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How to care for your Irish Jewellery

Jewellery is both sentimental and precious so it's important to care for it properly to ensure that it can last a lifetime. We've put together this simple guide to help you out. But first, here are a few things you need to know about metals and gemstones.

Gold plating – Over time it does wear off.

Yellow Gold – The lower the karet is the harder wearing the ring is eg. 10kt is harder wearing than 14kt. The less gold content, the more the alloy content. Alloys are much more durable than gold.

Rose Gold – The same applies for rose gold and the lower the karet the harder wearing it is but it is also the hardest metal out of all the gold variations because of its copper content. Lower karat rose gold Jewellery has a pinker color than higher gold content.

White Gold – The lower the karet the more yellow it looks. It is the softest metal of all the gold and needs to be rhodium plated and cleaned professional periodically to give it a bright and shiny look.

Platinum – Unlike white gold, Platinum is naturally white but isnt as hard wearing as 18kt white gold. Platinum is more dull looking in color in comparison to white gold. 

General Cleaning of your Jewellery

There are many do's & donts when you are cleaning your Irish Jewellery. It is important to follow the guidelines.

  • Clean your Jewellery with lukewarm mild soapy water.
  • Do not clean your Jewellery with harsh chemicals.
  • Use a soft sponge to avoid scratches. 
  • Do not use anything abrasive on your Jewellery.
  • Do not cook with rings on as it is unhygienic.
  • Bring your items to a professional to be cleaned properly especially if the item has diamonds or gem stones. This includes your diamond engagement Claddagh wedding sets

Care while wearing

  • If your work requires manual labour, get into the habit of leaving your rings at home. Physical activity with hands can cause scratches and wear away of rings.
  • If your planning on going for a swim in the sea, remember to leave your Jewellery at home. You wouldn't believe how many people lose their rings in the sea. Fingers become smaller in the cold rings can slip off easily. The sea water can also be abrasive to the Jewellery especially silver and gold plating.
  • Take your Jewellery off before showing or bathing as harsh soap can cause the Jewellery to tarnish quickly or to loose its plating. 
  • Do not wear items to bed as they may catch and snag of bed cloths while sleeping.
  • Chlorine is a huge culprit for tarnishing Jewellery and striping off plating quickly.  
  • Take your Jewellery off whenever you are sleeping, cleaning or doing any physical activity.
  • Do not wear your diamond set rings at the beach as the sand can damage the setting on the rings.

Care when storing

  • Wrap your gemstones in a soft cloth or keep your Jewellery in its box.
  • Do not leave your Jewellery on the window sill for long periods of time. The sun can cause damage to the Jewellery especially silver which can tarnish very quickly. The sun can also shrink certain gemstones cause the gem to fall out of its setting.
  • Do not store your Jewellery box near or on a window sill. Extreme heat fluctuations can cause gemstones to crack. Please be aware that this includes stones that are not directly under sunshine and are in a box.

Caring for Diamonds & Gemstones

  • Do not use any harsh chemicals on or near your gemstones.
  • Keep gemstones such as Opals away from sunlight as they may shrink in size and fall out of setting.
  • Do not brush the stones with anything hard such as a wire brush.
  • Do not use tooth paste to clean your gemstones (this has been recommended online and is not a good idea).
  • Do not clean with harsh chemicals when you are wearing Diamonds or gemstones.
  • Again, avoid wearing in the sea or in Chlorine pools.
  • Have your Gemstones cleaned by a professional.
  • Have your Diamond or Gemstone inspected by a Jeweller to ensure there are no marks or cracks. Early detection can minimize damage over time if you can identify how the cracks or damage appeared in the first place. Most rings will need re-tipping every few years.

Caring for gold

  • Do not use any harsh chemicals while wearing gold especially white gold which could loose its rhodium plating.
  • Do not use any brushes or abrasive scrubs to clean it.
  • Do not wear while doing any physical exercise.
  • Do not wear in hot tubs or swimming pools as the chlorine could damage the ring.
  • Have your gold polished by a Jeweller at least once a year.
  • Have your white gold rings rhodium plated every six months.
  • Take off your gold in bed and while cleaning.
  • Clean with mild soap only and soft sponge between professional polishes.

Caring for gold plated items & silver

Please note that great care must be taken when wearing gold plated items. Gold plating does wear away over time and silver can tarnish. Follow our instructions to keep your silver looking better for longer.

  • Do not clean or shower while wearing silver. Harsh chemicals will remove the plating quicker and will cause your silver to tarnish quickly.
  • Do not clean the items with anything harsh – mild soapy water with a soft sponge is okay.
  • Do not leave in the sunlight as it will tarnish quickly.
  • Take off at night.
  • Be careful with purfumes as they can cause the items to tarnish quickly and can remove the gold plating on items.
  • Do not swim with the items in Chlorine or the sea.
  • Have the items professionally polished if they become tarnished.

If you have any questions about caring for your Jewellery, please feel free to contact us on info@thecladdagh.com