COSTUME JEWELLERY CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Costume jewellery can be extremely delicate. Often handmade or with crystals and pearls set by hand, it is important to treat it with the same level of care you would give your precious jewellery. Keep your jewels looking as fabulous as when you bought them with these tips on how to care for your costume jewellery:

1. AVOID contact with water; known to affect the appearance of metal, stones, crystals & pearls. Water can wear plating and cause discolouration. Protect your bracelets/rings by removing when washing your hands or washing up and never wear costume jewellery when showering/swimming.

2. STORE costume jewellery items carefully so as to avoid scratching and damage. Keep away from direct sunlight. If you prefer to keep all your jewellery in one box, try to ensure it has large individual compartments as this will reduce tangling and knotting. Keep chains fastened to avoid tangling. Store in a cool, dry place.

3. WAIT: Always put your jewellery on after your perfume & cosmetics (body lotions too) and ensure your skin is thoroughly dry. Perfume will coat crystals causing them to lose their sparkle, appear dull and will stain pearls. (Body lotion may affect plating where it comes into contact with the skin).

4. FASTEN WITH CARE: Ask someone to help fasten your bracelet rather than struggling to do it yourself. Holding your bracelet close to your body and pulling on clasps puts unnecessary strain on links.

PLEASE NOTE: Oils in the skin can sometimes cause a reaction with metals as will perspiration, lotions, potions, shampoo's, soaps and any medication you may be taking.

GENERAL CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS

STERLING SILVER is a beautiful lustrous metal, used in making much of contemporary jewellery. It contains copper which adds hardness to silver. However, it also creates a tendency for silver jewellery to tarnish. (Tarnishing is a darkening that occurs when sterling silver reacts with the environment and every day substances). Regular cleaning and polishing will restore the original look. Using silver polishing cloths or anti-tarnish cloths can help keep silver in its original condition. A single cloth will last for a long time, still working even when it appears grubby from prior usage (Be careful not to polish too enthusiastically).

Note: For sterling silver jewellery that you wear often, cleaning will not be required as frequently as the natural oils on your body provide a protective coating to keep it from tarnishing as quickly and also over time cause a natural patina which is unique to the wearer.

COPPER JEWELLERY is becoming more popular in its use in contemporary jewellery with its rich colour and tones. However, it does naturally tarnish and darken over time, and heat will cause the natural patina to occur faster. Place on an anti-tarnish cloth or in a resealable bag to keep air out and store in a cool dry place.

Remove copper jewellery before getting into any water. This includes swimming, washing hands and dishes and bathing. Also before applying lotion, oil or perfume as lubricants will coat the metal and cause it to tarnish and darken.

Use a polishing cloth for everyday cleaning. Rub the surface with enough force to clean but not to bend the metal. Alternatively use a commercial polish or tarnish remover for a deeper cleaning, following instructions carefully.

CULTURED PEARLS are formed inside oysters. They are organic therefore susceptible to damage so they should be treated with great care. Should you need to wash your cultured pearl(s) do so with water and maybe a drop of detergent. Do not use any form of chemicals as they are most likely to damage the cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are soft and any rough treatment such as carrying in a handbag or putting them loose in a jewellery box may also damage them. Wrap them in tissue for protection.

POROUS GEMSTONES such as opals, amber, turquoise etc,. are heat sensitive and their appearance and colour can change with sudden changes in temperature so avoid situations like wearing them on a sun bed, washing the dishes, or leaving them near/on a radiator. It is not advisable to use soapy water on porous gemstones.

To keep CRYSTALS sparkling, simply wipe very gently with a slightly damp cloth.

To keep PEARLS clean, wipe with a soft dry cloth after wearing as perfume, lotions, sprays can cause permanent damage.

It is highly recommended to remove your jewellery before undertaking any household duties like gardening: hard knocks or bangs could damage them. Cleaning: bleach or any other harsh chemicals can strip precious metals of their colour. (Wearing rubber or latex gloves when cleaning can affect and discolour jewellery)

It is not advisable to wear any jewellery to bed. Fibres from your bed sheets can get caught in the settings, claws, or hooks and fittings can be bent or broken.

Do not use abrasive cleaners on jewellery items.

PLEASE NOTE: Oils in the skin can sometimes cause a reaction with metals as will perspiration, lotions, potions, shampoo's, soaps and any medication you may be taking.