Caring for your jewellery
As with most precious metals, silver, gold, and gold plating will naturally tarnish over time giving it a lovely patina, this can enhance the look of your jewellery especially for more detailed pieces.
However a tarnished look is not always desired, to keep your jewellery looking its best there are a few prevention methods.
- Your skins natural oils and ph balance can contribute towards the tarnishing of precious metals.
- Always remove your jewellery when applying perfumes, lotions or any other skin treatments.
- Make sure your jewellery is the last thing you put on when dressing and never sleep in your jewellery.
- Avoid wearing your jewellery during any activities that may knock scratch or damage them.
- Ensure that fastenings and clasps are secure on necklaces and bracelets and that butterflies/earring backs are fixed tightly on earrings, especially taking care when changing clothing or face masks.
- Precious metals do not react well to moisture, water or chemicals therefore avoid leaving jewellery exposed in bathrooms, swimming pools or wet rooms.
- Do not wear when bathing, showering, swimming, in hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas, on the beach or while swimming in the sea, gym or anywhere that has a high moisture level.
- Ensure that you rinse any chemicals immediately that may come into contact with your jewellery.
Keep your silver, gold and gold plated jewellery separately from other items, especially costume jewellery.
This will help to avoid tarnishing, scratches, tangling and damage. You can do this by keeping it in its original box, a soft pouch bag, a plastic zip bag, wrapped in a soft cloth or air tight container, and out of direct sunlight.
Gold plated jewellery
Pieces from the Ruth Wood collection are gold plated using 5mg thick 22ct or 23ct gold plate, over 925 sterling silver.
This is a durable, high level of gold plate, however durability will depend on levels of wear & how the item is looked after. Ruth always advises for rings that if you want to live in the piece & never take it off, go for silver or solid gold as gold plating will wear. A ring is more knocked over time rather than earrings or a necklace, especially if your wearing 2 rings next to each other. Ruth is happy to re-plate any pieces purchased from her collection but gold-plating and postal charges will be applicable.
Always store your gold plated jewellery separately to your other jewellery to help protect the gold plating.
The carat of gold plating stocked at Ada Gallery varies by maker, please see the product description for further information.
- Gold plating will not tarnish but it will fade or may discolour over time.
- Extra care is needed to protect the layer of gold plating, but with the right care and maintenance it should last.
- It is at greater risk from scuffs and scratches so be sure to remove your jewellery before any hard labour or physical activities.
- Always store gold plated jewellery separate to other jewellery, especially costume. You can store it in its original box, soft pouch bag, a plastic zip bag, wrapped in a soft cloth or an air tight container, and out of direct sunlight.
- Never wear your gold plated jewellery while showering or swimming, unfortunately chlorine at high at temperatures can permanently damage your gold plated jewellery.
- Avoid lotions, potions, perfumes and any form of chemical as this can damage and discolour your gold plated jewellery.
- Should it come in to contact with any chemical or products it must be rinsed immediately.
- Always insure you dry thoroughly as moister can damage the plating.
- Gold plating should not be polished, it should be dusted with a soft 100% cotton cloth, cleaned gently with warm soapy water, (avoid antibacterial soaps and soaps containing oil), ensure that it is dried thoroughly after cleaning.
- Do not use any cleaning chemicals, polishing agents or abrasive compounds as this will damage the layers of deposited gold and cause them to wear.
Please note hand sanitiser is very damaging to gold plating and could completely remove the gold plated surface. Rings should not be worn when using hand sanitiser. Your hands must be completely sanitiser free before wearing rings.
Gold plating will fade in time and due to being a surface finish, may eventually wear off, depending on the age and care of the jewellery.
Oxidised silver jewellery
Some jewellery is oxidised to a grey or black finish which is the chemical treatment of silver to change the surface colour.
Oxidisation is not a permanent surface treatment and can wear off. Items such as earrings and brooches that sit static will maintain their black finish as long as they are cared for.
- Store your oxidised jewellery separately to other pieces to avoid it rubbing against any surfaces that may gradually wear the oxidisation.
If you would like a piece of jewellery to be re-oxidised please contact Ada Gallery, however charges and postage will be applicable.
Cleaning your jewellery
- Please make sure you clean your jewellery regularly, rather than leaving it for a long time, as it will be harder to clean.
- To clean silver, gold or gold-plated jewellery use a soft jewellery polishing cloth that is suitable for use with the specific alloys.
- You can also use warm water (not hot as this can damage stones) with a tiny bit of washing up liquid mixed into the water & gently use a soft tooth brush to clean the item. Dry well afterwards with a clean dry cloth, kitchen roll or hair dryer to avoid water stain marks.
- If you are going to use silver dip to clean just plain silver jewellery and nothing with stones, enamel, acrylic, resin, clay, gold plated or oxidised silver in etc, as it will damage them, please make sure you read the silver dip instructions first! You must only dip the plain silver item in the pot for a few seconds and you must make sure you wash it all off thoroughly with warm water. Do not get it on your hands! it is very nasty stuff, that can eat away at the metal & damage your jewellery if left on too long. I would not advise to put any silver item in it, that is intricately made with sections where the silver dip could get trapped. But if used correctly, it makes your silver look like new. Do not put any silver snake chains in silver dip, only use a silver polishing cloth to clean them.
- Another safer and environment-friendly way to clean your plain or stone set silver, gold or gold-plated jewellery is with bicarbonate of soda and hot water (use warm water if stones included) Place your jewellery in a bowl with a scrunched up piece of foil and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Pour hot water (only if no stones) into the bowl and watch as your jewellery gleams instantly, then rinse well with warm water. Dry well afterwards with a clean dry cloth, kitchen roll or hair dryer to avoid water stain marks. Do not clean any silver snake chains using this bicarbonate of soda method, only use a silver polishing cloth to clean them.
- Oxidised silver requires virtually no cleaning. Instead of using a cleaning cloth just use a soft tooth brush in soapy water. Avoid hard brushes or any abrasives as they will scratch the surface and remove the patina. Do not immerse oxidised areas in any chemicals such as jewellery cleaning solutions as this will remove the oxidisation.
We hope you love wearing and caring for your pieces that were handcrafted by our selected makers here at Ada Gallery. If you require any further information on looking after your item, please do not hesitate to contact us via our contact page.