When your pieces are not being worn, always pop them in either in it’s original pouch, or a storage place of your choice that is free from dust and dirt. This will help avoid accelerated tarnishing. To avoid scratches, each piece should be stored separately and bangles should always be stored flat.
Exposure to air, dust or other elements, particularly those containing sulfur, may cause sterling silver to tarnish more rapidly. There are a number of non-abrasive polishes on the market specifically designed to remove tarnish. Alternatively, give toothpaste a go. It requires a tiny bit more effort, but is a good go to if you don’t have other cleaners on hand. Apply a small amount on an old soft toothbrush with a bit of water and lightly scrub the piece. Then wash it off under water to and dry with a soft cloth.
Always store your silver jewellery in it’s case to avoid tarnishing.
Oxidised Sterling Silver
Oxidised sterling silver is the process of forcing the surface of the metal oxidise at a faster rate to obtain the grey/black finish. This patina, or surface treatment in no way changes the metal’s internal characteristics. As with most surface treatments, the matte black surface finish will wear off over time depending on the how much direct contact it has with the skin and clothing, exposing the natural silver colour of the metal underneath.
We protect the surface with a wax coating to prolong the life of the surface treatment, but it is important to note that this only prolongs the life of the colour and will not last forever.We recommend avoiding cleaning the surface of any oxidised piece particularly with any jewellery cleaners as this is a sure fire way to strip the colour right back. If absolutely necessary, gently apply a little methylated spirit to a soft sponge or cotton ball and wipe the piece gently.
Gold Vermeil is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Our vermeil is plated with 23K gold. This is a great combination for those with allergies to normal, plated jewellery.
Always rinse completely and blot dry with a chamois cloth, or alternative soft cloth (flannel is a good one!). Never use creamy jewellery cleaners (like Brasso or Silvo) on gold vermeil as they are too abrasive and will scratch the surface of the jewellery.
Brass is an alloy, which means it’s material composition is made of more than one metal, in this case copper and zinc. The ratios of these metals vary depending on where it is made, which can result in brass having various colour tones depending on the manufacturer. Brass tarnishes over time, becoming a deeper yellow. When polished it resembles the colour of 14ct gold, a far more subtle yellow, than the tarnished look. If you prefer the warm, more subtle yellow, it’s important to store your brass jewellery away from oxygen, such as a zip lock bag. Alternatively if you know you’re not that organised, no problem… a little clean with toothpaste, or vinegar and water will do the trick. Brasso can also be bought from most supermarkets, however this is a toxic cleaner and shouldn’t be done indoors as it’s quite strong smelling.
Black Nickel Free Electroplate
Some people have allergic reactions to certain plating, the most common being nickel-plating which is often found in costume jewellery. It is for this reason that élodie jewellery never knowingly uses nickel in any of the jewellery pieces. We have a great relationship with our plater and they understand the importance of keeping our products nickel free. They use what’s called a ‘flash’ of sterling silver below the black plate in replace of the nickel. A great substitute if you ask us. A lacquer is then applied to seal the plating.
As with all surface treatments, they do wear with time. Our advice is to take great care when wearing your plated items and avoid getting into contact with rough surfaces (like brick walls) that may scratch your beloved jewellery. Always remove your jewellery at the end of the day and place gently back in it’s home.
Never use jewellery polishing products to clean your plated surface as the chemicals will strip the layers off. If you need to clean the brass or silver section of the piece (ie: a bangle), we recommend using a polishing cloth as opposed to harsh abrasives in this instance.