Keeping your silver keepsake at its best...
Don’t worry! Caring for your Sweetpea Prints jewellery is very easy and this guide will help you.
One of the biggest annoyances to silver is tarnish! Why does it tarnish I hear you ask? Well let me tell you.
‘Here comes the science bit…’
Pure silver is made up of 99.9% silver (999). Sterling silver is 92.5% which is why it can be hallmarked 925. The rest is copper, added to give a piece more strength - think of teapots and dinner trays!
The blackening you see when an item is tarnished has been ‘oxidised’ and is now silver sulphide.
2 Ag (s) + H2S(g) oxidises and develops into Ag2S(s) + H2(g)
This guide has a few tips on how best to prevent it but unfortunately even our perspiration, skin pH, moisturisers, hairspray and perfumes can all ‘turn our jewellery black’ and the severity varies from one person to another.
Jewellery can be looked after by removing when bathing, swimming, exercising or cleaning. Even sunlight plays it’s part so it will be best to take off jewellery before sunbathing.
Store items separately in your Sweetpea Prints presentation box when you're not wearing it. You can also store in an airtight container with anti-tarnish strips.
Don’t store many pieces of jewellery together as they can easily damage and scratch one other.
Prevent hairsprays, lotions and perfumes from coming into contact with the silver. Pop your jewellery on at the last moment, in the last step of getting ready.
Clean regularly with a damp, non-abrasive cloth and dry it well. A silver polishing cloth will help your piece maintain a lustrous shine and works very well to prevent tarnishing if carried out at regular intervals. A cloth can also remove tarnish if it is not too severe and has just started to develop.
Combining a cloth with a SMALL DROP of liquid silver cleaner can help remove more severe or stubborn tarnish.
Silver is soft and can scratch easily so don’t be tempted to use kitchen towel or tissues to clean. Polishing cloths, soft flannels or microfibre cloths work very well.
When cleaning or polishing, use back-and-forth movements rather than circles so as not to highlight any scratches.
Chemical dips and liquid polishes are not recommended for frequent jewellery cleaning as regular use could be too harsh and could potentially harm the silver by removing the anti-tarnishing coating applied by me in the studio.
If your tarnish is severe or you just don’t have the time to clean your keepsakes at home, I offer a professional cleaning service charged at £8 per keepsake to have it looking tip top again. Your jump rings will also be replaced. This for customers based near to me at the Studio who can drop off and collect their keepsakes from me.
If you don’t live near me, fear not! Many, if not all of your local jewellers will most likely provide some type of cleaning service for you.
HOW MUCH WEAR & TEAR SHOULD I EXPECT?
All jewellery will be prone to surface scratches and high-shine polishes can dull over time if worn and used continuously. Following the guide will certainly help but if a piece is loved and worn regularly, it will look different over time - this adds to it’s individual characteristics and patina.
Charms on bracelets and key rings tend to have the most use and they can knock into furniture or on surfaces in the home, be put into a key bowl or find their way to the bottom of hand bags!
The Fingerprints and Miniature Prints are all pressed or stamped into your silver and leave an impression you can feel. Your keepsakes are not etched onto the surface - etched keepsakes are advised only to be used infrequently as the etching can be removed with normal wear and tear.
Golf ball markers can be kept in the organza bag it is supplied with when out and about on the course.
Check your keepsake regularly for loose or open jump rings, clasps, chain loops etc.
I have some small silver polishing cloths available to add on to an order for £1.50.
Please note, the risk of tarnishing/oxidisation can vastly be reduced by flowing this guide but unfortunately for some people, your keepsake may just need some more regular tender loving care. Blackening, oxidisation and tarnishing is not a manufacturing fault.