Jewellery Care Guide

Caring for your jewellery is important; be it cleaning, storing correctly or knowing what substances to avoid. To help you take care of your jewellery simply follow our below guide, which will help you to keep your jewellery looking like new. 

Jewellery Care Top Tips

To help you look after your jewellery and maintain its finish we’ve put together our top care tips:

  • Wear your jewellery regularly, it helps to maintain its finish and prevents rapid tarnishing.

  • Polish your jewellery frequently to remove tarnishing and oxidisation.

  • Jewellery can come into contact with water without fear of damage, however to keep them in good condition, try to avoid wearing them in chlorinated pools.

  • Avoid contact with perfume, lotions or other cosmetics.

  • Keep your jewellery dry and protected when not being worn. 

How to care for sterling silver jewellery

Silver is a precious metal that is too soft for use in jewellery on its own, it would quickly become misshaped when worn. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver, that is commonly used in jewellery such as earrings or rings. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal and is often refereed to as 925 sterling silver. When making jewellery a layer of sterling silver is plated onto the top of another metal to coat the surface. In the UK, the best way to verify if a jewellery item is really sterling silver is by checking its hallmark, which is found on all Coates & Warner jewellery. As the material is a surface finish, it will tarnish over time and become oxidised. Below are some tips on how to care for your sterling silver jewellery.

Avoid Corrosion

There are a number of substances and chemicals that can be corrosive to sterling silver jewellery. Its important that, where possible, you attempt to avoid contact with the following:

  • Chlorinated water such as that found in a swimming pool

  • Hairspray

  • Perfumes

  • Lotions

  • Cosmetic products

  • Household cleaning chemicals

We advise that jewellery is the last item that you put on when you are getting ready, helping to avoid contact with cosmetic products, lotions or perfumes.

Polish Regularly

To remove tarnish from your sterling silver jewellery, we recommend using a soft cloth or polishing cloth that contains an anti-tarnishing agent. Do not use kitchen roll, tissues or paper towers to clean your jewellery, the paper fibres could potentially scratch the silver finish. With the polishing cloth in your hand, use a back and forth motion to rub the jewellery to polish. Do not rub in a circular motion, this will only highlight any scratches in the sterling silver. Polishing is a great way to maintain and brighten your sterling silver and will remove any oxidisation that has occurred.

Wear Your Jewellery Frequently

Don’t let your sterling silver jewellery just sit in a box, wear it! One of the best ways to prevent sterling silver jewellery from tarnishing is by wearing it. The oil in your skin and friction created during wearing it can help to clean the silver and maintain its bright finish.

Store Correctly

To minimise the effects of tarnishing, store your jewellery in a dry place and in a protective anti-tarnishing bag. We recommend that all sterling silver jewellery is stored individually, to ensure it doesn’t become scratched by being mixed with other jewellery. For all Coates & Warner jewellery, we recommended storing it in the suede pouch and box that is included with all orders.

How to care for gold plated and gold vermeil jewellery

Gold plated or gold vermeil jewellery makes a great cost effective alternative to real gold jewellery. The cost of non-solid gold jewellery is significantly less than sold gold. 

What does gold plated mean?

The cost of non-solid gold jewellery is significantly less than sold gold. Gold plating is a process where a layer of gold is placed on to coat the surface of another metal. As an example, 24 karate before the word plated refers to how much gold content there is in the layer that plates the jewellery. 24k gold plating has 99.9% gold content, meaning its incredibly high quality and pure. For Coates & Warner jewellery, we plate gold onto solid sterling silver. As the jewellery is not 100% solid gold, extra care should be taken to maximise its lifespan and avoid tarnishing. 

What does gold vermeil mean?

Gold vermeil jewellery is similar to gold plated jewellery, but it has at least a 0.5 micron thick plating of gold. The gold used must be at least 10k or higher, ensuring that it has a quality finish. Gold vermeil jewellery is superior to gold plated jewellery as it has a thicker gold coating and will remain to look its best for longer. Gold vermeil is far more durable than other gold plated finishes due to its thickness and gold content, as a result, it can last for years if well maintained. To prolong the gold vermeil finish and avoid it tarnishing, we suggest that it is kept away from harsh chemicals or abrasive surfaces. 

Clean Regularly

If your gold plated jewellery is dirty, you can wash it in warm, soapy water. We recommend that you soak it for a few minutes and then rub with a wet cloth or a soft brush, following the grain in the gold plating. Be careful not to rub your gold jewellery in a circular motion, it may lead to scratches forming in the finish. When dry you can also use a soft cloth or polishing cloth that contains an anti-tarnishing agent to shine your pieces if they’re looking a little dull. 

Avoid Corrosion

Similar to sterling silver jewellery, there are a number of substances that can be corrosive to gold plated and gold vermeil jewellery. Its important that care is taken to avoid contact with the following:

  • Moisture from bathing, exercise or swimming

  • Chlorinated water

  • Perfumes

  • Lotions

  • Cosmetic products

  • Household cleaning chemicals

We advise that gold jewellery is removed before undertaking any household cleaning, many of the chemicals found in cleaning products can effect the quality of the gold plating and result in tarnishing.

Polish Regularly

To remove tarnish from your gold plated jewellery, we recommend using a soft cloth or polishing cloth that contains an anti-tarnishing agent. Do not use kitchen roll, tissues or paper towers to clean your jewellery, the paper fibres could potentially scratch the gold finish. With the polishing cloth in your hand, use a back and forth motion to rub the jewellery to polish. Do not rub in a circular motion, this will only highlight any scratches in the gold finish.

Store With Gold Jewellery

Store gold plated and gold vermeil jewellery either in a soft bag/the box it comes in or with other gold jewellery. Do not store gold jewellery with costume or sterling silver jewellery, as the friction of rubbing up against other metals can wear away at the layer of gold and increases the risk of tarnishing.

Need more help?

All of our jewellery is made from either gold plated, gold vermeil or sterling silver, this means they’ll never rust, turn green or fade which only happens to jewellery made of poor quality metals. We include a care card with all jewellery orders to help you care for your jewellery, however if you have any further questions about the care and upkeep of your jewellery please do not hesitate to contact us.