While you most certainly cherish your gold and silver jewelry, there’s no reason to be overly cautious with how you care for it. In fact, caring for your gold and silver jewelry is much easier than you think and only requires a few tricks and good habits. Let us show you.
Caring for 24k gold is simple
Here at Bess Vivien, we work primarily with 24k gold. Unlike 14k and 18k gold, which are alloys, 24k gold is pure gold without any alloys. In fact, 24k gold is 99% pure gold — meaning just 1 part in 100 will be another metal other than gold. Because of this, 24k gold is incredibly easy to care for.
Known as a ‘noble’ metal, gold is extremely resistant to oxidation, especially when it is pure gold. So, the fact that 24k gold jewelry is so pure means it will never tarnish. You know in the movies when they uncover hidden treasure and it gleams bright, shiny, and yellow while everything around it is dusty and dark? That is how your 24k gold jewelry will age — gracefully. Pure gold jewelry in a museum is a perfect example as well. Jewelry that’s hundreds and thousands of years old still shines bright.
This makes caring for your 24k gold jewelry incredibly simple. Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite tips.
How to care for your gold jewelry
Remember to take off your gold jewelry
A good rule of thumb is to always remove your gold jewelry before hopping in the shower, taking a bath or cleaning. Harsh soaps and chemicals can dull your gold and even scratch it. But, another good habit to get into is taking off your gold jewelry when you exercise and sleep. Over time, your body’s sweat oils will build up on the surface. This is a simple way to reduce cleaning and keep your 24k gold jewelry lustrous.
Buffing is really all you need
Because it does not patina, the best way to care for your 24k gold jewelry is to buff it with a soft cloth or a jewelry cloth occasionally. Gently rub the surface of the jewelry to buff it and loosen any dirt or debris.
- Deep clean when visibly dirty
If you feel that your gold jewelry is visibly dirty, we suggest you gently clean it with a soft damp cloth and soapy water. If you find there is a residue or a larger issue with your pieces we can clean it in our workshop.
- Silver oxidizes very easily.
The Atomic composition of 24k pure gold is sticky. When you wear silver & gold jewelry and they rub together, the residue from the silver tarnish adheres to the gold and leaves a mark that leaves the gold with a noticeable silver residue.
- Always store your gold jewelry separately from your silver jewelry
Over time, storing silver and gold together in the same container will cause the silver to turn black. It can even cause the gold to look tarnished – this is actually silver oxide sticking on the gold – and becoming smokey white or reddish black. To remedy this, we suggest a professional cleaning. To avoid this from happening in the first place, we would store each piece of gold jewelry in its own separate compartment to avoid it getting tossed around, scratched or bent by other pieces of jewelry as well as reducing the reaction between the different metals.
Top storage tips:
- Hang your gold chains so they do not tangle
- If you can’t store gold jewelry in separate compartments, wrap each piece in a soft cloth to keep them safe
Always wear your gold jewelry separately from your silver jewelry.
The same reaction discussed above occurs if you wear silver and gold jewelry together. Especially if you are active, the more times that silver and gold connect – the greater the reaction. So stacking gold and silver bangles and rings should be avoided or cleaned periodically.
Caring for your silver jewelry
Sterling silver tarnishes more than pure silver because of the copper mix inside. We use a special sterling silver alloy that contains platinum, instead of nickel. This keeps our jewelry whiter and tarnish free. Of course, not forever but a significantly longer time than regular sterling silver.
Bess Vivien uses a nickel-free alloy for his special sterling silver. Why nickel free? Nickel is known to cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin.*
As for caring for your silver jewelry, it is actually quite easy and simple. In fact, you can avoid frequent cleaning of your silver jewelry by properly caring for it along the way.
Simple silver jewelry tricks
Remember to take your silver jewelry off
Just like your gold jewelry, silver jewelry should be removed when you’re swimming, cleaning, showering and working out. The chemicals found in these soaps or pools (and the moisture from your sweat) can cause your silver jewelry to tarnish much more quickly, so this is a great way to keep your silver jewelry lustrous longer.
Get in the habit of wiping it down
A great way to keep your silver jewelry clean, shiny and tarnish-free is to wipe it down with a soft cloth every couple of days. For a deeper clean, consider using soapy water on a damp, soft cloth. In case of severe oxidation, please send to the Bess Vivien work shop.
Store it properly in a cool, dry place
If you are one of those people who keeps their jewelry in the bathroom so you don’t forget to put it on in the morning, this habit may be causing you more work than necessary. Moisture in the air can tarnish your silver jewelry, so be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place where it will oxidize much less quickly. And as noted above, never store your silver jewelry with gold where the metals can react to each other