How to care for your jewellery...
Now that you have received your precious Hand on Heart piece, we would like to offer you some helpful tips and following these simple instructions will help to keep your jewellery safe and looking its best.
Check fixtures and fittings regularly
Keep your jewellery dry and remove when swimming and bathing
Remove before carrying out any manual work or exercising
Avoid contact with perfumes, chemical, lotions and chlorine
Here at Hand on Heart we use 925 Sterling Silver, so you can rest assured we use silver of the highest quality. Silver is a soft metal that will naturally mark when in contact with hard surfaces and is liable to tarnish when in contact with chemicals, therefore silver jewellery requires a little extra love and care.
What is tarnishing?
Tarnishing develops as a chemical reaction but causes no actual harm to the silver and the most common source is through air (especially during the warmer months) and contact with substances such as perfume, water or lotions.
How to avoid tarnishing
Wear your jewellery regularly. When wearing a piece of sterling silver jewellery every day it is easy to notice any changes in colour and to clean it off
Clean your jewellery on a regular basis - often your jewellery will come into contact with some chemicals but cleaning your jewellery after each wear will help avoid discolouring due to tarnishing
If you don’t wear your jewellery as often it is important to inspect and clean your pieces every couple of days to avoid tarnishing
How to store your silver jewellery
How your jewellery is stored is really important and can make a difference in how quickly your piece tarnishes. When your sterling silver jewellery is not being worn it is best stored:
In individual bags or an airtight container - anti-tarnishing bags can be found from jewellery suppliers or you can keep the pieces in zip-lock bags made from mylar or polyethene (avoid bags made from polyvinyl as they contain sulphur compounds)
When stored your jewellery should not be touching other jewellery and should never be rested on metal when not being worn
Your jewellery should not be left in the bathroom as the humidity and moisture can speed up the tarnishing process
How to clean your silver jewellery
If you do notice a change in colour, we recommend cleaning your jewellery right away. Leaving the piece will only cause the reaction to worsen and the discolouring to continue. Don't worry if your piece has tarnished, as it can be easily resolved at home by using a silver polish cloth.
Silver polish cloths are available from most jewellers, including ourselves. Our polish cloth contains a unique polishing agent specially formulated for cleaning sterling silver. First, polish the surface of the silver with the inner cloth to add the polishing agent and buff the piece again with the outer cloth to give a lovely shine. Order a polish cloth here. Heavier tarnishing can be a little bit trickier to remove and for this, we offer a maintenance service to have your handcrafted jewellery re-polished and re-darkened. This special service will make your piece look as good as new. Find out more about our maintenance service here.
Please be aware we do not recommend using liquid cleaning solutions on our personalised jewellery as this can remove the solution used to darken the prints, however silver cleaner can be used to clean your sterling silver chain.
If you have purchased a sterling silver ring it will have been handcrafted and hand polished, and whilst we try to remove as much of the cleaning compounds as possible, sometimes a little residue can remain on the ring. This may colour the skin when being worn the first couple of times but is completely harmless. If this does happen, please wash your ring in warm soapy water and dry completely before each wear. Always dry underneath the ring after washing hands.
Please be aware that sterling silver is not flexible and trying to adjust the size or shape of your ring will cause damage or breakage.
Like sterling silver jewellery it is important to check the fittings and fixings of your stainless steel gifts regularly to ensure they are secure. Stainless steel does not tarnish like silver, nor will it rust, but it can become scratched when worn against other hard surfaces. To avoid scratching prevent the piece coming into contact with other metals and materials. If you find your stainless steel gift becomes dirty or stained it can be washed by adding a few drops of mild soap to warm water, soaking a non-abrasive cloth in the solution and wiping the jewellery. Then rinse your piece in clean water before patting dry with a clean non-abrasive cloth.
Caring for your leather is just as important as caring for the sterling silver charms attached to it. Leather is a natural material and over time you will see your leather bracelet develop signs of wear and tear, these should not be considered faults but part of the individual character of your piece. Even with great care and attention, your leather bracelet will soften and the colour may change but this comes naturally with the material.
Leather will wear at different rates depending on climatic conditions, sweat acidity and levels of wear and tear. To help you keep your leather bracelet last as long as possible we strongly advise the following:
Regularly check the fitting of the bracelet to ensure the charms are secure
Keep your bracelet away from water, getting the leather wet will cause damage and weaken the bracelet. Exposure to water may cause the leather to snap
Avoid contact with chemicals like perfume and body lotion to help keep the piece clean
Remove your bracelet before carrying out manual work or exercising
Keep out of direct sunlight and away from direct heat
If your bracelet becomes wet accidentally it should be wiped with a dry, non-abrasive cloth and left to dry out completely at room temperature.
If you feel your bracelet needs to be cleaned you can use a dry cloth to remove any dirt from the surface of the leather, but remember to be extra careful when cleaning the silver charms so the silver polish cloth compound does not come into contact with the leather. When not being worn your leather bracelet should be stored away from direct sunlight to ensure the chance of tarnishing on the charms is kept at a minimum.
If your bracelet has worn and you wish to replace the leather band, we do offer a maintenance service. The cost of this service is £20.00 and will have your leather band and clasp replaced and your sterling silver charm polished. To arrange this service, please visit our website here or call us on 01768 800262 (Mon-Fri / 9am-5pm).