A lot of commercial jewellery nowadays fall under the category of costume or fashion jewellery. This jewellery is often made with plastic or cheap metal, which is not made to last and can irritate sensitive skin (or turn your skin green, like copper does). This is not to say that one is unequivocally better than the other, as the decision to buy costume jewellery or fine jewellery all depends on your needs and wants in life. Some women love to be spoilt for choice, having the ability and freedom to change accessories every day. Having a drawer full of jewellery, in other words, variety, may triumph the aspect of quality for some. Or in other cases (and this may resonate with a lot of young adults), some dread the extra work it takes to maintain fine jewellery, so some prefer to buy costume jewellery simply because of its ability to provide instant style, while at a low cost and at minimum upkeep.
And then there are ladies that prefer to invest in quality goods so that their jewellery will stay with them for a lifetime. Perhaps to them, it is not so important to have many jewellery pieces, but only a special few that they know they can depend upon - or maybe even be passed down for generations. Also, as a general trend, it is common for us to transition from costume jewellery to fine jewellery the older and more mature we get; some factors being our increased disposable income that enables us to invest in fine jewellery, and that naturally we often seek a higher quality of life as we age. Fine jewellery, however, with its price, calls for higher maintenance and care, which is why we have prepared this article for you.
Cleaning Sterling Silver
Firstly, we will touch upon sterling silver. Sterling silver is a hardier, sturdier version of pure silver, which is a soft and malleable material that is near impossible to design with. Due to this, copper is injected into pure silver to create an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals (usually copper), hence the common term 92.5 sterling silver. The problem with this magnificently sturdy alloy, however, is that tarnishing is a commonplace process. The metal oxidises to create a black tint around the jewellery piece, which dulls its shine and lustre. To take care of sterling silver, you need to gently polish your jewellery piece with a silver cleaning cloth, which can be store-bought, already impregnated with a silver-cleaning agent, or it can also be a material you have sourced from home that can then be dipped into a separate cleaning agent. Some choices of cloth materials are a plain flannelette or good quality terry for example. There is a lot of discussion revolving around home-made silver cleaning agents, and if you are adventurous enough, you could give that a shot!
Cleaning Gemstones and pearls
Some gemstones and pearls are extremely sensitive to chemicals and water and cleaning them require extra caution. Organic gems can be easily damaged by incorrect cleaning, and soft porous gemstones, such as pearls, coral, turquoise, howlite or amber, should never be soaked. For a detailed list of gems and how they should be cleaned, see here. To clean pearls and gemstones, use only warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. Wet a thin mesh rag with the soap and warm water mixture and carefully wipe the pearls or gemstones.
In general, you should:
Avoid swimming and exercising with all jewellery.
Wear jewellery only after having put on cosmetics, perfume, hairspray or any other chemical substances.
Store your jewellery in a jewellery box, away from sunlight and in a dry spot.
We hope this article has given you a little bit of insight on how to take care of your jewellery, and how to navigate the maze of information and tips online! Each Hiasan Design purchase comes with a care card to remind you of how to care for your jewellery, so you’ll never be at a loss. We do half the work for you 😉
Have a great day!