Every girl knows the value of gold jewellery. But perhaps not every girl knows the best way to look after their jewellery to ensure it stays as sparkling as the day it was bought. If you’re such a girl, than read on for some easy advice on how to look after your bracelets, rings and necklaces.
Let’s start with the basics of jewellery care. If you really want to ensure your gorgeous bracelet lasts as long as possible, it’s best not to wear it to bed or indeed while playing sport. This is to reduce the risk of wear and tear and breakage through accidents. Similarly, some make-ups and other cosmetics can be harmful to your jewellery. Particularly be careful about letting your jewellery come into contact with hairspray, perfume and nail polish remover.
Avoid mixing your jewellery with chlorine. That means taking off all jewellery before you go swimming which may sound a bit of a pain, but is definitely worth it in the long run. For oxidised metals and pearls, in addition to avoiding chlorine you should also ensure you never use silver polish to clean them with. Exposure to the chemicals in these products this cause the dark effect created by the oxidation process to fade.
Interestingly, for regular jewellery such as polished sterling silver, oxidation is something you will want to avoid. This is because it will tarnish the metal and leave it discoloured. A common misconception is that jewellery becomes oxidised by the air , but this isn’t actually the case. Silver can react negatively with sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide which can be found in the air and thus become oxidised. However, there are a number of sulphur compounds found in food condiments such as table salt that can also bring this about.
If you do notice that your favourite charm bracelet has become tarnished, do not despair! This can be rectified with some very careful polishing. You may use silver polishing liquid, but remember that it is abrasive and as such will slowly wear down soft metals such as silver. For regular cleaning it is advisable to just use a soft silver polishing cloth. Additionally, you bathe your jewellery in lukewarm water and use soap and a toothbrush to clean it with.
A final point to consider is that as a general rule of thumb, the purer the metal, the softer it is. That means you should take extra care over high quality jewellery such as 22 carat gold, which is far easy to scratch than 9 carrot gold which has been mixed which make it harder. Therefore try not to wear your high quality jewellery next to other pieces where they might rub against each other and cause scratching.