Caring for your jewellery

Caring for your jewellery in so important to keep it as shiny and beautiful as the day you bought it. Here are some great tips on how to care for your Rock & Rose Jewellery.

Following the advice below will help maintain the shine and polish on your jewellery but please be aware that copper jewellery can change colour when it comes into contact with air (oxidization) and this causes a natural darkening of the metal. I do seal my copper products with Renaissance Wax which should stop this happening but follow the instructions below to keep your jewellery looking brand new!

1. Keep your jewellery dry

Keeping your jewellery dry is a great way to keep it tarnish-free. Don’t wash dishes, do laundry or clean the house with your jewellery on. Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can take off the finish.

Don’t wear jewellery in the swimming pool as chlorinated water can react with the metals which can cause your jewellery to change colour.

Don’t put on lotion or perfume with your jewellery on. For the same reasons above, lotions and perfumes can react unfavourably with your jewellery.

So, in a nutshell, keep your jewellery away from the following:

• water
• dishwashing soap/liquid
• lotions
• perfumes
• other harsh chemicals

If in doubt, take your jewellery off and store it safely.

2. Last on and first off

Your jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off!

Put your jewellery on after you’re dressed and remove it before you get undressed. This will stop you catching your jewellery on your clothes and potentially damaging it.

As above, remember to remove your jewellery during activities such as laundry, cooking, sports or gardening to prevent damage by or exposure to any chemicals or fluids.

Again put your jewellery on after applying hairspray and makeup. Perfumes, hairspray, lotion and makeup can contain chemicals that can discolour or damage your jewellery.

3. Store your jewellery properly

Store your jewellery in your jewellery box or another secure container (or even a jewellery dish) that will prevent your jewellery from getting lost or damaged.

For extra help against tarnish while your jewellery is stored you could use anti-tarnish paper and lots of jewellery boxes are anti-tarnish now too.

4. Cleaning your copper jewellery

Tarnish can be common on copper as when it meets the air oxidisation occurs. Some people can notice a slight green tinge where the copper contacts the skin but this is harmless and comes off easily with soap and water. It’s simply to do with the pH of your skin.

I use Renaissance Wax on my products which should slow down the tarnish process but over time (and wear) this will be inevitable. If you don’t like this darker natural colouring you can clean your jewellery using lemon juice and salt as follows

• Squeeze the juice of the lemon or lime into a bowl and then sprinkle the salt into the juice. Use three times as much lemon/lime to salt.
• Stir for a minute until the salt dissolves.
• Dip a cloth into the solution and wipe the copper.
• Rinse with water.

Remember to rinse off the lemon juice straight away as otherwise the acidic nature of the liquid will stain your jewellery. You can prevent further tarnishing of copper by wiping a light coat of baby oil or mineral oil over it right after cleaning but be very careful to ensure that the copper is cleaned completely before applying the oil. Copper starts to tarnish as soon as it is cleaned so the oil will help to seal the copper slow down the tarnishing process. I use Renaissance Wax so you could invest in some of this if you wish.

Remember don’t use the wrong jewellery cleaner! Silver cleaner is great for silver but not copper so if you have a mixed metal item please be careful when using cleaners that might be too harsh. To keep your jewellery clean try using gentle soap and water and dry the item properly afterwards. Storing it correctly will also help (see above).

5. Cleaning your silver jewellery

If you don’t want to use shop-bought or chemical cleaners then white vinegar has been a staple item in kitchen cupboards for many years now and is a firm favourite within the jewellery world too. Combine equal parts of white vinegar with water in a bowl and mix it together. Soak a soft toothbrush in the solution and gently brush the tarnished areas of your silver jewellery. This solution is especially good for getting into grooves or around precious stones.

I hope these tips and hints help. If you have any that you use, please send me a message as I’d love to hear them!

Polishing

If following my suggestions above in section 4 you feel your copper jewellery has lost it’s super shine then fear not!

Over the summer the combination of natural skin oils, suntan lotion and of course regularly washing your hands and applying antibacterial lotion can cause the copper to change colour.

As a result, I have decided to start offering a polishing surface for your copper jewellery. If you want to take advantage of this all you need to do is email me to tell me you want to send your jewellery in for polishing. Then once I’ve responded to discuss your request you send me your jewellery back (I recommend sending it via special delivery). I can polish it to a high shine, or I can give it a darker patina that makes it look more antiqued. I will then send the item back to you. The charge for repolishing is £5 per item plus a return postage charge of £6.95. Alternatively, you can drop off and collect your jewellery from me at any of my markets in the North West and only pay the £5 charge per item.

Useful sources

I have added all this information into a downloadable PDF (Caring for your jewellerythat you can keep to hand and rather than reinvent the wheel I have included information from these interesting websites so why not check them out for more information.

Lowry Jewellery – How To Clean Silver Jewellery

Martha Stewart – How to Clean and Polish Copper

Kernowcraft – How to clean and prevent tarnished jewellery

sugarskullme

Hi, I'm Sam

Hi! I’m Sam Self and I am the creator and passion behind Rock & Rose Jewellery. Influenced by different cultures, ancient history and memorial jewellery, my designs are also motivated by a personal desire to create pieces for people who want a little touch of the gothic with their everyday outfits.

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