EC One’s Guide to Keep Your Jewellery Sparkling
- Keep your jewellery clean – with silver, gold and platinum jewellery you can use a soft toothbrush, lukewarm water and some washing up liquid to take away any residues of, for example, hand cream, soap and everyday dirt (more details below)
- Always store your jewellery individually in the packaging it came in or a jewellery box, to avoid tangled chains or tarnishing
- Check your jewellery regularly for any wear and tear – check necklace clasps are still secure and any stones which are set in rings or pendants
Try really hard not to…
- Expose your jewellery to any chemicals such as household cleaners and perfumes as these could cause damage and discolouration to the surface of your jewellery (that means ‘no’ to cleaning any of your jewellery with vinegar, gin and coca cola, which can be very acidic!)
- Wear your jewellery during activities such as exercising or gardening to avoid knocking or scratching.
- Let it have prolonged contact with hard or abrasive surfaces. Avoid carrying heavy bags when wearing delicate rings or bracelets as these can cause damage or misshapen your jewellery.
Special finishes explained
Gold plating (also called Gold vermeil): Some of our fashion pieces are sterling silver with a gold plated finish. This process is achieved by microns of gold being fused to the surface of the silver. Gold plating is a surface finish so it can be susceptible to wear, but if looked after correctly signs of wearing should only occur over a long period of time. Avoid wearing gold plated jewellery when swimming or bathing, and remove rings before applying hand cream as the acids in moisturisers can affect the longevity of the plating. Perfumes can also affect gold plated necklaces, so allow your perfume to dry before putting on gold plated jewellery. Gold plating is available in the EC One workshop for already plated pieces or silver items you might wish to plate.
Rhodium plating: Some of our precious white gold pieces are rhodium plated to give a brighter white or darker blackened finish to the metal. This is a surface finish so it can be susceptible to wear. Like gold plating avoid wearing rhodium-plated jewellery when swimming, washing or during ‘hands-on’ tasks. Jewellery can be re-rhodium plated in the EC one workshop.
Matt and polished finishes: When a piece of jewellery has a matt finish – a smooth, non-shiny surface – you may find over time the surface starts to become polished. Similarly, polished rings will take on subtle surface marks with wear, and their appearance will dull slightly. If this happens, both finishes are easy to achieve, and we are able to re-finish items for you in our workshop.
Cleaning your jewellery at home
Tarnish: Silver can tarnish (turn dull or grey) over time if unworn or stored against other items of jewellery. Tarnish can be removed with a non-abrasive silver polishing cloth or liquid silver dip. Both are available from Supermarkets and/or shoe repair shops. We’d recommend that silver dip is only used occasionally as over-use can be detrimental to your jewellery. Full instructions for use will be given on the packaging.
Sparkle: To get your jewellery sparkling again (with the exception of opals, pearls and emeralds, as these are porous) leave to soak for a short time in a bowl of warm water with a mild liquid detergent. Then, using a soft bristle toothbrush gently clean over the surface and in and behind any stone settings. Avoid harder bristled brushes or new toothbrushes as these can leave scratches on the surface of the metal. Rinse the piece under running water and use a soft cloth to dry the piece. Be careful if the diamonds are in claw-settings as these may catch on certain cloths.
Pearls: The golden rule with all pearl jewellery is to put it on as the final touch – after you have dressed, styled your hair and applied your make-up. Avoid wearing pearl jewellery when bathing, allow all creams to soak in and perfumes to dry before putting on any pearl jewellery – this will also keep any chains, ring shanks or earring settings which feature pearls clean. When you remove your pearl jewellery, wipe it over with a lint-free cloth to remove any surface dirt and gently polish the pearls.
Pearls can be cleaned using a very mild detergent and water solution, and a soft cloth. Avoid chemicals or strong soapy cleaners and abrasive cloths and do not leave the pearls to soak. When clean, allow your pearls to air dry.
Store strings or pearls and pearl jewellery in a soft bag made from chamois leather, velvet or the equivalent. If you wear a string of pearls regularly, make sure you have them re-strung once a year; a regular 16″ single strand can cost approximately £45 to be re-strung. Likewise, a pearl necklace which may not have been worn for sometime should be checked for any wear before being worn.
Cleaning Gemstones whether at EC One or at home
There are many different gemstones, all with individual characteristics, colours, cuts and care-guides. Below we have outlined the most popular gemstones used in the jewellery sold at EC One, and how we are able to clean them or what you can do at home.
Emerald: Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner, due to its brittle nature. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Opal: Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner, as opals are soft porous stones which can crack under extreme changes of heat or atmosphere. At home, use a dry or damp cloth to clean the surface of the stone.
Peridot: Cannot be cleaned in our ultrasonic cleaner. Use a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Tanzanite: Cannot be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use warm, soapy water and dry with a soft clean cloth.
Topaz: Cannot be cleaned using our Ultrasonic cleaner. Use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Garnet: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner (a warm liquid solution bath which ‘shakes’ trapped dirt and removed grease from the surface of jewellery). At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Ruby: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush with warm, soapy water. Ammonia-based cleaners are OK to use. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Sapphire: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. Use a soft toothbrush with warm, soapy water, ammonia-based cleaners or rubbing alcohol. Dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Tourmaline: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth
Diamond: Can be cleaned in our Ultrasonic cleaner. At home, use a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Dry with a soft clean cloth.