Caring for Your Jewellery

When you take care of your jewels and they’ll take care of you… Regular wear and tear can cause your favourite pieces to lose their lustre. You must learn how to care for your jewelleries whether they are made with gold, silver, diamond or other gemstones.

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Gold

24 karat is pure gold, which is naturally bright yellow in colour. However, because it is often too soft for use in everyday jewellery, most pieces are alloyed (mixed with other metals) to make it more durable. 18k gold has a 75% purity, while 14k is at 58.5% and 9k at 37.5%.

At Penchant Design, we use solid gold in yellow, white and rose colours. While yellow and rose gold don’t have to be plated, white gold is usually plated with Rhodium, which can wear off over time. We therefore recommend having the plating redone once a year (or whenever it’s starting to wear).

Whether yellow, white or rose gold, here’s how to make sure it never looks old!
WEAR: Gold is a fairly soft metal, which can scratch, dent and damage easily. You should therefore avoid wearing gold jewellery when doing outdoor activities and exercise.
WASH: If your gold jewellery looks like it’s losing its shine, simply soak it in some warm, soapy water and then carefully wipe it down with a soft cloth

Silver

At Penchant design, we make use of Sterling Silver and Argentium silver.

Sterling Silver = 92.5% Silver + 7.5% Copper
Argentium Silver = 96% Silver + 4% Germanium

Sterling silver, which is mainly used in our Oxi-Daisy range, naturally oxidises and tarnishes over time, giving it a yellow-brown or a blackish tint. Since this range specifically relies on oxidation to enhance the daisies’ appearance, we do not use Rhodium plating. We do, however, use Argentium silver in our other ranges, due to its high level of tarnish resistance and the elimination of firescale (a visible layer of oxides on the surface).

How to stop your silver pieces from losing their shine:
• AVOID WATER: Sterling silver is sensitive to H2O, so do not wear your silver pieces when swimming, bathing, showering, washing your hands or doing the dishes.
• WEARING IS CARING: The oils in your skin slow down the oxidation process in sterling silver, so the best way to keep it shiny is to wear it. Pieces that you do not wear often should be wrapped in white tissue paper to reduce the oxidisation.
• WIPE IT DOWN: Both Sterling and Argentium silver can be wiped down with a soft polishing cloth (sold in-store) or with a spectacle/microfibre cloth.

custom silver jewelery
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Diamonds

As the only certified Forevermark jeweller in Franschhoek, Penchant Design’s high-quality diamonds are ethically sourced and conflict-free, which make them all the more spectacular in our eyes.

Diamonds can be forever… with proper care!
Despite their reputation of being the hardest substance known to man, even diamonds aren’t indestructible. In fact, improper wear and care can do quite a lot of damage to these precious stones, such as chips and small fractures.
Lotion and oil can also build up at the base of your diamonds, so to make sure your stones retain their sparkle, follow our step-by-step cleaning instructions on page 9.

Other Gemstones

All of the gemstones use by Penchant Design are genuine mineral stones, that are highly valued for their beauty, longevity, and rarity. Our array of precious and semi-precious stones, including Tanzanite and several Quartz varieties are either used en cabochon or faceted.

Gentle Care for Gems:
Even the slightest amount of dirt can make your gemstones appear dull, so it’s important to clean your stones at home from time to time. The best way to keep gemstones clean and shiny is by using warm soapy water and a soft brush (as
Set out on page 9), and remember to avoid chemicals or excessive temperatures.

Pearls are porous, making them very susceptible to damage caused by water and other substances. To prevent your pearls from losing their lustre, always remember these 6 tips.

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Pearls

Pearls are porous, making them very susceptible to damage caused by water and other substances. To prevent your pearls from losing their lustre, always remember these 6 tips.

Perfume & Products:

Pearls are very sensitive to harsh chemicals, including those found in perfume and other cosmetics. If you’re wearing a pearl necklace, only spray perfume on your wrists, and if you’re wearing a pearl bracelet rather apply perfume to your neck.
Rule of thumb: If you won’t put it on a baby’s bottom, don’t put it on your pearls

Everyday Wear:

The more often you wear your pearls, the less likely they are to dry out and go dull, so feel free to wear them as often as you like, as long as you remember to gently wipe them with a soft cloth once you take them off.

Annual Checks:

To make sure that your pearl thread isn’t stretched or wearing thin in places, it’s best to have them checked once a year, either by yourself, or by a professional.

Rinsing:

Pearls should never be soaked, as this can cause the delicate silk string to weaken and potentially break. You can, however rinse them by putting them in warm, soapy water for a minute or so and then wiping them down.

Last On, First Off:

Since pearls are porous and delicate, the best way to protect them is by making sure they are the last thing you put on before going out and the first thing you take off when you get home.

Stringing:

Silk thread is most often used for stringing pearls, and depending on how often they are worn, pearl necklaces or bracelets are usually restrung every 3-5 years.

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