Cleaning plain silver jewellery
Silver is a fickle metal that likes to be worn and shown off, or else kept in the dark in a box, or wrapped in acid-free tissue, away from humidity and temperature extremes.
The best thing about silver, is that the more often you wear it, the less it will tarnish. Darkening of the silver is due to oxidisation; our best advice is to polish your jewellery on a regular basis to avoid it becoming very tarnished, and to wear it often, so the natural acids in your body slow the tarnishing process.
Still, with the best will in the world, your jewellery will at times need a little care:
Fine chains for pendants can be dipped in silver dip. Place them in the basket, replace the lid and shake gently for a few seconds, before removing and rinsing thoroughly under a warm running tap – don’t leave any items in the solution any longer than required as this will damage the surface of the silver. Furthermore, do not use silver dip on a piece which has an oxidised or darkened effect.
A word of caution: never put a stone piece into silver dip – this chemical will eat into softer stones and remove their shine.
Occasionally, stud earrings, which have had a lot of wear, can pick up dirt and will need to be neutralized and cleaned.
If your studs have started making the backs of your ears sore, try this tip to neutralize them: make a solution of bicarbonate of soda (about ½ a teaspoon to a cup of hot, not boiling water) and add a small piece of aluminium (some baking foil or the top from a ring pull can). Leave the studs for 5 minutes then rinse and dry.
Larger jewellery items such as bangles, cuffs, chokers or torques and heavy chains can be buffed with a silver cloth.
Stone-set jewellery pieces
Stones can vary enormously in their hardness, and need to be cleaned carefully.
Never place them in silver dip – this will cause damage and remove the shine.
Very soft stones, such as pearls and turquoise, can react to perfumes, so we always recommend putting on your perfume before your jewellery. We also advise against wearing jewellery in a swimming pool. Pearls shouldn’t be near perfume or a spray as this will remove and peel away the outer layer, wash or rinse immediately should they come into contact with perfume.
Generally a silver cleaning cloth is sufficient to restore the shine on your silver jewellery and other jewellery – use your nail to work the cloth into the recesses around the stone setting. Intricate jewellery pieces can be cleaned using Hagerty’s Silver Foam, a red paste which is applied with a wet sponge and then gently worked into the corners with a soft toothbrush, before being rinsed with warm water and left to dry. This restores the sparkle in cut stones and is great for removing everyday dirt from stone rings, jewellery and pendants which are open to the back of the stone.
Each item of jewellery is guaranteed against manufacturers defects for 6 months from the date of purchase. This does not include damage from wear and tear of the jewellery, so we recommend that you treat your jewellery with the appropriate care it deserves – this includes keeping it away from harsh chemicals, extremes of temperature, and not subjecting it to stresses and strains.