An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Great care has been taken in creating your jewellery to last, but proper care will help it last forever. To protect it and contribute to its longevity, the general tips below can help reduce corrosion, tarnishing, discolouration and damage to your special jewellery item.
- Always remove your jewellery when applying beauty products, such as perfume, make-up and hairspray. Or, simply put on your jewellery last when getting ready.
- Don’t shower, soak or submerge your jewellery. Chlorinated water is especially damaging as it reacts with the metals found in jewellery causing colour changes and structural damage.
- Remove your jewellery when sleeping, cooking, cleaning or while doing any manual labour to prevent physical damage or exposure to household detergents or other chemicals. Rinse off any chemicals that come into contact with your jewellery.
- Store your jewellery items individually in separate boxes, in a pouch or within a soft lined box to stop them being scratched or tangled.
- Don’t leave your jewellery exposed to sunlight or in a damp environment. Keep your jewellery in a dark, cool and dry place.
- Make sure any chains are fastened, and try to keep items apart, so they don’t rub together or tangle up.
Cleaning your jewellery regularly will help it looking as good as new. Natural skin oils, dust and pollution in the atmosphere all conspire to dull the surface of precious metals and cloud the brilliance of gemstones.
Follow the steps below to keep your gold, silver and gemstone jewellery dazzling:
- Wash in a mild solution of soap and lukewarm water.
- Use a soft bristled brush to gently brush under settings and around stones.
- Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Dry using a soft, lint-free cloth that won’t leave fuzz or threads behind.
- Make sure your jewellery is completely dry afterwards to prevent staining and corrosion.
Information about Different Precious Metals
Pure gold is the only precious metal that won’t tarnish. However, it is a relatively soft metal. To give it the properties needed, such as workability and durability, gold is usually alloyed with other metals, such as copper and silver.
Gold is available in different degrees of purity, known as carat. The higher the carat, the more gold in your jewellery. The highest carat is 24ct which is 100% pure gold.
Generally, the higher the carat weight, the softer the metal. So, for example, 9ct gold jewellery tends to be more resistant to scratching and denting than 14ct.
At Ounce Jewellery, we use 9ct gold to craft your brilliant jewellery. 9ct gold jewellery is marked with 375 which is 37.5% pure gold while the rest of the alloy is usually copper, silver and zinc. None of our jewellery contains nickel.
Yellow Gold: Yellow gold is a precious metal with warmth and lustre. To create 9ct yellow gold, pure natural gold is mixed with metals, such as copper, silver and zinc.
White Gold: Like yellow gold, white gold is achieved by combining pure gold but with different alloys, such as silver, palladium and platinum.
As the natural colour of white gold is a greyish colour, almost all white gold jewellery items are enhanced with Rhodium plating (Rhodium is a member of Platinum family, and it is very white and very hard). The Rhodium plating can greatly contribute to longevity and enhance the appearance by giving a highly reflective white surface.
Eventually, Rhodium plating will fade over time. The lifespan will depend on the skin and care habits of the wearer. Nonetheless, if you treat your white gold jewellery well and care for it properly, it will reward you with a longer life and lustrous look.
You can tell when the Rhodium plating is wearing away by the look of the item. To restore the white lustre, re-Rhodium plating is required. This procedure can be carried out by a professional jeweller.
Rose Gold: Rose gold is the result of varying the proportions of copper and silver in the alloy, resulting in a beautiful pinkish hue.
Pure silver, like gold, is too soft for everyday wear. Usually, copper is added to pure silver to give it strength while at the same time preserving the ductility of the metal and its beauty.
All of Ounce Jewellery silver items are Sterling Silver which is the most used for jewellery. Sterling Silver is marked 925, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloys, mainly copper. None of our jewellery contains nickel.
Silver tarnishes naturally over time. The amount of tarnishing (oxidation) that occurs is dependent on the skin and care habits of the wearer.
The best way to keep your silver jewellery looking great is to wear it as this stops oxidising with the air and tarnishing. Tarnishing is less likely to happen as quickly if you wear your silver jewellery regularly.
To help reduce tarnishing, more and more silver jewellery is Rhodium plated and should not tarnish. Rhodium is a member of Platinum family, and it is very white and very hard. The Rhodium plating functions as a decorative and protective layer for jewellery. It also can greatly enhance the longevity and appearance of jewellery by giving it a highly reflective white surface.
It’s, however, important to be aware that Rhodium plating will not last for an eternity. The lifespan will vary and will depend upon a number of factors, including the amount of wear the jewellery receives, the original thickness of the plating, individual body chemistry, etc.
You can tell when the plating is wearing away by the look of the item. To restore the highly reflective white lustre, re-Rhodium plating is required. This procedure can be carried out by any professional jeweller.
Finally, by following the general tips above, you can ensure that Rhodium plating lasts as long as possible.