Take care of your handmade silver jewellery…
If well looked after and cared for, your jewellery will continue to look beautiful and shiny for years to come.
Following these simple guidelines can help…
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Sterling silver will tarnish with time and wear. This is a natural process know as oxidisation. This can be accelerated by several factors including the natural acidity of the wearer’s skin, perfume and cosmetic products, chlorine or a humid environment; try to avoid direct contact with any of these where possible.
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A clean soft cloth or good quality silver polishing cloth is an ideal way to keep your sterling silver jewellery tarnish free. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product you are using and be sure to avoid contact with any beads, stones or shells that are on the jewellery as they may become damaged by the cleaning product.
For Argentium silver a plain soft clean cloth is usually sufficient to keep your jewellery looking lovely and shiny. Avoid using dips or other cleaning chemicals.
If your item of jewellery has been oxidised to give it a blackened or aged finish, you are strongly advised not to clean it as this may remove the finished effect. If cleaning is absolutely necessary, try warm water and a really soft cloth, wiping very lightly with minimum amount of pressure over the oxidised areas. Dry thoroughly afterwards.
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Silver is a soft metal and is therefore vulnerable to scratches especially with heavy wear. To help reduce this, avoid wearing your jewellery whilst doing manual work or in an environment where it is likely to get scratched easily.
The way in which you store your jewellery can affect its condition. Mixing up several pieces of jewellery together can result in scratches and damaged, tangled chains. Ideally it should be stored in the original box or gift bag or wrapped individually in acid-free tissue paper, a ziploc type bag or soft cloth if stored with other pieces in a large jewellery box.
Silver dips can be harsh and with prolonged or frequent use can damage solder joints and decorative areas. My recommendation would be to avoid using them.