You’re now the proud owner of a lovely new piece of silver jewellery, and with a little basic jewellery care, you can 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 more often you wear it, the less it will tarnish. Darkening of the silver is due to oxidisation. The 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. However, even 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 little basket in the container, replace the lid and shake gently for a few seconds, before removing and rinsing thoroughly in the basket under a warm running tap. Don’t leave any items in the solution or the surface of the silver will become damaged. Also don’t use it on a piece that has an oxidised or darkened effect. The product we recommend and stock is Hagerty’s Silver Clean, which lasts longer and we find to be the most effective. These products do have a shelf life however, 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 have been lovingly worn so much that they have picked up dirt and need to be neutralised. If your studs have started making the backs of your ears sore, then try this tip: Make a solution of bicarbonate of soda (about ½ a teaspoon to 1 cup of hot – but 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, 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 and jewellery care 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 as this will cause damage and remove the shine. Very soft stones, such as pearls or turquoise, can even 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 jewellery care 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 and then 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.