With the right care and attention, your gold jewellery will continue to give you pleasure years after you've bought it. In this guide, we'll show you how to care for your gold jewellery and the things you should avoid doing to protect your favourite pieces.
How to wear your jewellery day-to-day
You may have heard it said that pure gold is delicate, but 18ct gold is really quite robust, and you can expect to enjoy wearing it for a lifetime. Although 9ct gold is tough, it’s also very brittle because of the brass content, and it is prone to snap and fracture.
Other gold alloys are more durable, for example:
- White gold is a blend of pure gold and metals such as nickel and zinc. It is more durable and scratch-resistant than yellow gold.
- Rose gold (so-called for its pinkish gold tone) is an alloy of pure gold and copper, and it is more durable than yellow and white gold.
It's particularly important to be mindful of what you're doing with your hands if you're wearing a gold ring or gold stacking rings. Take it off before you do any DIY or if you plan to have your hands submerged in water for a long time - washing up, for example.
Dish soap can cause a residue to build-up on your jewellery that leaves it looking dull, and harsh chemicals found in cleaning products around the home can also damage the gold's finish and weaken its structure. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while you're cleaning or, where possible, take off your jewellery.
Most experts agree that when you're getting ready, you should put on your jewellery last so that you aren't exposing it to things like hairspray, cologne, perfume, and makeup, which can all damage this precious metal.
How to clean your gold jewellery
We recommend that you have your jewellery cleaned professionally once every 6 to 12 months. This is particularly important if you have a piece that contains semi-precious gemstones, which require extra care and attention (more on this later).
We offer a complimentary polishing service for pieces purchased at Barbara Tipple.
If you can, it's best to go back to the retailer you bought your jewellery from, but if this is not possible, many of the high-street’s best jewellers offer in-store cleaning services.
For a quick and easy way to clean your gold jewellery at home, follow our 5-step guide:
- Mix lukewarm water with a mild detergent
It's important to stick to a mild detergent, like baby shampoo, to avoid exposing your jewellery to the harsh chemicals contained in some cleaning products.
- Soak your jewellery for ten minutes
Try not to exceed ten minutes - any longer and you risk the soapy water creating a film on your jewellery, that can be hard to remove.
- Clean gently, using a soft-bristled brush
A soft-bristled brush is less likely to scratch your jewellery and will help you get into hard-to-reach areas where dirt can collect without you knowing.
- Rinse thoroughly in clean water and dry
Dry each piece of jewellery separately to stop them rubbing together.
- Polish your jewellery with a soft cloth
Use a lint-free cloth to avoid your jewellery snagging on any loose threads. Regular polishing will help to maintain its shine and keep your jewellery looking its best.
The best way to store your jewellery
Gold jewellery should be kept in a dry, fabric-lined box and kept out of direct sunlight.
Where possible, we recommend storing your jewellery in separate boxes so they can't become tangled or rub against each other and cause damage.
The original box is the best place to keep your gold earrings safe. The cushioned insert holds them in place securely and is particularly useful if you're prone to losing small stud earrings. When they're not being worn, delicate pieces like our gold bee earrings and moonstone drop earrings are most at home nestled in their own box.
Where possible, necklaces are best hung up to stop them from tangling, and this is also the case with some fine gold bracelets. Try to keep them somewhere where they aren't exposed to sunlight or any extreme temperatures that can damage the metal.
Caring for other gemstones
Our jewellery collection is full of precious and semi-precious gemstones, that must cared for in a different way to yellow golds and sterling silver.
Non-porous, precious gemstones, such as rubies and sapphires
These gemstones are non-porous so you can use a soapy solution to soak them. After a few minutes, take them out and dry/polish your jewellery with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Delicate gemstones including opal, emerald, amber, peridot, and tanzanite
These gemstones are porous and shouldn't be left submerged in water. Instead, you should wipe the jewellery with a warm, damp cloth to remove any dirt.
This advice applies to many of the pieces in our collection, from white gold earrings set with a tanzanite gemstone to a gold bracelet with moonstones.
Whether your favourite piece is set with expensive gemstones or it's a cheap pair of hoop earrings that you wear regularly, caring for your jewellery correctly can extend its life so you can go on enjoying it for longer.
If you are in any doubt about how to care for your gold jewellery, ask the professionals before you do anything. We want our customers to get the most out of their jewellery, and we are always happy to give our advice.