GENERAL CARE AND STORAGE ADVICE

 

  • Store jewellery in a clean and dry place, away from sunlight. Keep items in separate boxes / pouches to prevent scratching. If wrapping in tissue paper, ensure it is acid-free.

  • Please be aware that natural wear and tear / surface scratches are normal with all jewellery items. 

  • Keep jewellery away from cosmetics and perfumes as they may cause metals to tarnish and discolour. 

  • Remove jewellery before playing sports and before swimming as chlorine and perspiration can speed up the tarnishing process. 

  • Avoid contact with abrasives and harsh cleaning products - remove rings when using household cleaning equipment and chemicals.

  • To clean jewellery, use mild soapy water with a soft toothbrush, cotton ball or soft cloth if necessary - check advice on specific materials and finishes. 

MATERIALS / FINISHES

 

Silver (Polished/Satin/Matte):

Silver may tarnish and discolour over time. To slow this process, keep jewellery away from moisture and chemicals. Scratches and light surface wear is normal and matte silver finishes will shine up over time with regular wear, while polished finishes may develop scratches and become more matte in appearance. Clean with mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush or silver cloth. Silver dip can be used on raw silver finishes but should be avoided on items with mixed finishes such as part-plated or part-oxidised silver.

Oxidised silver:

This is silver which has been chemically treated to bring out a dark grey colour on the surface - this finish is more resistant to tarnish but may gradually polish up to a lighter silvery grey over time, depending on how the piece is worn. To prolong the dark colour, keep jewellery away from chemicals and abrasives and take particular care with rings. To clean, simply use mild dish soap and a soft toothbrush or cloth. Do not use silver dip on this type of finish. It is usually possible to have pieces re-oxidised - please get in touch to discuss this if required.

Keum-Boo:

This is an ancient Korean technique, meaning “attached gold"; a thin layer of 24ct gold foil is applied to the surface of the silver through heat and pressure to produce a permanent bond. This gold layer may scratch if harsh chemicals or materials are used - if very gentle cleaning is required, simply use mild soapy water or a soft dry silver cloth or cotton ball. Do not use silver dip with this type of finish. 

Gold Plated Silver: 

The thin layer of gold-plating may wear away over time to reveal the silver underneath - how long plating lasts can depend on the oils and acidity level of your skin. Take special care to keep plated jewellery clean and dry and away from chemicals and cosmetics, and remove before showering or playing sports. Do not use silver dip with this type of finish. Clean very gently with a soft cloth/cotton wool ball. It is usually possible to have items re-plated - get in touch to discuss this if required. 

Heat-treated Silver:

Some items have a matte white finish with dark edges (I call this heat-treated as it is achieved through repeated heating and quenching of the silver). These have been sealed with an anti-tarnish lacquer to prolong the unique surface finish but special care should be taken to avoid contact with perfumes and chemicals which may remove the lacquer and tarnish the silver. This finish may develop into a more silvery grey colour over time, depending on how the piece is worn. Do not use silver dip with this type of finish and clean only with a clean, dry soft silver cloth.  

Spray-Painted surfaces:

Spray-paint is applied in multiple thin layers, rubbed back and then finished with a matte sealant when I am happy with the colour. Extra care should be taken with abrasives, cosmetics and perfume around spray painted finishes - nail varnish remover in particular should be avoided at all costs! Avoid too much handling and try to keep jewellery clean and dry. If taken care of, spray painted finishes can last very well, particularly on items like drop earrings and pendants where the painted part is not in contact with skin, or on statement items which are not worn all the time. If cleaning is required, use a soft microfibre cloth or mild soapy water. Do not use silver dip with this type of finish. Each spray painted finish is entirely unique but items can usually be re-sprayed with similar colours if necessary - get in touch to discuss this if required. 

9ct and 18ct Gold:

Gold can tarnish and scratch so avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives to prolong lustre. Gold can be cleaned with mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush, or by using a gold polishing cloth.

COPYRIGHT © RUTH LAIRD 2020
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