There’s a reason why you’ve invested in fine jewellery — the quality means that you can enjoy wearing it indefinitely. But like many of the finer things in life, gold jewellery will only last if you give it the care and maintenance it needs.
Most of the fine jewellery in fashion is gold-plated, which means that it isn’t solid gold (which looks far more yellow and is way more expensive) but rather composed of a layer of gold bonded over another metal.
And while this layer of gold is expected to fade with wear, there are things you can do keep it from happening prematurely. Here are a few tips for maintaining your fine jewellery so that you keep it looking beautiful and shiny.
1. No sweat
You already know that you should keep your jewellery away from water and sweat. Make it a habit to also put on your lotions and perfume before your jewellery and allow some time in between so that your skin is completely dry before it comes into contact with gold-plating.
2. Layer with care
Jewellery-stacking is still trendy, but unfortunately, it’s one of the reasons why the plating on your necklaces, bracelets and rings is wearing off faster than it should. One way around it is to try, as far as possible, to pick lighter and delicates styles for layering and keep chunky pieces to a minimum so as to minimise the abrasion between the many components of your arm candy.
3. Zip ’em up
In our extreme humidity, the velvet pouches that jewellery typically comes in may not be ideal for storing gold-plated jewellery. The best way to securely keep them away from moisture in the air? Mini Ziplock bags that you seal them in. These plastic bags may not look aesthetically appealing but, trust us, they are the best things for airtight storage (and priced affordably, to boot).
4. A little polishing works
Quality gold-plating shouldn’t tarnish, but it may happen if you accidentally get substances that the metal shouldn’t come in contact with on it. If there are tarnish spots on your jewellery, try gently rubbing them off with a silver polishing cloth. Do not, however, use excessive force when polishing, as doing that will abrade the gold plating. Polishing is an abrasive task and should only be employed as a last resort and not used on a frequent basis.
5. Gentle strokes when cleaning
You’ve probably seen your grandmother do this when cleaning her gold jewellery — give it a good soak in water mixed with regular soap and then a vigorous scrubbing with an old toothbrush. This is no way to treat fine jewellery unless you’re planning to give them a distressed finish. Instead, dampen a soft cloth (water should normally suffice; add a little soap — keep away from antibacterial soap — if absolutely necessary) ever so slightly and wipe your jewellery with it. Let it dry completely before you store it.
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