Show Your Gems Some TLC

Posted in: Jewellery

No jewellery is indestructible. Diamonds can fracture, silver will tarnish and gold plating can erode. But you can wear your favourite piece forever providing you take care of it properly. Our How-To guide will give you some insider secrets on caring for your precious piece.

First, it is important to...

...know your metal
Is it gold, silver, platinum or palladium? Is it gold plated? Is it white gold? A little stamp on or inside the piece will tell you what the metal is. This stamp is called the hallmark. Each metal type will require a different level of care.

Jewellery Metal Types and Gold Standards

...know your gemstone
What may appear to be a light blue sapphire could in fact be a form of topaz. A white stone could be anything from diamond to moonstone to cubic zirconia. Each stone has a different level of harness and therefore a different level of resistance to wear-and-tear. An independent valuation from a specialised jewellery valuer would be able to tell what the stone is if it is an older or inherited piece.

Gemstones

10 things to do to keep your jewellery happy

(1) Jewellery is often the piece that makes an outfit. We recommend putting jewellery on last as hairsprays, perfumes and other cosmetics can cause silver to tarnish and gold plating to erode.

(2) Jewellery should be removed before the gym and any other physical chores – including housework – because it is very easy to catch a claw, snap a chain or loosen a stone. We also recommend taking your jewellery off before you go to sleep for the same reason.

(3) Jewellery should also be taken off before swimming or bathing; certain stones and metals can be damaged by chemicals and water.

(4) When you're not wearing a piece, store it individually in a soft, dry pouch and out of direct sunlight. This prevents the piece being scratched by other items and from being altered by unnecessary exposure to water or heat.

(5) Get your pieces checked over by a reliable jeweller like Charles Fish every few months or so. They'll be able to give an indication if the piece requires work - before it's too late! Things to look out for are loose stones and the discolouring of metal. They can also give the piece a professional clean to bring stones such as diamonds back to life.

Jewellery Care & Cleaning

(6) Maintaining the appearance of your jewellery through repairs like re-rhodium and claw re-tipping is a sure bet that your jewellery will last. It is better to have smaller repairs carried out rather than one large costly repair (such as replacing a diamond which has fallen out due to loose claws).

(7) Think practical when wearing your jewellery. Wearing a much loved cocktail ring to a play-date in the park is a recipe for disaster. The same can be said for a large pair of drop earrings whilst out shopping; it is far to easy to catch them whilst trying on new clothes.

(8) A simple polishing cloth and a silver or gold dip can be used to keep a piece in tip-top condition - but always check that it is suitable for your piece! Gold plating, pearls and softer gemstones should never be dipped. In this instance, warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush can be just a useful as well as a soft lint-free cloth.

(9) Keep detailed and up-to-date descriptions and photos of your jewellery in case of a theft or loss - and keep them away from the jewellery itself. This way, if the worst happens, it will be less stressful for yourself when liaising with your insurance company and the police.

(10) Be prepared that wearing something all day every day will mean more visible wear but please don't let this dishearten you. A gold plated piece can very easily (and quite cheaply) be restored back to its glory, silver can be polished back to new and stones can be replaced. Enjoy your jewellery! A piece is at its best when it is being worn and enjoyed.

If you would like advice on caring for a specific piece, call us on 0844 847 6771 or visit us in store at Canary Wharf, Chelmsford or Harlow.