How to Clean Silver , Gold and Pearl Jewellery

By: John Cartman

Cleaning Silver and Pearl Jewellery

We all wash our clothes regularly and keep our shoes well healed and polished , so why is it that jewellery is not often treated in the same way?

The very thing that attracted a purchase of jewellery was the sparkle and shine - that magic love of all that glitters. Yet so often I see jewellery looking dull without lustre and shimmer and think to myself if only I could get my hands on it and return it to its pristine state.

Silver is notorious for dulling , going black and brown at the edges. This is caused by exposure to the air which shows in the copper content that existed in sterling silver oxidising on the surface.

There are several ways to clean silver. Proprietary brands such as Goddard's Silver Dip are excellent - just a few seconds dip and then a warm rinse with a mild detergent and then pat dry with some kitchen paper towel. With these dips , though , you must not dip pearls - they will be irreparably damaged. You can clean the silver around the pearls by dipping a soft toothbrush into the dip and then polishing the silver , avoiding the pearls. Don't clean your teeth with the toothbrush afterwards!

But talking of toothbrushes , another method of cleaning silver is to use toothpaste. Simply rub the toothpaste all over the silver and rinse it off. You won't get such excellent results on really blackened silver as with the dips , but for ordinary cleaning , it's a lot cheaper.

Another way of keeping your silver clean and avoiding having to resort to such methods to clean it is to put a piece of chalk in the box alongside it - the chalk absorbs the moisture in the air which as I said earlier , affects the silver. Along the same lines is the method of wrapping up your silver in acid-free tissue paper until you want to use it. This is what we do with virtually all our silver sales - if a bride-to-be buys a tiara and her wedding is not for a few months , we tell her to keep the tiara wrapped up until the big day!

Gold jewellery , though retaining its shine longer than silver still can go dull and grimy. It can be quite a surprise after cleaning to realise just how dirty it had become. Again with gold , I would recommend a jewellery dip even the same silver dips I mentioned before will also work on gold. The dips will not harm gemstones or crystals so you will be safe dipping those.

Pearls, as I mentioned before are the exception. They need very gentle cleaning as the surface is delicate and can easily become scuffed and lose their lustre. Also beware perfume! The alcohol content of perfumes can affect pearls.

Pearls are best cleaned using warm water and a mild detergent suitable for woollens and then gently dried with a soft cloth. Store pearls in a soft pouch away from other jewellery to avoid the pearls becoming scratched.

To see our silver and pearl jewellery , visit our web site:

http://www.zinniajewellery.co.uk

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