How to Look After Your Jewellery
Sourced from all over the world, and created using the finest gemstones and precious metals, your Astley Clarke jewellery requires a little care and attention to keep it looking its best.
Dust, pollution and daily wear all conspire to cloud the brilliance of a gemstone and dull the surface of precious metals. As with all fine things in life, you should take care to protect your jewellery and always store it in a fabric lined jewellery box, taking care not to drop, bash or scratch.
Always remove your jewellery when applying scent, lotions and potions, or even better, always put your jewellery on last when getting dressed. Please note that chlorine is especially damaging to jewellery.
Ensure that you rinse off any chemicals that come into contact with your jewellery straight away to avoid build up which can make cleaning difficult.
Avoid storing your Astley Clarke jewellery next to costume jewellery or watches with leather straps.
Store jewellery separately so that pieces do not tangle, rub or scratch against each other.
Containing no oxides, pure gold is the only precious metal that will not tarnish. Having said this, it is a relatively soft metal and care should always be taken with your gold jewellery. Generally, the higher the carat weight, the softer the metal; for example, 14 carat gold tends to be more resistant to scratching than 18 carat gold. We recommend that you wear rings of a similar carat together, e.g. your wedding and engagement ring.
Gold should be cleaned regularly in order to maintain its beauty and patina. A soft, lint free cloth or even better a gold polishing cloth is an effective way to keep gold jewellery looking its best.
White Gold - White gold is achieved by combining pure gold with alloys such as silver and palladium. As the natural colour of white gold is a greyish colour, almost all white gold jewellery is plated with a metal called Rhodium which is used to brighten its colour. Rhodium is very white and very hard but it may wear eventually.
Yellow Gold - Pure gold is a metallic yellow; alloys such as copper and silver are used as the principal metals used for gold alloy.
Rose Gold - Rose gold is the result of varying the proportions of copper and silver in the alloy, resulting in a beautiful pinkish hue. We use a bespoke alloy for our rose gold to create a universally flattering hue.Shop Gold Jewellery
Derived from the Spanish term 'platina del Pinto' which literally translates as 'little silver of the Pinto river', platinum is naturally silvery white in appearance, and does not require rhodium plating like white gold. A very dense, malleable and precious metal, platinum is resistant to corrosion and incredibly hardwearing. This makes platinum is suitable to be worn every day; however, care should still be taken to prevent scratches.
Platinum jewellery can be cleaned with a mild soapy water solution and a soft bristle brush. Over time platinum jewellery develops a natural patina which can be easily polished.
Sterling Silver is an alloy of silver and other metals, usually copper. Pure silver is too soft for everyday wear; therefore, copper is generally used to give it strength while at the same time preserving the ductility of the metal and its beauty.
As with most precious metals, sterling silver tarnishes; having said this, it is less likely to happen as quickly if regularly worn.
Clean your silver jewellery in warm soapy water, ensuring that it is rinsed thoroughly and dried before storing. Alternatively polish your silver jewellery with a soft cloth.Shop Sterling Silver Jewellery
Quite simply, gold vermeil is a layer of gold over sterling silver. To be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 10 carat and at least 1.5 microns thick.
Never wear your gold vermeil jewellery in the shower or when swimming. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolour your gold vermeil jewellery.
Gently clean your gold vermeil jewellery with a soft polishing cloth or even a silver polishing cloth. Gold vermeil will fade with time.
As an organic material, pearls are much softer than most other gemstones and can be easily scratched. A little help is at hand with our following list of do's and don'ts:
...wear your pearls. As an organic material they react well to the natural oils in your skin and it is the best way to maintain their lustre.
...wipe your pearls with a soft cloth after wearing, and occasionally wipe clean with mild soapy water. Allow the pearls to dry before putting them away.
...have your pearl necklace re-strung every few years; to prevent abrasion, most jewellers knot pearls on silk thread which wears in time.
...store your pearls with other jewellery as they can easily be scratched when metal or gemstones rub against them.
...store pearls in plastic bags, always store in the box or silk pouch that they should be supplied with.
...clean your pearls in an ultrasonic cleaner; the vibrations can shatter them, especially if the nacre is thin or cracked.
...use chemical cleaners; especially those containing ammonia and bleach, as this will destroy their lustre.
...expose to excessive heat; because they contain organic material and water, pearls can also crack if exposed to excessive dryness.
A mineral composed of pure carbon, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known; however, they can still suffer chips and fractures from sharp blows.
It is possible to scratch a diamond with a diamond, so please take care when wearing and storing your diamond jewellery.
Clean your diamonds with warm soapy liquid and a soft toothbrush, rinsing the stone and setting afterwards to ensure no soapy residue.Shop Diamond Jewellery
A gemstone is a mineral highly prized for its beauty, durability, and rarity. A few noncrystalline organic materials are also classified as gemstones such as pearl, coral and amber.
Gemstone hardness is based on a standard called the Mohs scale, where the higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone. It is important to consider this when cleaning, wearing and storing your gemstone jewellery.
The build-up of hand cream, finger prints and general dirt is common amongst your most loved jewellery, and can easily be cleaned. As a rule of thumb, gemstones at 7 and above on the Mohs scale can be cleaned with warm water, a touch of mild soap and a soft brush. For gemstones less than 7, swap the soft brush for a soft cloth.
All gemstones also susceptible to damage by chemicals, water and even sunlight but prolonged exposure to the latter may cause certain gemstones to become paler. Examples include amethyst, ametrine, aquamarine, aventurine, beryl, citrine, kunzite, rose quartz and smoky quartz.
Some gemstones such as opal, pearl and turquoise are fairly porous and should not be immersed in water for too long.
Particular care should be taken when cleaning your emerald jewellery. A widespread practice is to treat emeralds with some form of fine oil in order to disguise the very frequent appearance of flaws. For this reason, emeralds should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning device; as such treatment will usually empty any flaws which reach the surface of the stone of any oil content, with a disastrous effect on appearance.
Devised by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, this scale is a means of grading the relative hardness of minerals.
Using ten common minerals, Mohs put them in order of their 'scratchability'; placing talc at 1 and diamond at 10. Quite simply, each mineral will scratch the ones below it, and be scratched by those above it.