Why does jewellery tarnish?
When metals are exposed to air over a long period of time they 'oxidise' and turn a darker colour. Don't worry, this is absolutely normal. The more often you wear jewellery, the quicker it will oxidise. Some metals oxidise quicker than others.
Gold is the slowest to oxidise. Bulgaria's Varna Gold treasure is considered to be the oldest processed gold dating back 6,600 years. It was unearthed in exceptional condition with only slight discolouration.
Silver oxidises much quicker than gold. It reacts with sulfur-containing gases in air to create a layer of silver sulfide on the surface. Sources of sulfur containing gases include Drywall (plasterboard), foods such as eggs, people, water and wood.
Iridescent Copper oxidises quicker than gold and silver in a three-step process where copper oxidises to copper oxide, the to cuprous or cupric sulfide, and finally to copper carbonate. It results in a green-coloured copper layer or patina.
Rose Gold is gold infused with copper to give it the pink colour. It's the copper in the rose gold that is oxidising.
Resin jewellery doesn't oxidise or 'rust' like metal jewellery. It does however, gain a yellow colour over time. This can be due to extended exposure to high temperatures, sustained water exposure and exposure to UV light. UV light is the most common cause of resin turning yellow. UV light excites the polymers molecules causing them to break down.
How can I prevent my Arborvita jewellery from tarnishing?
You cannot prevent jewellery from tarnishing but you can slow the process down.
- Avoid contact with perfume, hairspray and deodorant.
- Store jewellery in a cool, dry place and in a sealed ziplock bag.
- Always remove jewellery before bathing or swimming.
How to clean and maintain your Arborvita jewellery.
There are many ways to clean jewellery. Some are more damaging than others. Our metal leaves have a base coat of copper and are then finished in gold, silver, iridescent copper and rose gold. It's possible that the surface finish could be removed with a very abrasive cleaning method. If cleaned too often, the surface could be worn away.
A jewellery cleaning cloth is probably the gentlest method for cleaning. They can be bought online. Some are impregnated with abrasives. Use ones that are not impregnated with abrasives.
Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water. Make sure to dry it thoroughly. If you use this method you must remove the pendant from the chain ensuring that the chain stays dry. If the chain needs cleaning, do this separately. You can remove the pendant from the chain by gently twisting the 'jump ring' on the end of the chain which will open it. Remove the jump ring and slide the pendant off. Do not use this method with Iridescent Copper Jewellery or glass jewellery. The water will likely react to the iridescent copper. Water may enter into the glass sealed jewellery damaging the leaf or flower inside.
Gold - Jewellery cleaning cloth. Warm Soapy water. remove pendant from chain. Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water.
Silver - Jewellery cleaning cloth. Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water.
Iridescent Copper - Jewellery cleaning cloth. No coatings on cloth and use gently.
Rose Gold - Jewellery cleaning cloth. Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water. Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water.
Resin - Jewellery cleaning cloth. Warm soapy water a soft brush and rinse with clean water.
How often should you clean jewellery?
It's a personal choice. Some people like the darker 'antique' look for their jewellery whilst others want their jewellery looking the same as the day they bought it. If you need any advice, please contact us.