General jewellery care
Your jewellery should be the last thing you put on after all your lotions & potions and the first thing you remove after a long day (or night!)
Try not to let your pieces rub up against each other, other types of metal, or any harsh surfaces - they might get scratched. Don't expose them to too much weight or force. You should also avoid harsh chemicals from coming into contact with your jewellery - and you!
It's a great idea to store your pieces in small boxes or pouches when they're not being worn to help keep them clean and prevent them from becoming tangled (believe me - it's annoying when that happens!).
Tarnishing is a natural process which is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with various types of metal. If your once shiny metal has turned dark, this is likely to be the reason why. Understanding tarnish is key to cleaning your jewellery.
All precious metals can tarnish to some degree. Platinum and pure gold are the most tarnish-resistant metals and should show minimal if any tarnish.
Sterling silver jewellery tarnishes relatively easily, meaning it will turn a brown, grey or black colour over time. The reason sterling silver tarnishes more easily than other metals is because of its alloying with copper, this has the benefit of making the metal harder and much more suitable for making jewellery than pure silver.
Preventing tarnish on silver
Wearing your silver jewellery regularly can help to slow down the process of tarnishing as the metal moving against your skin and itself will help to keep it clean.
Keep pieces dry when not being worn.
Cleaning your jewellery
Unless otherwise stated, your jewellery can be cleaned with mild soap, warm water and a soft toothbrush - this will remove most everyday dirt and grime.
These magic cloths are great for cleaning tarnish from your jewellery. They are impregnated with chemicals which remove tarnish and are soft enough to not scratch the metal.
These are generally the safest option to remove tarnish from your precious metal jewellery. To remove tarnish rub your jewellery gently with the polishing cloth, doing your best to get into crevices. You'll find the cloth getting black marks on it as the tarnish is removed - you can keep use these cloths until they are black - they shouldn't be washed.
Please don't rub bicarb, toothpaste or any other harsh cleansers into your jewellery. This actually removes metal from the surface, causing scratches and over time will deplete the precious metal content. Honestly just don't use them!
Special Considerations for Gemstones:
Most gem set jewellery can still be cleaned using warm water and a gentle colourless detergent to remove dirt and grime. You can also use a soft brush or cloth.
Jewellery with hard gemstones such as diamonds, rubies and sapphires is generally safe to clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, but other softer gemstones may not be. If you're not sure, avoid using an ultrasonic with gemstones.
Never use ultrasonic cleaners with pearls, turquoise, opal, lapis lazuli and other soft gemstones as they are porous.
Pearls in particular can be discoloured by soap, perfume and make up, so take extra care with them.