Just like everything in life, jewellery should be looked after. It's an investment and with lots of love and care it can even out live you and be passed on for generations.
Follow my 5 top tips to keep your jewellery looking sparkly for years to come.
Jewellery should be the last thing you put on when you're dressed and ready to go. That way you avoid exposing it to perfumes, make-up, creams or any other beauty products. Household chemicals must also be avoided as they can be very abrasive to precious metal and gemstones.
Avoid getting your jewellery wet
Take off all jewellery before washing your hands, having a shower or going swimming. Water can wear off gold-plating and loosen gemstones it can also cause jewellery to loose it's shine, and can be very damaging to gemstones like opals and pearls, especially if it's chlorinated or salt water.
Clean your jewellery regularly
Silver will tarnish over time, and especially if it's in your jewellery box and hasn't been worn for a while. It's a natural process and occurs when silver is exposed to oxygen and sulphur in the air. Silver can be stored in plastic zip lock bags or anti-tarnish bags to reduce the speed of tarnishing. It's also very easy to remove with anti-tarnish polishing cloths. I recommend Talk Town for all jewellery cleaning products.
Gold vermeil is thick layer of electroplated gold over sterling silver. I prefer gold vermeil over gold plated jewellery because it is more durable. For a piece of jewellery to be classed as gold vermeil it must have a thickness of over 2.5 microns of gold, where-as gold plated jewellery mostly has a very thin layer of gold.
My gold vermeil jewellery is plated with 4- 5 microns of recycled gold on recycled sterling silver. It is a much cheaper alternative to solid gold - but it does need a lot of care and attention. When cleaning gold vermeil jewellery use a soft polishing cloth and avoid rubbing too hard or using soapy water. If the gold wears off over time, you can always have your jewellery re-plated.
I would always recommend having your jewellery professionally cleaned by a jeweller at least once a year.
Store your jewellery correctly
Jewellery can get damaged or scratched when being stored, so effective storage is super important. Gold and silver should be stored separately to avoid scratching. Gemstone jewellery should also be stored separately as some gemstones are very soft and can chip easily. Padded compartment jewellery boxes are a great way to stop jewellery from scratching or loosing stones. Jewellery pouches are also great to seperate jewellery.
Rotate your jewellery
Precious jewellery can last a lifetime. However, the more you wear it, the more chance there is for damage to occur, and it shouldn't really be worn 24/7. I would always recommend rotating your jewellery. Pop your favourite pieces back in your jewellery box for a while and show some love to some other pieces to keep them t all looking good for years to come.