To keep your jewellery gleaming, it's important to show it some love. Here are some simple tips on how to take care of your pieces and to keep your jewellery in excellent condition.
Cleaning Silver Jewellery
Sterling silver jewellery naturally develops a darker patina over time due to oxidation. It is a completely normal and natural reaction known as tarnish. To slow down the process, remove your jewellery before showering and intense workouts as moisture and sweat accelerate oxidation (silver reacts to moisture and chemicals in the air such as sulphur, as it does to chemicals and moisture on our skin from lotions and perfumes).
Chemicals like chlorine and salt can damage silver so avoid wearing while swimming. Always remove necklaces before sleeping and avoid storing in humid environments such as the bathroom.
Silver jewellery remains at its shiny best when worn daily or kept in a dry, air-tight box or bag. To clean any tarnishing, simply polish with your Edge Only silver cloth to regain a silver finish. Regular use of a silver cloth removes light tarnish and inhibits re-tarnishing, prolonging the original sparkle of your silver. If you don't have a silver cloth to hand a microfibre cloth is ideal.
Note: Remove pendants from their chain before rubbing the pendant between the cloth (using a silver cloth may weaken a chain by pulling on the links, so be gentle).
Silver is a soft metal, so its best to remove jewellery while cleaning, using tools or in situations where rings are likely to get knocked against hard surfaces. Little knocks and scratches are just part of wearing and loving silver rings, bangles and bracelets (jewellery is for wearing and enjoying after all ), so we say embrace them!
To watch a short video tutorial visit our Edge Only YouTube channel silver polishing video
Cleaning Jewellery with Matt / Matte Finishes
To keep matt finishes clean, wash gently with warm, soapy water. Make sure it is fully dry before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage. Avoid over using a polishing cloth as it may remove the matt finish (if needed, just rub lightly or use a microfibre cloth). Matt/matte finishes are a surface treatment so they will naturally fade with wear (becoming more shiny over time).
Tip: Gently sanding with an ultra fine sanding sponge or steel wool, in one direction, will lift the matt finish after fading. Alternatively post them back to us and we will be happy to re-do the matt finish. Get in touch to arrange: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anti Tarnish Tip
If you don't have a jewellery box, we advise you to keep your silver jewellery in the box it came in or inside a ziplock bag or air tight container. Add in any silica gel packs you have (often found in shoe boxes and vitamin jars) known as desiccants, they absorb moisture so will help prevent and slow tarnish.
Reduce, re-use, recycle!
Natural Jewellery Cleaning Tip
If you don’t have any silver cleaner at hand, or you don't like to use chemicals, you can try the following method on all-metal pieces, such as chains or bracelets. Do not use this method on jewellery containing gemstones (the heat may cause them to crack or change colour).
Find a glass bowl, or dish suitable for the type of jewellery being cleaned, and line with aluminium foil. Place your jewellery inside the lined bowl and cover with baking soda, just enough so you can barely see the jewellery.
Next, pour hot water over the jewellery and wait for the bubbling to stop. After the solution has stopped bubbling, remove the piece, rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cotton cloth.
You may need to repeat the process up to 5-6 times for badly tarnished pieces.
Cleaning 18ct Gold Vermeil Jewellery
Gold vermeil (pronounced vur-may) is sterling silver that has been gold plated. As with sterling silver, preventive care is important for maintaining your gold vermeil jewellery.
To protect the plating from damage, avoid direct contact with cologne, perfume, soap and other beauty products while wearing your jewellery.
Store the jewellery in a dry place, ideally in a soft-lined box to protect it from scratching and impact damage. Try to keep the pieces separate, so that they don't rub together or tangle up. Gold vermeil jewellery will tarnish like silver (as it is sterling silver, plated in 18ct/24ct gold) so it is best to keep it in an airtight box or bag. Clean your jewellery with a soft microfibre cloth.
Remove gold plated jewellery before swimming, bathing or washing your hands with chemical soaps. Perfumes, creams and hairsprays can also have a negative effect, so always apply before putting on your jewellery. Always remove gold vermeil jewellery before sleep to prevent wear. As the old saying goes, "Jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off".
If you would like to clean your gold vermeil jewellery wash it with a small amount of gentle dish soap or non-chemical soap and warm water. Rinse it well and allow to dry on a cloth or paper towel. Use a jewellery cloth or a soft, non-abrasive cloth such as microfibre and gently rub the surface in a circular motion to clean. Make sure it is fully dry before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage. Avoid using a silver cloth as it will remove the gold plating!
Please note that all plating will naturally fade with wear.
**Gold vermeil is a wonderful way to have great jewellery at a reasonable price, especially for large statement pieces, but if you want to enjoy your gold jewellery for years and years, without fear of fading or tarnishing, we recommend that you invest in solid gold (plating, no matter how good, will wear off if worn regularly). Solid gold will be a design you can enjoy for life, even generations. All of Edge Only’s designs can be made in 9 carat, 14 carat, 18 carat gold or platinum should you desire. Get in touch for quotes and more email@example.com
Edge Only offers a re-plating service - simply email us with the design you wish to have re-plated and we will advise you of the small charge (please allow 2-3 weeks plus delivery). firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on gold see our Blog Tips for Buying Gold.
Cleaning Gold Jewellery
To clean your gold jewellery, wash it gently with warm, soapy water. Allow to dry and then buff with a soft dry cloth or gold polishing cloth.
For a deeper clean, an ultrasonic cleaner or a gold immersion bath or 'gold dip' may be used.
Tip: Gently brush with a soft toothbrush to remove any imbedded dirt (be careful not to disrupt any loose stones, if present).
Cleaning Black Rhodium Jewellery
Our black rhodium plated designs are hallmarked sterling silver plated in black rhodium.
As with gold vermeil, if you would like to clean your black rhodium jewellery, wash it with a small amount of gentle dish soap or non-chemical soap and warm water. Rinse it well and let it dry. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth and gently rub the surface to clean. Make sure it is fully dry before returning to it's box for storage.
Do not use a silver polishing cloth, as the silver polish will remove the rhodium plating. Plating will naturally fade with wear. As with gold vermeil, we are happy to re-plate your jewellery for you for a nominal fee.
Cleaning Necklace Chains and Delicate Silver
For tarnished chains and delicate or detailed silver jewellery a silver bath or "silver dip" may be required.
It’s incredible how quickly it strips your silver of any grease or tarnish and returns it to its former glory. It is able to reach deep crevasses and fine detail, so for silver lovers this is a handy product to have at home.
It is important to rinse very well with warm water to remove any residue before drying. Once fully dry, rub with a silver polishing cloth to help slow re-tarnishing and give the piece a brighter shine and a protective layer. Make sure the piece is fully dry and polished before returning to its box or airtight bag for storage.
Tip: Gently brush with an soft toothbrush to remove any imbedded dirt in deep crevasses.