Always store your jewellery individually, preferably in your Self Published book, pouch or jewellery box so that they don't rub together, scratch or tangle. Fasten your chains to keep them from tangling, and take extra care with gemstones - they can break or crack knocked together too hard.
Heat and extreme humidity can cause tarnishing, especially to precious metals, so your gold vermeil and silver jewellery should be kept in a dark, cool, and dry place. Somewhere secret is fine, our lips are sealed. Sterling silver will naturally oxidise with time, but you can prolong this by storing silver jewellery in a sealed plastic bag or airtight box when it is not being worn. Wearing your pieces often will also slow the process, but if it's been a while since they've been out and about just give them an occasional clean.
Direct sunlight or prolonged exposure can fade gemstones - summer holidays are fine, but make sure they're stored away from bright spots. Amethyst, rose quartz, chalcedony and smokey quartz in particular can lose colour from exposure to sunlight.
Keep it clean
Carefully clean your piece with a soft, non-abrasive, lint-free chamois or cloth to maintain or bring back shine. We don't recommend using jewellery polishing cloths treated with cleaners or polishing agents - just like 'dip' polish or abrasive jewellery cleanrs, they contain harsh chemicals which can destroy your pieces over time. If needed, you can use a mild washing up liquid with warm water and a soft toothbrush, then rinse with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Do's and (mostly) Don'ts
Don't wear your pieces swimming, showering, bubblebathing, spa-ing, or any watersports really. Soap tends to leave a thin film which can make the metal seem dull, so take off your rings when washing your hands. Gold and silver are particularly sensitive to damage or discolouration from chlorine and salt, so pools and oceans are big a no-no. Ditto with everyday chemicals like those found in perfume, hairspray, make-up, nail polish remover, body oils, sun tan lotion, and deodorant.
Allergic to gold-plated earrings? If you get a rash or itchy reaction when wearing them, try putting a little bit of clear nail varnish on the post and scroll/backing and re-apply when it wears off.
Precious metals and gemstones
Pronounced ver-may, gold vermeil is required to have a base of sterling silver, coated with a minimum 2.5 microns of gold. Self Published pieces are mostly produced ithis way, on recycled 925 sterling silver. All gold UK vermeil pieces are stamped with the 925 mark to indicate the sterling silver purity, and we have our pieces tested by the Assay Office (where required by law). The plating process differs for vermeil too - Gold Vermeil is plated with a process known as ‘electrolysis’, making the jewellery very durable.
Self Published chunky chains are produced in 100% recyled 18ct or 14ct gold-plated recycled brass. They are still incredibly durable - plated 2 microns of gold with exactly the same process as our Gold Vermeil.
You won't find a cubic zirconia anywhere in sight in our gaff, it's far too Blackpool Illuminations for us. We only and always use semi-precious - or for a real treat, precious stones, like emeralds.
Recycled metals, Fair Trade gemstones
We used recycled silver for all our styles and recycled gold where we can. Our semi precious and precious stones are all fairly mined. We may not be perfect, but we're always looking for ways to do things better.