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CARING FOR YOUR JEWELLERY

If you look after your jewellery in a sensible manner, it will continue to look beautiful for years to come. We recommend silver polishing cloths manufactured by Town Talk Polish Company Limited (http://www.towntalkpolish.com/silver/). Unfortunately, silver does tarnish and a quick rub with a silver cloth will help prevent this. Do keep the silver cloth in the packet it arrives in because the cloth is impregnated with silver anti-tarnish power and will dry out with exposure to the air.

Whilst all Otis Jaxon pieces come in our signature packaging, these are for gift-giving purposes only, and not for storing your jewellery. We recommend storing unworn jewellery inside an airtight bag in your jewellery box to minimize tarnishing, which can occur when it comes into contact with natural elements. Airtight containers are preferable when storing your jewellery, the most common household items with this function are zip lock bags, or any other airtight bag with a non-abrasive surface. Avoid placing unworn jewellery in direct contact with other items, as this can increase risk of tarnishing, especially when stored with costume jewellery. 

Check butterflies are tight and that earrings are secure when changing clothing, and that all catches are securely fastened. All jewellery benefits from being handled and worn with care and being kept clean. Highly polished silver will mellow and develop a wonderful patina. This patina is made-up of very fine scratches, which distinguishes this metal from all others. Storing silver in newspaper or binding it with rubber bands will react with the silver, causing deep discoloration, which may have to be professionally polished. 

WHAT TARNISHES SILVER?

Silver is tarnished by sulphur-containing materials, particularly hydrogen sulphide (H2S). The most common tarnish-causing elements are wool, felt, food (eggs, onions, and mayonnaise), fossil fuels, rubber bands, latex gloves, carpet padding, and certain paints. Tarnishing is accelerated in a humid environment. Oily salts from our fingers may, if not removed, show up as corrosion patterns that may have to be professionally removed.  Silver that is worn and then gently washed and dried immediately will seldom require tarnish removal. When hand-washing, do not allow your silver to come in contact with a metal sink as it may scratch.

Keep your jewellery clean – with silver, gold and platinum jewellery you can also use a soft toothbrush, lukewarm water and some washing up liquid to take away any residues of, for example, hand cream, soap or every-day dirt (more details below).

Tarnish is easily removed when first noticed (usually a yellowish tint), and will become increasingly difficult to deal with, as it turns to light brown and eventually black. Frequent light cleanings, (washing the object with a phosphate-free detergent may be all you’ll need) are preferred to waiting until the tarnish gets so stubborn that more abrasive polishes would have to be employed.

DO NOT!

Expose your jewellery to any chemicals such as household cleaners, perfumes, hairspray etc as these could cause damage and discolouration to the surface of your jewellery (that means ‘no’ to cleaning any of your jewellery with vinegar, gin and coca cola, which can be very acidic!).

Do not wear your jewellery during activities such as exercising or gardening to avoid knocking or scratching. 

Do not let it have prolonged contact with hard or abrasive surfaces. Avoid carrying heavy bags when wearing delicate rings or bracelets as these can cause damage and misshape your jewellery.

SPECIAL FINISHES – VERMEIL AND MATT AND POLISHED SILVER JEWELLERY

Gold Plating (also called Vermeil)

An increasingly large portion of our designs are sterling silver with a gold plated finish. This process is achieved by micometres (or microns) of gold plating being fused to the surface of the silver. Gold plating is a surface finish so it can be susceptible to wear, but if looked after correctly signs of wearing should only occur over a long period of time. Avoid wearing gold plated jewellery when swimming or bathing, and remove rings before applying hand cream as the acids in moisturisers can affect the longevity of the plating.

Perfumes can also affect gold plated necklaces, so allow your perfume to dry before putting on gold plated jewellery. Gold plating is available in the Otis Jaxon workshop for already plated pieces or silver items you might wish to re-plate.

Matt and polished finishes

When a piece of jewellery has a matt finish – a smooth, non-shiny surface – you may find over time the surface starts to become polished. Similarly, polished rings will take on subtle surface marks with wear, and their appearance will dull slightly. If this happens, both finishes are easy to re-achieve, and we are able to re-finish items for you in our workshop.

WHAT IS SILVER JEWELLERY?

All of our silver is “sterling” quality. This means that each piece is a minimum of 92.5% pure silver. The other 7.5% are other colourless metals, added to the silver to make it harder. Pure silver is comparatively soft and these other metals added, make silver more durable. No nickel is used in this process. 

As per British regulations, items over a certain weight will be tested for purity and Hallmarked accordingly by the Edinburgh Assay Office (http://www.edinburghassayoffice.co.uk/). We do not use feature hallmarks, and try to make our hallmarking as discreet as possible to retain the integrity of our designs. 

Where hallmarks are used, each is made up of different elements, some that are compulsory and others that are optional. Our pieces are usually stamped (or lasered) with 3 elements:

- Our company hallmark NK in a square box. 

- 925 in an oval. This indicates that it is sterling silver and imported.

- A symbol specific to the assay office used (in this case a castle tower from the Edinburgh Assay Office).