Wear & Tear –
Everyday wear will show as scuffs & scratches on any metal over time. The speed at which this happens will depend on the type of metal, how often the piece is worn & where the jewellery is worn, i.e. rings worn everyday will wear quicker than pendants as they come into contact with lots of different surfaces.
You will find that a highly polished finish will dull over time whereas a matt/satin finish will become more shiny with wear. A frosted finish will resist wear for longer than a satin finish as it is more deeply imprinted into the metal. You can see the different finishes here.
Silver jewellery is particularly susceptible to tarnishing/oxidisation. Some people can also react against silver jewellery turning it black. This may be due to diet or medications or it may be that silver jewellery for you is best avoided. If you find that chains tarnish particularly quickly, make sure that you let perfume dry on your neck before putting on your necklace.
Stones settings can accumulate dirt behind the stone. This primarily affects rings & so it’s best to take off rings when showering and applying lotions and potions.
Storing Your Jewellery –
When you’re not wearing your jewellery it is best to store it in a soft pouch where it can’t scratch or be scratched by other jewellery. For silver jewellery you can include a small square of anti-tarnish paper in your jewellery box/pouch to help minimise (but not completely prevent) the metal reacting to air.
Cleaning Your Jewellery –
To clean your jewellery you can simply soak the piece in hot soapy water for half an hour/an hour and then dry with a soft clean dry towel. This should get rid of light tarnish & loosen any dirt in stone settings. You can use a cotton bud or soft toothbrush to clean any hard to reach places. If you want to invest you can buy sonic cleaners pretty inexpensively which will make stones sparkle.
* Please note: not all stones like getting wet or survive a sonic cleaner – it can crack them! This mainly applies to very soft/delicate/porus stones (as on the Mohs scale of hardness). If in doubt, please ask.
Highly polished finishes can be brought back to a high shine using a simple polishing cloth or (a more chemical option) you can use something called ‘Silver Dip’ available to buy online.
Matt/satin finished pieces can be taken back to their original finish by brushing lightly with either very very fine wire wool or scotchbrite.
I’m happy to re-finish a piece of jewellery for free, I just ask for the cost of return postage. Though you may find that you love the way your jewellery wears as it is unique to you.