We stock a wide range of jewellery both online and in store, and so we know the importance of proper jewellery care to keep your items looking as bright and sparkly as the day you purchased them. Across our jewellery range we have pieces that are silver plated, gold plated and made from sterling silver. Some items are set with a range of semi-precious stones, enamel and freshwater pearls which also need to be cared for correctly. 

Most people are aware of the way that silver can tarnish over time and can become almost completely black in colour as it reacts with the air around it. This is caused by the other metals which make up the alloy of sterling silver; it is essential to mix the pure silver with other metals as it is naturally very soft and needs the harder metals to ensure it is strong enough to withstand being worn. To try and avoid this tarnishing, some jewellery manufacturers have come up with alternative silver alloys such as Argentium, used in these beautiful quatrefoil pieces here by Ancestors of Dover.  Argentium silver is tarnish resistant so it will not oxidise as easily, and so can be a good choice if it is an item you don’t think you will wear on a regular basis.

Argentium Quatrefoil Jewellery

However, if you can’t find these silver alternatives there are some easy ways to keep your silver shining.

-          Avoid using chemical products around your jewellery such as perfumes, hair sprays and cleaning products as they can also react with the metal.

-          Avoid wearing or keeping them in humid or wet environments (such as the shower) as the moisture will speed up the tarnishing process.

-          When your jewellery does look like it needs freshening up there are some chemical cleaners out there that you can use such as silver cloths and silver dips. There can work very effectively but ensure that they are appropriate for the piece of jewellery as some stones, in particular pearls, will not react well to these chemicals.

-          It is often the case with items that receive heavy wear such as rings and bracelets that a layer of fine scratches build up and remove the shine of the metal. If this is the case then it will be worth taking it to a jeweller who will be able to polish the item to bring it back to its original state.

 If your jewellery is instead plated with either silver or gold plating then it requires a higher level of care. Unfortunately the plating will not last forever but how long it lasts is dependent on how much you wear it and how well you care for it. To help you with that follow these top tips:

-          Avoid using chemical products around your jewellery such as perfumes, hair sprays and cleaning products as they can react with the plating and wear it away.

-          Do not use any chemical cleaners on the jewellery as this will have a negative effect on the life of the plating. If you need to clean it then water and a clean cloth will do.

-          Unfortunately it cannot be polished if it starts to dull, but a jeweller may be able to redo the plating, particularly if it is a gold plated on a silver base.