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Do you have some pieces of jewellery that you never take off? Especially pieces that hold sentimental or symbolic value? Some become so much a part of us that we can easily forget we are wearing them!

But even oils from your hands and skin can dull and damage some jewellery so, if you want your accessories to last (and look their best) there are some precautions you can take:

Avoid chlorine

Did you know that one hour in chlorinated water can do more damage to your jewellery than years of general wear and tear? Especially low karat or sterling silver jewellery, this is because the chemicals in chlorine attack metals, specifically nickel, zinc, and silver, leaving your karat gold unsupported and weakened.  Jewellery that is made from 100% platinum or palladium is not affected in the same way.

Remove jewellery before showering and bathing

Whilst showering and bathing won’t damage your metal-based jewellery (although wearing gold plated jewellery may cause the plated layer to eventually wear off)  the oils, gels, and lotions can build up and form a sheen over surfaces – your diamonds will lose their sparkle and your metals appear dull and tarnished.

Water can also damage the string of threaded jewellery and over periods of time can affect the settings of stones.

Getting ready…

When you’re getting dressed and ready to go out your jewellery should be the last thing you put on. This stops it from catching or snagging on clothes and hair (damaging either the jewellery or your clothes) and make sure all of your beauty and hair products and makeup have been applied to prevent jewellery becoming tarnished or contaminated.

Always make sure to remove jewellery before beauty treatments to keep them safe and clean.

Don’t wear for housework and manual labor tasks

Inevitably jewellery will not stand up well to cleaning products and the stresses of manual labor and should always be removed in advance.

Whilst following these tips will help to keep jewellery looking its best, jewellers to the Crown, Mappin, and Webb, recommend that gemstones should be stored away from each other to prevent scratches or knocks, they also advise that jewellery should be stored away from direct sunlight, damp and extremes of heat or cold and “wrap gold, silver, precious and semi-precious items in acid-free tissue or cotton to keep them away from dust and moisture. Take extra care with pearls which are soft and vulnerable to scratches and other damage”.

If your jewellery is starting to look less than its best, occasional, gentle cleaning can help to remove any dirt, dust or product build-up and bring back the sparkle:

Sterling Silver - this popular choice of metal is actually prevented from tarnishing by the oils in your skin and can be refreshed by using a jewellery polishing cloth to remove any build-up. Silver polish can also be used (Specialist cleaning products can be bought from jewellers including cloths, liquids, and creams).

Plated Gold– to reinstate the shine of these pieces soak in warm soapy water – rinse and dry with a polishing cloth. A soft toothbrush with soap and water can be used (don’t forget to dry pieces thoroughly afterward).

When cleaning the metals don’t forget to buff the stones too!

if in doubt many reputable cleaners offer a professional service.

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