Amanda Karen Jewellery FAQ
What is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver is a metal containing at least 92.5% silver. This is the legal standard of purity set by the assay offices in Britain and used for most silver jewellery throughout the world. It means that the metal used is of a specific quality. Pure silver is never used as it is too soft to be practical.
How do I care for my jewellery?
Always keep in mind that most jewellery is delicate to some degree. Jewellery pieces should never rub up against each other, other types of metal, gemstones or any harsh surfaces as they will scratch and wear.
Sterling silver will tarnish with time and wear. To take care of your sterling silver jewellery, polish it frequently with a soft dry cloth to avoid tarnish (do not use silver dip). Ideally, use the specially impregnated silver polishing cloth that comes with your silver jewellery.
Where do I store my jewellery?
We recommend you protect your silver jewellery by wrapping it in a soft cloth and storing it in a cool dry place, keeping individual pieces separate to avoid scratching.
Can I wear my jewellery in the shower?
Aside from the potential risk of losing precious pieces down the drain when showering, you'll find that your earrings and necklaces are likely to get gummed up over time by residues from shampoos, conditioners and soaps.
This is especially the case with stud earrings, which also have the potential to cause an infection if not kept clean.
If you do keep some pieces on when you shower, then make sure you take them off occasionally to give them a good clean.
You should especially avoid wearing opals or pearls in the shower as repeated contact with water and other chemicals can permanently discolour and damage the stones.
What chemicals should I avoid?
We recommend avoiding contact with chemicals such as perfume, hairspray, deodorant and chlorine.
These can all discolour silver. They can even potentially weaken gold by corroding the metals it is alloyed with. As for salt water, it can dull even diamonds and erode soldered parts in metal jewellery.
How do I clean my Jewellery?
You should clean your jewellery whenever it's needed - and pay close attention to how it looks so that you don't miss the signs. When you're wearing certain pieces every day it can be easy to miss that they are looking increasingly dull and grimy.
You wouldn't neglect cleaning your clothes, but jewellery is often overlooked, even though it's just as 'up close and personal' when being worn.
We also recommend that you do a thorough check of your jewellery at least twice a year and properly clean all of the pieces that need it, including your costume or fashion jewellery. Doing this in spring and autumn when you're transitioning to different clothing is a great routine to get into.
Does silver jewellery tarnish?
Tarnishing is a natural process which is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with various types of metal.
Understanding tarnish is key to cleaning your jewellery. All precious metals can tarnish to some degree.
The reason sterling silver tarnishes more easily is because it is an alloy of pure silver with copper. This has the benefit of making the metal harder and much more suitable for making jewellery than pure silver, which is too soft for many uses.
Can I Prevent Tarnishing?
It's important to keep pieces out of flowing air and humidity when not being worn. In particular it's not a good idea to store your jewellery in your bathroom. If you live in a humid place you should take extra care to protect your jewellery from humidity. Keeping a humidity absorber near where you store your jewellery can help.
Cleaning your silver jewellery more regularly will also help to keep tarnish at bay. The longer you leave it, the more tarnish it will have and the harder it will be to clean.
Finally, wearing your silver jewellery regularly can help to slow down the process of tarnishing as the metal moving against your skin and itself will help to keep it clean.
However, a very small number of people seem to have something about them which speeds up tarnish a lot when they wear silver jewellery. This could be caused by environmental, chemical or biological factors which can be hard to pinpoint. If you're one of those people, then it simply means you'll need to clean your jewellery more often or try switching to a less reactive metal (gold or platinum) that works better for you. Sorry about that!
Now you know how to care for your jewellery, isn't it a good time to add some new pieces to your collection? Shop our beautiful collection today.