Caring for silver jewellery
Silver has been one of the most popular metals for making jewellery for thousands of years. It is a very soft metal, which makes it a perfect material when creating jewellery designs but also makes it susceptible to damage. Therefore silver, for jewellery making purposes, is enriched with a small percentage of other metals in order to strengthen it. This is what we refer to as Sterling Silver. Pure silver is never used, as it would be too soft to be practical. The ratio of these additions to the silver expresses its purity. There is a legal standard of purity set by the assay offices in Britain (which is also used for most silver jewellery throughout the world). It means that the metal used is of a specific quality. It is referred to as 925/1000, which means that it contains a minimum of 92.5% silver and a maximum of 7.5% of refining additives. Our silver jewellery is supplemented with a layer of pure silver or rhodium, this enhances the protection of the jewellery, reduces the occurrence of allergic reactions and, in the case of rhodium, increases resistance to minor damage or scratching. Nevertheless, it is important to treat your jewellery carefully, and give it regular care to prolong the longevity (and beauty) of your jewellery. Caring for your jewellery is not complicated or expensive, just follow some basic recommendations for use and storage. It is good idea to clean your jewellery once in a while especially if there are signs of oxidation (blackening).
Recommendations for reducing the risk of damage
- Do not wear your jewellery in the sea or in chlorinated pools, in the solarium or when showering.
- Store jewellery in a dry place, this reduces the amount of oxidation and delays the appearance of blackening on the surface layer of the jewellery.
- If you do not use the jewellery for a long time, ensure that it is placed away from direct sunlight. The surface layer may become yellow as a result of the long-term effects of the sun.
- Ideally do not wear your jewellery when undertaking manual work, sport or physical exercise - this reduces the possibility of physical damage and prevents excessive contact with sweat that acts aggressively on silver.
- Avoid allowing your jewellery to come into direct contact with chemical products - creams, perfumes, hairspray, deodorant.
- Jewellery that carries gemstones should not come into direct contact with water. Contact with the water increases the risk of the gemstone falling out and reduces the strength of the binding agent used to fasten the stones in place.
- Our warranty covers manufacturing faults, but not misuse
In spite of all these recommendations, it is difficult to ensure that jewellery does not come into contact with oxidizing agents. After time, it can lead to the external oxidation of the surface of the jewellery, the most common is yellowing, scarring or blackening. However, these can be simply removed. For guidance, we have provided you with some tips on how to clean your jewellery to ensure that your jewellery continues to retain its original lustre and shine.
Recommended methods for removing oxidation effects from the surface of silver jewellery
Cleaning processes you can perform at home using commonly available detergents
Jewellery without stones:
- Wash the jewellery with warm soapy water. You can use an old toothbrush that will help you get into any hard to reach areas.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil at the bottom of a glass, plastic or porcelain bowl (not metal!)
- Fill the container with around 200 ml (approx 7 fl oz.) of hot water, preferably boiling water from a kettle or other suitable container from which you can pour it safely
- Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of table salt and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Drop your silver pieces into the water. When they settle on the aluminum foil, they should not be touching each other.
- Allow your silver to soak for two to three minutes, or as long as five minutes for heavily tarnished items
- Carefully remove your silver item (do not drag them across the foil) and rinse them. The tarnish should now be gone.
You may need to soak badly tarnished silver a second time. Alternatively, you can use only baking soda or only salt to make your silver-cleaning solution
Jewellery with stones - we recommend that you entrust the cleaning of these to specialist jewellers and jewellery cleaners.
In specialised stores, you can purchase home kits for cleaning jewellery, be sure to read the instruction manual carefully and adhere strictly to it.
If you register your jewellery, you will get an extended warranty from us. We will undertake the cleaning your jewellery once every two years, you just just pay for shipping. See the Extended warranty section for more details.