Thank you for purchasing jewellery from ‘Steensons’. We want to ensure you enjoy your jewellery in good condition for many years to come. Below is our guide in taking care of your jewellery with confidence.
All precious metals are soft, malleable, and susceptible to scratching and/or misshaping. It is important to remember this fact during the cleaning and drying process and to be as gentle as possible. All jewellery is subject to wear and tear and will require maintenance from time to time, especially moving parts such as bales, hinges, catches and drop earring fittings.
GENERAL JEWELLERY CARE
• Always treat your jewellery carefully as it can break, tangle, or get scratched. Take your jewellery off if you're involved in any activity which could scratch, knock, or damage it.
• Take jewellery off when swimming, showering or when you go to bed.
• Store pieces separately, ideally in it's box or case. Never drop jewellery into a pocket, handbag, or purse. Always use a box if you need to transport your jewellery.
• Wires or structured necklaces are best stored flat in a box.
• When storing jewellery, please keep it away from sunlight, excessive heat or damp conditions.
• Bathe and apply any lotions or perfumes before you put your jewellery on. Precious metals react to body salts as well as the chemicals we use such as hairspray and perfumes, so cleaning jewellery is essential to stop it discolouring and looking fresh. Ideally clean your items straight after wearing. If your jewellery does come into contact with chemicals, rinse it in water and dry well immediately. Chlorine and sun creams can be especially harsh on the surface of your jewellery and contact should be avoided.
CLEANING SILVER AND GOLD
Silver and gold are naturally subject to tarnish over time. Tarnishing occurs when a metal is exposed to oxygen and sulphur in the air, causing it to discolour. It is unavoidable, but it can be removed easily with cleaning.
• For highly polished items buff with a jewellery's cloth after each wear.
• For matt and satin finishes wash in warm mild soapy water using a soft sponge or toothbrush.
• If there is a build up soak in warm mild soapy water for ten minutes to loosen any dirt.
• Make sure to clean the whole piece of jewellery and get into hard-to-reach places while being extra careful when cleaning fragile parts of the jewellery (for example, at a clasp or stone's setting).
• Rinse thoroughly in clean water to remove soap residue and any other remaining dirt.
• Dry well but gently with a lint-free cloth or hairdryer.
• Removing rings and bracelets when washing your hands will help remove a build-up of residue which can result in a dull surface.
• Storing your silver jewellery in separate airtight bags can help avoid tarnishing.
If the metal does look tarnished or starts to turn black, specialist cleaning products will help get the jewellery looking like new. These specialist cleaning products are available at both Steenson stores. Follow the cleaning instructions very carefully and never leave to soak in the solution.
Some jewellery with stones or with oxidised/ black or decorative finishes are not recommended to be cleaned using these specialist cleaning products so please seek advice. All our staff are fully trained in the cleaning of jewellery and will be happy to give advice on specific items or any general queries you may have.
If the jewellery has gemstones or pearls, please be extra careful when cleaning the piece.
Depending on what it is alloyed with, platinum jewellery generally will not tarnish, so should not require chemical cleaning. Platinum is harder than gold and silver, but it is still a soft malleable material that will scratch and dent. Soft scratches on the surface will make the platinum appear dull, affecting any polished finishes. Platinum scratches are harder to buff out by hand and can often require machine polishing, which is available as one of our workshop services.
Diamonds although strong require care and attention. They are the most scratch resistant natural material, but they still have a brittleness and can be cracked, shattered, or chipped. They can also be scratched by other diamonds. Any stone set jewellery purchased from ‘Steensons’ that is worn every day is recommended to have an annual maintenance check. An annual maintenance check will look for:
• Worn, damaged or missing claws on settings
• Loose stones in their setting
• Damage to the stone/stones
• Stress fractures in the metalwork and solder joints.
We recommend storing your diamond jewellery separately and away from other jewellery including other diamonds to avoid scratching other pieces, Keeping the diamond in individual small plastic bags or a fabric-lined case will help reduce damage.
Clean the diamond regularly, particularly the back facets if accessible. Soak in warm, soapy water and gently brush with a soft, clean toothbrush before drying with a lint-free cloth. Be extra careful with the stone's setting as this may be fragile. Avoid using bleaches or other hard abrasives. This can easily damage the precious metal setting.
For nearly all coloured gemstones cleaning with warm, soapy water, and a soft toothbrush will be more than adequate. Make sure to avoid hard brushes. Many gemstones can be susceptible to heat, so when cleaning, make sure that you use warm water rather than hot or boiling water.
If in any doubt, our specialist trained staff are on hand to give advice on specific pieces.
For pearls and other softer gemstones, it is best to avoid submerging the piece in warm water, instead gently cleaning each stone individually with a wet cloth and drying with a lint free cloth should gently remove any build- up of dirt.
It is standard practice in the jewellery trade to plate white gold with a thin layer of rhodium, to make it look whiter and more like platinum. The plating will wear off and will need re-plated from time to time. In particular, plating on the surface of rings can wear away relatively fast.
We at Steensons do not usually rhodium plate our white gold, having sourced an alloy with a high palladium content so plating is not necessary. However we will occasionally plate if the item need to match a pre-existing piece or by customer request. A full refinish to remove all scratches and dents is necessary before replating a piece of jewellery, please ask a staff member for further information and charges regarding this service.
We hope this care advice will help to prolong the life and enjoyment of your purchase.