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Jewellery Care

GENERAL JEWELLERY CARE


This fashion jewellery is handmade and therefore delicate, special care is required. Store your jewellery carefully in the box or satin bag it came packaged in and polish crystals with a soft cloth to maintain their original lustrous finish. Jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing to come off to avoid snagging on clothes.


Preventing Tarnish


Tarnishing is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with precious metal.
All precious metals can tarnish to some degree. Platinum and pure gold are the most tarnish-resistant metals. You may hear that pure or fine silver doesn't tarnish, but that isn’t true - it does, just more slowly and in a less noticeable way than sterling silver.
It is normal for sterling silver to tarnish. This is because the silver has been alloyed with copper, which has the benefit of making the metal harder and more suitable for a wider variety of uses than pure silver, which is very soft. However, the downside is that copper tarnishes easily.
Wearing a design 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.
All jewellery can be cleaned as needed with tarnish removers, along with warm soapy water to remove dirt and grime. To remove tarnish you can use a metal polishing cloth, which is impregnated with chemicals which help to remove tarnish and are soft enough to not scratch the metal. You can use these cloths until they are black - they shouldn't be washed.
Avoid contact with deodorant, perfume, creams etc. as they can also tarnish your jewellery.


Textile Cord & Ribbon: Necklaces made from natural thread can be hand washed with warm soapy water, taking care to rinse thoroughly.
If it is laid flat or hung up it will dry straight. It can also be ironed using the silk setting on your iron.


Silversilk & Snake Chain: These chains should be stored flat and never be bent beyond its natural curve.


PRECIOUS METALS

Sterling Silver: is a mixture of pure silver and some other metal, usually copper. The resulting alloy gives the silver strength. The standard is at least 92.5% silver. Hence the .925 stamp you see on some sterling silver items.

Zamak: is a family of alloys with zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper, it is silver plated. Does not change colour or cause allergies.

Silver-Plated: A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid silver. When an electric current is applied, a thin layer of silver is deposited on the metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the colour) on findings can wear off. For occasional jewellery wear this finish is adequate.



Gold-Vermeil: (Pronounced: Vermay) is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most vermeil is plated with 22K-24K gold. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled, is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the base is sterling silver.



Gold-Filled: These jewellery items are not actually filled with gold. They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process. Effectively a thick coat of gold: the gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. Used for high quality jewellery and usually made with 14k gold as it is hard wearing. With reasonable care it will not peel or flake, and should last as long as solid 14k gold jewellery. It is safe for most people with sensitive skin.



Gold-Plated: A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the colour) on findings can wear off. For occasional jewellery wear this finish is adequate.



Gold jewellery reacts with chlorine. Never take your gold jewellery into a pool or spa.



Allergies: Some people have allergic reactions to some plating. 

The most common is nickel-plating- possibly up to 10% of people react to nickel. Unfortunately nickel is used to colour gold, as an alloy, and sometimes in the electroplating process. If allergy is a problem, choose designs with sterling silver, vermeil, or gold-filled finishes.

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