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To keep your pearls in top condition:
- Always put your pearls on last, just before going out, after you have applied any make-up, hairspray or perfume. The chemicals in beauty products are often slightly acidic and may damage your pearls. In addition, beware of vinegar in salad dressings and chlorine from swimming pools.
- Since pearls are an organic gemstone, they are particularly soft and delicate and can easily be scratched, cracked, and damaged. Pearl jewellery, therefore, should be removed when doing heavy work.
- Do not store pearls in airtight boxes, plastic bags or with other jewellery that might scratch them.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to heat and/or the sun.
- It is a good idea to wipe your pearls with a soft, damp cloth before putting them away, to remove the sweat and dirt that will accumulate over time.
- Do not use any chemicals to clean your pearls. Even a very mild soap is best kept away from your pearl jewellery.
- Have your pearls restrung once a year if they are traditionally knotted on to silk and you wear them often*.
*If you have bought a hand-knotted pearl necklace or bracelet from Sugarpuss London within the last year and want your pearls restrung for free, then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Silver should be kept absolutely dry. If you wear your silver jewellery frequently, keep it away from excessive exposure to air and store it in a good quality jewellery box or tarnish proof pouch.
- Objects that are silver-plated or gold vermeil (gold-plated on to silver) must be cleaned with the same care as solid metals.
- Remove all silver jewellery before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on silver jewellery, making it appear dull and dingy.
- As with pearls, a soft, lint free cloth is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your silver pieces lustrous and shining.
- Avoid chlorine, as it can permanently damage or discolour your silver jewellery.
- The most common tarnish-causing elements are wool, felt, food (eggs, onions, mayonnaise), rubber bands, latex gloves and certain paints. Tarnish is accelerated in a humid environment. Oily salts from fingers can also tarnish silver. You can remove light tarnish by using Fairy liquid and water. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush, such as an old toothbrush. After brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry. Frequent light cleanings are preferable to waiting until the tarnish gets so stubborn that more abrasive polishes have to be employed.
- Be particularly careful when attempting to clean silver jewellery set with gemstones, as some stones require special cleaning procedures.
Gold jewellery should be cleaned regularly to maximise its beauty and shine.
- Remove all gold jewellery before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on gold jewellery, giving it a dull appearance.
- A soft, lint free cloth is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your gold pieces lustrous and shining.
- Be particularly careful of chlorine. Chlorine can permanently damage or discolour gold jewellery.
- You can remove light tarnish by using Fairy liquid and water. For more serious tarnish stains, use water mixed with a few drops of ammonia, available over the counter at a pharmacy. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush, such as an old toothbrush. After brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry. Be particularly careful when attempting to clean any gold jewellery set with gemstones, as some stones require special cleaning procedures.
Gemstones (including porous stones, such as opals and turquoise)
- Store fine jewellery and loose gems in separate padded compartments or wrapped in soft lint free cloth to prevent scratching, chipping and entanglement.
- Remove gemstone jewellery – especially rings and bracelets – when doing heavy or dirty work, otherwise you may subject them to harsh blows, abrasives and unnecessary dirt.
- Porous stones, such as opals, pearls, coral, amber and turquoise should be kept away from dirty water and oils to avoid discolouration. Wipe them gently with a soft, damp cloth and remember to take jewellery containing these stones off when doing household chores or playing sports. These stones should also be kept away from products such as sunscreen and hairspray and should not be worn to a beach, or other hot, extreme environment.
- If you use hand lotions or creams, let them sink in thoroughly before putting on any rings or bracelets that contain precious or semi-precious gemstones, as the chemicals may affect them or oils build up around them.
- Many ‘collector gems’, such as opals, pearls, amber and turquoise are heat sensitive. It is a good idea, therefore, not to leave them sitting in hot sunlight, near radiators etc. Once an opal begins to craze, for example, it is usually unsalvageable.
- Nonporous gemstones can be washed gently with a weak solution of Fairy liquid, make sure to rinse them with clean lukewarm water afterwards and then dry them with a soft, lint free cloth.
- Ethiopian opals will lose their colour if not treated with respect: follow the guide for porous gemstones above.
- Do not sleep with gemstone jewellery on!
A special note about malachite
Malachite is a relatively soft stone, sensitive to both heat and acids. To clean, rub lightly with a soft, dry, polishing cloth. An optional dab of olive oil will produce a beautiful shine. Never place jewellery containing malachite into an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. It is also best to keep malachite away from water, as it can remove its protective polish.
If you have any questions on how to care for your jewellery, please contact us at: email@example.com