We use sterling silver which is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The word sterling has meant ‘high quality’ since the 13th century. The purpose of the copper is to strengthen the silver as fine silver containing 99% silver is too soft for creating functional objects.
General use and exposure to atmospheric pollution causes the silver to tarnish. When silver tarnishes it combines with sulphur to form silver sulphide which looks dark grey or black. To remove this clean sterling silver items with a soft cloth or a soft bristled tooth brush in washing up liquid and warm water. You can use a silver dip solution although this is not suitable if the jewellery has cold enamel or resin.
When an item is gold plated a fine layer of gold called a micron is deposited on to the metal (silver) by electro-plating The gold can be 9, 14, 18 or 22ct with 22ct being the most yellow in colour. Because the gold plate is a layer on top of the silver it can sometimes rub off (rings more commonly) revealing the silver underneath. If this happens send the item back to us and we will be happy to re-plate the item with no charge.
Gold does not tarnish as silver does but to clean use a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
General Care Advice
Salt water, chlorine, soap, perfumes, creams all contain chemicals that may affect the jewellery.
Store items separately to avoid scratching surfaces.
The less sunlight and air the jewellery is exposed to the less tarnish will occur.
Do not use any abrasives to clean gold plated jewellery or the surface will be worn away.