How do I clean and care for my silver jewellery?
That's the question that comes up so often and it's normal.
Indeed, it can happen that when silver jewellery is left aside for a while, it oxidizes and blackens. This is a normal and natural phenomenon for sterling silver, but it does not alter the quality of an Adrien Moniquet jewelry.
On the other hand, if you wear them regularly, your silver jewelry will naturally get a patina.
Here are the advices to follow to take care of your silver jewels and keep them looking good for a long time.
Wearing your silver jewels
The first advice I have to give you is to wear your jewels as often as possible.
So they will naturally polish themselves by the action and friction with everything around them: sleeves, pockets, etc... This reduces the oxidation phenomenon. And the more you wear them, the more they will have that unique patina that only used and slowly worn jewellery has.
I particularly like this vintage aspect, this authentic patina that I find on jewels I made several years ago. It's a matter of taste, but that's how I like them best: loaded with all their history.
What you should absolutely avoid
On the other hand, something that money hates is bleach. On contact with it, silver instantly and deeply blackens. In this case, only the intervention of the polishing machine will have an effect to overcome it. So be sure to leave your silver jewellery if you are swimming in a chlorinated pool or doing household chores with chemicals. Salt water is not very recommended either, so avoid sea bathing.
To avoid marks or scratches that are too deep, it is advisable to remove them during gardening or DIY.
It is also advisable during your sports sessions to avoid the oxidising action of sweat.
Silver Skin Infections
It's also effectively a matter of skin and sweat.
Some skins make silver jewelry oxidize very quickly. This phenomenon is quite rare, but the solution to this problem is rhodium plating.
This technique consists in depositing on the surface of the jewel a thin film of rhodium, which will protect the direct contact of the skin with the solid silver. This metal being very rare and precious, this solution remains expensive... It must therefore be carried out as a last resort.
When a jewel is rhodium-plated, it will be protected against oxidation and partly against scratches, but for a relatively limited time because it is a fine surface treatment... We entrust the realization of this very technical operation to a company located in Aubagne (near Marseilles).
The easiest way to maintain your silver jewelry on a daily basis is to rub it with a cotton wipe, a rag or a goldsmith's glove, ideally impregnated with a natural product of the French brand Impregna.
Brushes should be banned as they could scratch the surface of your beautiful bracelets, rings or pendants too aggressively. That's why we offer our dear customers a Moniquet chamois, created by the specialist Astic Brille, in every bracelet shipment. This microfiber is designed to make it easier to clean silver and make it shine well.
We recommend that you do this maintenance regularly, and before storing your jewelry when you are not wearing it.
To clean your very dirty or oxidized silver jewelry, a grandma's recipe is to boil water with baking soda and immerse your jewelry in it for a few hours.
I have never tested this technique, based on client feedback, it seems to be effective.
Storing silver jewelry when you're not wearing it
If you have to store your silver jewellery for a long period of time, I advise you to store it in its case, away from air and humidity or condensation, in a temperate room after rubbing it with a microfibre chamois. In this way you will limit its oxidation and the resulting blackening.
The polishing of the jewels
When I make the jewels, there are obviously several stages of surface treatment.
Polishing is often the longest step because all the micro scratches in the material must be removed so that the light reflects perfectly on the surface of the jewel and thus give the effect of a real mirror.
In the workshop, polishing consists of turning a cotton wheel with a diameter of 20 centimetres at a speed of 2800 rpm.
With the help of a polishing paste, I apply it to eliminate the maximum of imperfections on the surface of the metal and make it shine with all its brilliance. For the record, the etymology of the word silver comes from the Latin argentum itself taken from the Greek argos... which means shiny !
Let me take care of their maintenance and renovation
When you feel like giving a new youth to your Adrien Moniquet jewels, you can simply drop them off at our Maussane's shop or send them to us by mail.
However, it is important to know that this delicate polishing operation removes a tiny bit of material, which implies that it should not be done too often either.
In short, all your Adrien Moniquet silver jewelry must be worn often in order to live with you. And if you take a little care of them, they are durable and timeless enough to be the companions of a lifetime.