Your Comprehensive Irish Jewellery Care Guide

We understand that Irish jewellery is personal to you, not only for its sentimental value but because it is eternal - a valuable keepsake that you possess for a lifetime. That is why taking great care to maintain the allure and life of your jewellery is so important.

To help you to care for and clean your precious Celtic jewellery, we have created an easy-to-follow guide that will make sure your jewellery never loses its spark or shine. Before we provide our care advice, it is important to note the following:

Jewellery Notes

Yellow Gold: Lower gold content (karats) wears harder than high gold content jewellery. This is because the lower the gold content, the higher the alloy content (alloys are more durable than gold). Gold is a soft metal, so higher gold content is more prone to wear.

Rose Gold: The above applies. However, of the gold variations, Rose Gold is the hardest metal due to its copper content. The lower the karat, the pinker the colour.

White Gold: The karat value affects the colour of White Gold too - the lower the karat, the more yellow it looks. It is the softest of all gold metals, meaning it needs to be cleaned periodically and professionally to maintain its aesthetic, and rhodium plated for protection.

Platinum: Platinum is white naturally, but also isn’t as hard wearing as high karat White Gold. It is also less glossy than White Gold.

Gold Plating: This does wear off over time, so re-plating is advised every 2-3 years (as required). How often is based on factors like the thickness of plating, quality and the colour of the base metal underneath the plating.

General Maintenance

To effectively look after your jewellery, we recommend the following:

  • Use mild, soapy and lukewarm water for cleaning.
  • Don’t use water that is too cold or too hot on your jewellery.
  • Clean delicately with something soft like a cloth or sponge.
  • Don’t use any abrasives as these could damage your Irish jewellery.
  • Avoid preparing food with rings on for hygiene purposes.
  • If you require a more thorough cleaning, do not attempt this on your own, especially if your jewellery has diamonds or gemstones. A professional can do this.

Jewellery Care: When Wearing

  • If engaging in manual labour, it may be best to leave your ring at home or away from harm as this increases the risk of wear away and scratches while on your hand.
  • Never wear your jewellery in water - especially not in the sea, as it is so easy to lose it and never get it back. Cold water causes your fingers to contract, making rings looser than usual. Additionally, salt water can be abrasive to jewellery.
  • Remove your jewellery when showering or bathing - jewellery can be tarnished quickly, along with its plating lost, when exposed to harsh soaps and chemicals.
  • Be weary of chlorine around your jewellery - its a common tarnishing threat.
  • If at a beach, keep your ring safe away from sand as this can be damaging.
  • If you’re very active in your sleep, consider removing your jewellery as it can get kinks and stretched as you move about.

Jewellery Care: When Storing

  • Use soft cloth or material to wrap your Celtic jewellery before boxing.
  • Be aware that the sun can damage your jewellery (particularly silver) and in some cases shrink it, causing gems to fall out of their setting. It is best to keep jewellery isolated from direct sunlight for this reason.
  • It’s also recommended that you keep your jewellery in a cool space where it will not be exposed to strong heat - this can cause gemstones to crack.


Diamond & Gemstone Care

  • Do not use harsh chemicals when caring for this jewellery.
  • Be aware that sunlight can shrink your jewellery and keep it away from it.
  • Use soft cloths or sponges for cleaning, and never anything hard like wire brushes.
  • Stick to water and soapy water only for cleaning - don’t resort to cleaning advice.
  • Avoid wearing in the sea or in chlorine pools.
  • Always have gemstones cleaned by a professional.
  • Periodically, get a jeweller to inspect for cracks or marks as detecting these early minimises the damage. Retipping every couple of years is to be expected.

Gold Care

  • Do not expose gold to harsh chemicals that could be potentially damaging (especially white gold because of its rhodium plating). Use mild soap only.
  • Use soft clothes or sponges for cleaning, and never anything had like wire brushes.
  • Do not wear gold while doing any physical exercise.
  • Do not wear gold in a hot tub or swimming pool - chlorine is damaging.
  • Have your gold polished at least annually by a trusted jeweller.
  • Have your white gold rings rhodium plated at least twice a year
  • Remove gold when cleaning, and when going to bed if you’re an active sleeper

Silver & Gold Plated Jewellery Care

Remember - gold plated items are prone to wearing away over time. Silver can tarnish. Our instructions below will provide longevity to the aesthetic of your silver and gold-plated items
  • Do not clean while wearing as harsh chemicals damage plating and tarnish silver.
  • Soapy, mild water with soft materials like cloth or sponge is best for cleaning.
  • Avoid extreme heat or sunlight when storing this jewellery.
  • If an active sleeper, remove this jewellery before you sleep.
  • Be aware that fragrances like perfumes and colognes may contain harsh chemicals that could cause tarnishing and removal of gold plating.
  • Saltwater and chlorine are highly damaging, so remove and don’t expose.
  • Get your jewellery professionally polished should they get tarnished.

We hope that you have gained some helpful insights from our comprehensive Irish jewellery care guide. By using our guidelines you can ensure long-term health, allure and beauty. What Irish jewellery do you own? What’s the most important way you care for it?

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Jewellery of Erin has a huge range of beautiful Celtic jewellery of all types and to suit all tastes, including the famous Claddagh ring. Browse our full collection here.