JEWELLERY CARE GUIDE
It is natural for sterling silver jewellery to tarnish, blacken or discolour over time, particularly if the piece is worn regularly. Tarnish is caused by several factors which include:
- Exposure to moisture, humidity, sunlight and oxygen.
- Acidity (ph balance) of a person’s skin, which in turn is affected, for example, by diet, medication and stress.
- Exposure to perfume, soap, moisturiser, shampoo etc. and cleaning products such as dishwashing liquid and bleach.
- Exposure to chlorine.
How to Care For Your NAJO Piece
NAJO advises against:
- Swimming, showering or undertaking vigorous exercise while wearing jewellery.
- Exposing jewellery to cleaning agents or cosmetics such as foundations, perfumes, hairsprays.
- Exposing jewellery to excessive heat or prolonged periods of direct sunlight.
- Use of commercial silver ‘dip’ solutions as they are unsuitable for cleaning hollow, oxidised, stone-set, pearl or plated jewellery and can cause surface deterioration.
- Wearing delicate jewellery on more than an occasional basis
Here are some care guidelines to follow
Plain silver is usually suitable for everyday wear unless it is a fragile design. It can be cleaned with a silver cleaning cloth. More difficult or stubborn tarnishing may require use of a commercial cleaning metal polish or silver foam.
Matte silver is usually suitable for everyday wear unless it is a fragile design. The use of polishing cloths are unsuitable for matte finish jewellery. It is recommended to wash matte silver with warm soapy water or apply a paste made from bicarbonate of soda and water. Rub the paste on the jewellery piece, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse in water. Silver cleaning foam can also be used.
Electroformed silver can dent more easily than cast or stamped silver and must be treated gently. It is best to clean it with a soft silver polishing cloth, silver polish or foam. Do not use silver dip as electroformed jewellery is hollow and the solution may be trapped inside the piece.
Enamel is suitable for occasional wear only and should not be subjected to long exposure to sunlight. It should be treated very carefully and must not be dropped or knocked. Direct exposure to cosmetics and cleaning agents may affect colour and finish. It should be cleaned with a soft silver cloth or warm soapy water.
Gold plate is suitable for occasional wear only. It can be washed with warm soapy water or polished with a soft cloth. Do not rub vigorously or the plating could be removed.
Tumbaga is 80% copper and 20% zinc creating a solid golden metal. Due to this mix of copper/zinc, these pieces require a little extra TLC. We would advise keeping them away from direct sunlight when not being worn, in an airtight jewellery box or even zip lock bag. Tumbaga pieces requires a rub with a silver polishing cloth from time to time to prevent any build-up of tarnishing. If there is stubborn tarnishing, this can be removed with a small amount of brasso/silvo to restore it to its original lustre.
Pearls are suitable for occasional wear only. Direct exposure to cosmetics and cleaning agents may affect the lustre and colour of the pearl. They should be cleaned with a soft cloth or warm soapy water.
Stone-set jewellery can be suitable for everyday wear but will depend on the design. Pave set jewellery, for example, is more suited to occasional wear. Stone set jewellery should be cleaned with warm soapy water.
9kt gold can be cleaned by soaking in a small amount of dish detergent with warm water. Rub with a soft cloth or toothbrush and rinse. Always avoid using any abrasive jewellery cleaners that may contain damaging chemicals or polishing agents. Avoid chlorine.
Brass and Copper
Brass and Copper is suitable for everyday wear. It can be cleaned with a silver cleaning cloth; however more difficult tarnishing may require the use of a commercial cleaning polish such as Silvo or Brasso.
Avoid resizing stone set rings. Electroformed, enamel and stainless steel rings cannot be resized.
Oxidised silver is usually suitable for everyday wear unless it is a fragile design. It is best to clean oxidised silver with a soft cleaning cloth or wash with warm soapy water. Do not use silver dip as this can remove the oxidation.