Just a few hints and tips on what to expect and how to care for some of my pieces.
Wear and tear is a natural part of any piece of jewellery. We expose our jewellery to some pretty harsh conditions. It gets knocked about, dropped, bumped, caught, pulled, tangled and scratched. I recommend wearing your jewellery with love and abandon, but with a degree of care and understanding of the limitations of the materials used and it's construction. I'm happy to repair any piece free of charge within a four week period from purchase. Any repairs after this time frame may incur a charge unless it's clearly a design or manufacture fault, where i will happily discuss options.
To avoid nasty surprises and disappointment, here are a few processes and treatments that i use that will cause the look of my jewellery pieces of to change with wear, what to expect and how to care for it.
This is a process that turns the surface of silver and some other metals black. With wear, oxidisation rubs back, exposing the true metal colour beneath. This will happen at varying speeds depending on how regularly the piece is worn and how much it rubs against clothes and skin. Rings and bangles tend to wear the fastest, pendants a little slower, and earrings the slowest, but they will all wear back eventually. When you purchase an oxidised piece, expect it to wear back and polish up, so relax and enjoy the way it's surface evolves with time. If you need to clean your oxidised jewellery piece, use a soft sponge or cotton ball with a dab of methylated spirit and wipe gently to remove any grease or dirt. Do not rub too hard and do not use an abrasive surface or solvent.
As with oxidisation, plating is a surface treatment and will wear back with time. Plating lasts a little longer than oxidisations, but again, with wear, it will rub back. I will always be clear as to what the metal beneath is, so you know what to expect as it starts to shine through. To keep your plated jewellery clean, use the same process as suggested for oxidised pieces.
Painted surfaces are also temporary. I use a hard wearing paint and gloss to give it a robust finish, but with wear, as with oxidisation and plating, it will rub back. Where the surface of the pieces are more protected from rubbing, the paint will last longer. Try to avoid wearing painted pieces when doing dishes or when handling solvents and detergents of any kind. Avoid cleaning with any solvents or abrasive materials. I would recommend warm water and a cotton bud to clean any dirt if you have to, but i feel its best to leave painted pieces as they are. Allow the wearing process to occur naturally and enjoy the transformation of your piece.
Sterling silver and many other metals tarnish, (when it starts looking a bit dull and dirty).This happens due to a number of factors such as exposure to dirt, grease, detergents and perfumes. Metals can react to soaps and perfumes and also to certain skin types. This is common and generally easily fixed at home. If the jewellery no surface treatment, such as oxidisation, plating, paint etc, then a soft toothbrush and some toothpaste usually does the trick. You can also buy silver cleaner from the shops, i recommend silver foam. With pieces that have a surface treatment, i would recommend leaving them alone as cleaning can strip the surface away.
If you have any other concerns or queries regarding the wear and care of any of my pieces, please don't hesitate in emailing me via the contact link.