We all need a bit of looking after every so often, and our jewellery is no different. If you follow these tips on taking care of your piece of jewellery from Lauren Grace, you’ll keep it looking good as new.
Sterling Silver Jewellery
Lauren Grace’s silver pieces are made from mostly recyled 925 sterling eco-silver. Silver is a beautiful precious metal which requires a little care to keep it looking its best.
Sterling silver naturally tarnishes with exposure to the air. Tarnished silver loses its lovely shine and turns a dark grey, sometimes black colour - it’s easiest to remove at the early stages. Tarnish is greatly accelerated by exposure to perfumes, moisturisers, soaps, hair products, perspiration etc. Humidity and chlorine are also the enemies of shiny silver!
Of course, these things are a fact of life, so here are some tips on how to keep your silver jewellery shiny and gorgeous:
Do not expose your silver jewellery to perfumes, body lotions, moisturisers or household cleaning products. Take your rings off before you apply your moisturiser, and put your necklaces, earrings and bracelets on after you have applied your makeup, hairspray and perfume.
Do not store jewellery on windowsills, or in the bathroom. Tarnishing of silver jewellery is greatly accelerated and worsened by damp and hot conditions.
Try to avoid showering in your silver jewellery and definitely avoid any chlorinated water, such as pools and jacuzzis.
Be careful on holiday - the chemicals in sunblock, direct sunlight and salt water will accelerate tarnishing.
When you are not wearing your jewellery, keep your silver pieces separate from each other, and from other jewellery, so they don’t scratch against each other. Sterling Silver likes to be stored in an airtight box, or an inexpensive ziplock bag, to prevent air and moisture from getting to it. Giving it a quick buff with a silver polishing cloth before you put your silver jewellery away will help to extend the shine.
Regular cleaning of your jewellery will keep it at it’s best.
Clean your sterling silver jewellery in warm water with a mild detergent and use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently clean away daily dirt.
Dry thoroughly with a soft, non abrasive and lint-free cloth before storing. Avoid using tissue or kitchen towel to try as it may scratch the silver.
Silver polishing cloths are also great to keep your silver jewellery sparkling on a daily basis, by cleaning off dirt and grease. We send out all of our silver jewellery with a mini polishing cloth and larger ones can be easily purchased.
Silver cleaning dips, such as Goddards, or Haggertys, are often recommended to clean tarnished silver jewellery, but even though they can remove tarnish and give a temporary shine, they work by breaking down the surface of the silver, wearing it down each time you use them and causing your jewellery to tarnish more quickly. Toothpaste can have a similar, although not as severe, effect.
Take extra care when cleaning jewellery with gemstones and pearls, as softer stones can be easily damaged.
Oxidised silver is sterling silver that has been through an chemical process to turn it black. The black surface colour is not permanent and will wear off over time, especially if your jewellery gets wet. We can re-oxidise any piece for a small charge.
Gold Vermeil Jewellery
The term gold vermeil is used to describe sterling silver jewellery that is coated with a layer of gold. In order to be described as gold vermeil, the gold must be at least 1.5 microns thick and at least 10ct in purity. Flash plated silver or gold plated onto non-precious metals such as brass cannot be described as gold vermeil.
All of our plated sterling silver and recycled eco-silver jewellery is either covered with 18ct or 22ct gold at 3 microns thick. This means that if you care for your jewellery properly, the plating will last for a long time, although the gold layer will wear away over time. The sterling silver underneath is not damaged by the plating process, and pieces can easily be re-plated. It is virtually impossible to keep the gold vermeil layer on rings intact if the rings are worn every day. If you do plan to wear a ring every day, consider getting it made in solid gold instead.
To keep your gold vermeil jewellery looking pristine for longer:
Do not expose your gold vermeil jewellery to perfumes, body lotions, moisturisers or household cleaning products. Take your rings off before you apply your moisturiser, and put your necklaces, earrings and bracelets on after you have applied your makeup, hairspray and perfume.
Try to avoid showering in your gold vermeil jewellery.
Chlorine is the sworn enemy of all gold plated jewellery. The chemical accelerates tarnishing in silver jewellery and can damage and discolour the gold layer in vermeil jewellery. Avoid wearing your gold vermeil jewellery in any chlorinated water, such as pools and jacuzzis
Be careful on holiday - the chemicals in sunblock, direct sunlight and salt water can damage the layer of gold.
To buff up the shine on your gold vermeil jewellery, gently rub with a soft polishing cloth.
Clean your gold vermeil jewellery in warm water with a mild detergent and use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently clean away daily dirt.
Never, ever put your gold vermeil jewellery in silver cleaning dips, such as Goddards or Hegarty's, as this will severely damage the gold layer.
Jewellery Cleaning & Restoring Service
If you follow the jewellery care advice above, your jewellery should remain looking fabulous for a very long time. However, if you feel that your pieces need a little professional TLC, we offer a cleaning and repair service.
Your jewellery can be returned to us for a full clean and polish. We also offer replating of our gold vermeil pieces, replacement of broken chains etc.
We can usually give a quote for repairs over email if you send us clear photographs of your jewellery.