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How to look after your gold & silver jewellery

When you invest in a beautiful piece of handmade jewellery, you naturally want to keep it looking its best. By taking a few simple precautions in how you store and care for it, you can make sure that it remains in tip top condition.

How to look after and store your silver jewellery

Any silver jewellery exposed to the air will develop a layer of tarnish over time. This is caused by a chemical reaction between the silver and oxygen, moisture, sulfides and chlorides in the air. Where possible you should avoid storing it an environment which is warm and humid as this will expedite the process. To ensure that your jewellery remains in the best possible condition, keep it in a box with a tarnish free pad. Also remember to keep necklace and bracelet clasps done up to minimise the likelihood of the chains getting tangled.

How to deal with tarnish on silver jewellery

As it’s only the top few layers of silver that react with the air to form a tarnish, it can easily be cleaned away. I prefer not to use silver dip and always avoid harsh abrasives which can scratch the surface as silver is very soft. A drop of washing up liquid, some warm water and a soft cloth is a much gentler alternative. There are also specialist cloths which are impregnated with a silver cleaner and anti tarnish agent. You can pick these up fairly cheaply from most supermarkets and they last for ages. I use a Town Talk one from Lakeland (pictured below) and have found it really good. Oxidised silver pieces should never be polished as this will remove the surface colour.