Caring for Your Jewellery

Caring for your Silver Jewellery

Your silver jewellery has been carefully checked to ensure that it will withstand reasonable wear and tear. However by its very nature, jewellery is delicate and should be treated with due care. Whilst we have found argentium to be more resistant to scratching than regular sterling silver, we recommend that you take steps to ensure that your jewellery doesn’t rub against other metals or harsh surfaces as they will scratch and wear your pieces.

We recommend that wherever possible you store your jewellery in its box when not being used and/ or in the little anti-tarnish bag provided.

Tarnishing is caused by oxygen and moisture coming into contact with metal that causes the metal to blacken/ become discoloured.

All precious metals can tarnish to some degree due to the alloys used to make your precious metal hard enough to wear as jewellery. At Karen Young Handmade Jewellery we generally use a more modern alloy of silver called Argentium or tarnish resistant Sterling, (although we still use traditional Sterling for some pieces where tarnish is desireable) which replaces the copper used in the traditional Sterling Silver alloy with Germanium meaning it is more tarnish resistant. It will still tarnish eventually but will do so more slowly and less noticeably than Sterling Silver. The advantages of Argentium Silver over more traditional alloys are:

  1. Argentium’s 935 and 960 grades set new purity standards for silver. Argentium is always purer than traditional sterling silver.
  2. Argentium is naturally beautiful and does not require plating
  3. We find it to be brighter and whiter than platinum, white gold and Sterling Silver.
  4. It is Hypoallergenic and antibacterial and perfect for those who are unable to wear traditional sterling silver.
  5. It is highly tarnish resistant. We find it to be lower maintenance and easy to care for and simple to clean.
  6. Argentium is produced using recycled silver so is more ecologically friendly.

Wearing a piece 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.

It’s also important to keep pieces out of flowing air and humidity when not being worn. All of Karen’s jewellery comes packaged in small cotton filled boxes along with small transparent anti-tarnish bags which are ideal to use to store your pieces.

We find that in most cases, warm soapy water is enough to clean Argentium Silver and remove tarnish, dirt and grime.

However you can also use the metal polishing cloth you receive with your jewellery, which is impregnated with chemicals which help to remove tarnish and are soft enough to not scratch the metal. You can use these cloths until they are black – they shouldn’t be washed.



Caring for your Gemstone Jewellery

Gemstones are typically quite robust and clean well with warm soapy water. You can use a soft brush to help remove grime if they are particularly dirty.

Alternatively an ultrasonic cleaner will quickly and easily remove dirt and grime from set gemstones. However, you should not use ultrasonic cleaners with pearls and other soft gemstones such as opals.

Please do not put strung gemstones in the ultrasonic cleaner but wipe down with a soft, dry cloth.

Caring for your Pearl Jewellery

All pearls we use at Karen Young Handmade Jewellery are real pearls. They are all cultured as pearls occurring entirely naturally in nature is incredibly rare (and are normally very expensive!). We source our pearls from highly trusted suppliers who hand select each and every pearl directly from Hong Kong.

Your pearls have been strung on high quality synthetic silk for strength and endurance and hand knotted between each pearl using traditional pearl stringing methods for security. However moderately worn pearls will need to be professionally restrung every 3-5 years and pearls worn more frequently may require restringing before this. Karen Young Handmade Jewellery is happy to restring your pearls for a small fee, please Contact Us for details.

High quality pearls are beautiful, meant to be worn and will last a lifetime if cared for properly and with due care. Whilst pearls can be relatively robust given how soft they are, pearls can be scratched by contact with sharp objects or other gemstones so we suggest that you store your Pearls in the box they come in with the clasp fastened. When travelling, carry your pearls in a protective jewellery pouch.   However pearls love being exposed to the oils in your skin and so please do wear them frequently – leaving them unworn for a long time in a box can cause them to dehydrate!

Pearls are a natural biological substance and are porous, so avoid anything which could be absorbed by them.

Please do not put any hairspray, make-up, perfume or any other such substances where they could contact and be absorbed by the pearls. We suggest that you put on your pearls last to minimize contact with anything that could cause them harm.

After wearing, please wipe down with a soft, dry cloth and store in their box.

Caring for your Keum Boo Jewellery

Keum Boo uses an ancient Korean technique involving heat and pressure to bond gold foil to Silver at a molecular level. As the gold is physically bonded to the silver and gold foil used for Keum Boo is significantly thicker than the layer created by gold plating and as such will not wear off. However it is advised that you take special care when polishing or cleaning keum boo areas to avoid damaging the finish. Vigorous rubbing and harsh cleansers are not recommended for keum boo jewellery.