Care and Sizing
My jewellery is made with a great deal of care and every piece is hand finished. However due to the delicate (or sharp!) nature of some of the designs they must be treated with care. With good treatment your jewellery should last for many years so here are some tips for making it last:
As a general rule, your jewellery should always be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off when you're getting dressed or putting on make-up and lotions. This will to help decrease a built-up of grime from things like moisturiser or damage from harsh ingredients found in perfumes as well as avoiding the risk of a piece snagging your clothes which could cause damage to both jewellery and garment!
I strongly recommend bringing your more precious or intricate jewellery in to be checked and cleaned every couple of years if possible. Just as your skin can become dull from exposure to pollution and general dirt, your jewellery and particularly stones can become murky when dirt builds up around the setting. You can do some cleaning following the guides below but I will be happy to give you piece a deep clean when needed.
Gold and silver are comparatively soft metals so even the most sturdy settings and fastenings can be worn down over time. When storing your jewellery it's best to store each item separately. This will ensure your pieces do not rub or scratch each other - whilst also avoiding any tangling of chains. Make sure any wrappings that you use are PH neutral and most jewellery it better kept cool and dry.
Lots of the designs from Entomology and Typography have gold plated sections. If your vermeil needs cleaning, you can use a gold polishing cloth but be gentle! I use 24ct gold vermeil plating with a considerable thickness (3 microns) but over time it will begin to fade with wear and it should not be polished too often. You can always have a piece re-plated, just email me for a quote!
Salt water can speed up the eroding process of the gold plating. You should take off your jewellery before going swimming in the sea, or before doing anything where your are likely to perspire - sweat is salty too!
Silver is quite maleable and so some designs can be squeezed to fit though it is best to avoid bending too often as this will eventually weaken the metal. Silver will naturally tarnish and oxidise over time as it's exposed to light and air and heat during day-to-day wear. You can keep your silver shiny and new buy giving it an occasional buff with a silver polishing cloth which is available from many supermarkets and household shops but be careful with chains or sharp shapes.
Exposure to salty air, chlorine or materials that contain sulphur (including some papers) can accelerate the oxidising effect but wearing your silver jewellery everyday means it often polishes with wear!
If a plain silver piece without stones becomes dirty, a quick wash in warm water with a mild detergent and a soft toothbrush should dislodge the daily grime but avoid soaking and dry immediately with a soft cloth before finishing with a silver polishing cloth. If your piece needs a little more than that, send it to me for a deep clean, free of charge.
Some of my pieces are cast in 9ct yellow, rose and white gold. This is less
likely to tarnish than Sterling Silver but it can become dull over time or grime can get trapped in the design.
Often the best way to remove dirt from your gold pieces looking bright is a gentle wash in warm water with a mild detergent and a soft toothbrush followed by a quick buff with a gold polishing cloth.
Please avoid exposing your gold jewellery to bleach, hot chlorine (like jacuzzis!) or similar substances as this can cause discolouration and corrosion.
Stone Set Jewellery
Please keep an eye on your stone set jewellery so that a loose setting can be repaired immediately without losing the stone. A setting can become loose if it gets a hard knock or from long wear.
Be careful when cleaning your stone-set jewellery, as loose stones may be prone to further damage.
If you think a piece of stone-set jewellery needs a clean or a setting needs adjusting, just pop into our shop and I'll send it off for a professional clean - free of charge.
These stones include emeralds, opals, turquoise and lapis and could only be cleaned with great care in water.
Opals particularly should never be left in direct sunlight and could be stored wrapped in a soft, PH balanced cloth.
Even diamonds can be dulled by a build up of lotions and dirt so a gentle rinse in warm water with a soft toothbrush can help maintain sparkle in between professional cleaning - an interdental brush can help to get inside raised settings but avoid forcing it if it feels tight.
Exposure to chlorine can cause damage in the settings, particularly with grain set pieces so do keep your pieces in a locker wrapped in a soft, PH balanced cloth whilst swimming.
Earrings with a scroll or butterfly back to hold them in place should feel firm. They can become crushed or misshapen over time which could cause them to become loose.
If in doubt, bring them in and we have replacements available if necessary.
Please do not store earrings loose in a purse or pouch as the posts can become bent and weakened from straightening. Most jewellery cases have appropriate earring pads with pierced holes for storage or you can make a home made version with a sponge in a small box.
Do not wear necklaces or bracelets in bed as you can easily snag them in your sleep causing damage to the jewellery and potentially entangling yourself!
Many clasps, for example bolt or lobster clasps, have a small steel spring inside which can be damaged by excessive exposure to water or simple wear over time. If you notice that the the clasp feels loose please send it to me so I can assess if it needs to be replaced for a small fee.
If your silver chain has accumulated grime between the links and you are not able to bring it in to be cleaned you might use a soft toothbrush and a foaming toothpaste whilst keeping the clasp dry. Pat the chain dry with a soft cloth, do not pull it as this could stretch the links, and then buff with a polishing cloth avoiding tugging the chain.
I hope that helps but feel free to email me if you have any concerns or queries about how to look after a specific piece!