Our last blog post looked at the best way to clean silver jewellery. We thought we’d follow this up with a similar post about cleaning gold jewellery. So if your solid gold jewellery is looking sad rather than shimmering, read on!
All about Gold
Gold jewellery is never usually made from 100% (24ct) gold, pure gold being too soft for everyday use. Instead it’s alloyed with other metals to create gold which is between 9 and 18 carat. There are three types of gold commonly found in jewellery: yellow, white and rose gold.
Yellow gold is usually a mixture of pure gold, copper and silver. White gold is a mixture of pure gold and other white metals, usually palladium or nickel. It’s normally coated with Rhodium to strengthen it, and give it extra shine. This Rhodium plating does eventually wear off over time and require re-plating by a jeweller. Rose gold is made from mixing pure gold with copper (at a higher percentage than with yellow gold) and silver to give a beautiful pink coloured finish.
Keeping gold jewellery in top condition
Gold jewellery can be easily damaged. To keep your gold jewellery looking its best take off your jewellery before these activities:
- – Applying lotions and other toiletries
- – Cleaning the house – contact with cleaning products is a big no-no.
- – Visiting a steam room and sauna, or any other treatments that involve rapid temperature changes.
- – Swimming, as the chlorine can affect the metal.
Cleaning gold jewellery
First of all, check your jewellery for loose fittings or stones. If anything is loose, don’t attempt to clean it yourself and instead take it to a jeweller. In addition, if the piece is of high monetary or sentimental value, it might be better to defer to a professional. Finally, if your jewellery item includes precious stones, e.g, diamonds or pearls, the piece may need to be cleaned in a different way. Pearls in particular are easily damaged unless cleaned in the correct way (we’ll cover this in our next post).
For a gentle way to clean gold jewellery, you’ll only need a few things: washing up liquid, warm water and a soft toothbrush. Avoid using a firm toothbrush or any brush with hard bristles which can damage your item.
- 1. Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid.
- 2. Soak the item for a few minutes.
- 3. Gently remove any dirt and grime from the toothbrush.
- 4. Finally, rinse the jewellery in clean water and dry with a soft towel or cloth.
Cleaning gold plated jewellery
The above technique can be used on gold plated jewellery. In addition, gold plate can be cleaned with a jewellery cleaning cloth. Make sure not to rub too vigorously otherwise some of the plating may come off along with the tarnish.
We’ll be looking at precious stones in our next post so check back next week!