Here's just a little more information on how best to care for your costume jewellery, and keep it looking its best. As ever, if there’s anything you aren’t quite clear on, or I don’t cover here, please do feel free to contact me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Caring for Brass
Brass is a material which, when exposed to air, humidity and natural body chemicals (in other words, everyday life) will gradually darken in colour from bright gold to bronze. This degree of darkening is also known as the patina of the brass.
I use a lot of vintage brass in my designs, at different levels of patination – some are intended to be worn as fairly bright gold, while others look best nice and dark. If you would like to, the bright gold colour of brass can be easily restored by using a straightforward brass cleaner, or alternatively a paste made from a mixture of vinegar and salt. The cleaning is all in the rubbing, so use plenty of elbow grease to get a nice shine.
Though many of my customers also like to leave their brass jewellery to grow old gracefully!
Gold Plated Chain
Many of the chains I use are gold plated brass. Eventually over time, the fine layer of gold plate may rub off, exposing brass underneath. The time that this takes varies quite a lot between different people, but you can help to preserve your necklace chain by applying perfume before you put on your jewellery (or even better, avoid your neckline when you spray). It’s also a good idea to keep your jewellery dry and away from sinks, and to buff from time to time with a suitable jewellery polishing cloth, which can be bought cheaply and easily online.
Always avoid getting rings wet, and any abrasive substances such as nail varnish remover or cleaning products when wearing your ring. Many of my ring bands are made from solid brass, which you can learn more about above.
The golden metal on Silk Purse, Sow’s Ear earrings is generally either solid brass or gold plated brass. The section above on Caring for Brass gives a little more information on this material. Please be careful to thoroughly clean any chemical brass cleaner off the earring fixtures, before wearing them again. Some boiled water should be sufficient for this.
Above everything, I want you to be happy with your jewellery. If you have any problems with allergies or sensitivity to the materials I use, always get in touch and we will work something out.
For customers who can only wear precious metals in their ears, in the past I have used vermeil earring fixtures (vermeil is solid silver, coated in gold) so they can wear my designs too. The only extra I’d charge is for the actual cost of the vermeil fixtures, so this option can often work out less expensive than you’d imagine. If you’d like to talk about this, just contact me.