains for pendants can be dipped in silver dip.  Place them in the basket, replace the lid and shake gently for a few seconds, before removing and rinsing thoroughly under a warm running tap - don’t leave any items in the solution any longer than required, and this will damage the surface of the silver.  Furthermore, do not use silver dip on a piece which has an oxidised or darkened effect.  

The product we prefer and stock is Hagerty’s Silver Clean - it lasts longer and is very effective.  Bear in mind, however, that these products do have a shelf life and need to be renewed every 6 months to a year.

A word of caution: never put a stone piece into silver dip - this chemical will eat into softer stones and remove their shine.

 

Occasionally, stud earrings which have been lovingly worn alot have picked up dirt and will need to be neutralized.  

If your studs have started making the backs of your ears sore, try this tip to neutralize them: make a solution of bicarbonate of soda (about ½ a teaspoon to a cup of hot, not boiling water) and add a small piece of aluminium (some baking foil or the top from a ring pull can).  Leave the studs for 5 minutes then rinse and dry.

Larger items such as bangles, cuffs, chokers or torques and heavy chains can be buffed with a silver cloth.  If they have become very scratched or tarnished, why not bring them in to Amulet; we offer a comprehensive refurbishment service and can make most pieces like new again.

 

Stone-set pieces

Stones can vary enormously in their hardness, and need to be cleaned carefully.  Never place them in silver dip - this will cause damage and remove the shine.  Very soft stones, such as pearls and turquoise, can react to perfumes, so we always recommend putting on your perfume before your jewellery.  We also advise against wearing jewellery in a swimming pool.

Generally a silver cleaning cloth is sufficient to restore the shine - use your nail to work the cloth into the recesses around the stone setting.  Intricate pieces can be cleaned using Hagerty’s Silver Foam,  a red paste which is applied with a wet sponge and then gently worked into the corners with a soft toothbrush, before being rinsed with warm water and left to dry.  This restores the sparkle in cut stones and is great for removing everyday dirt from stone rings and pendants which are open to the back of the stone.

If you have further questions relating to the care of your jewellery, we are more than happy to advise you - please email us at sales@amuletsilver.com or call 01442 879393.