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Heather O’Connor jewellery is made to last, to be enjoyed and worn regularly, and as with all things it will benefit from a little TLC to avoid damage and keep it looking its best at all times. 


Sterling silver and gold vermeil plating (which is real gold layered on top of a silver base) is particularly vulnerable to tarnishing and oxidising, causing the metal to dull and discolour.  Following the tips below will help you avoid tarnishing and damage.


Daily Care

  • Apply your hair products, cosmetics, perfumes and hand / body creams before putting on your jewellery. 

  • Remove rings when washing hands or using hand sanitisers and creams.

  • Avoid wearing jewellery whilst showering or swimming.

  • Remove jewellery before undertaking physical work such as gardening or in the gym.

  • Remove rings and bracelets before using household cleaning products.

  • Remove your jewellery, especially fine chains, before you go to bed.


  • Avoid storing your jewellery in damp or humid conditions, such as bathrooms, or in direct sunlight.

  • Airtight zip lock bags or acid free white tissue paper are excellent for storing and preventing tarnish.

  • Individual jewellery pouches or boxes should be used for transit of pieces to avoid physical damage. 

  • Wrapping chains around a piece of material or card can help stop tangling and kinking, especially in transit.

  • Store each item separately to avoid tangling, scratching or damage. 

  • Ideally store chains flat to avoid kinks.

Cleaning and Brightening your Jewellery

  • Wear your jewellery regularly and give it a gentle buff between wears with a lint free soft cloth or polish cloth (not suitable for matt finishes, oxidised finishes or gold vermeil)

  • For light tarnish on silver or gold vermeil, soak your jewellery in warm soapy water (washing up liquid is great) to loosen any dirt, then give it a gentle brush with a soft toothbrush, rinse and dry thoroughly with tissue or a lint free cloth. This is also good for brightening solid gold pieces or diamonds that are looking lack lustre.

  • For heavy tarnish on silver you can use a silver dip solution, Goddards is my preferred dip – but try to use these sparingly and do not leave items in the solution for more than a few seconds at a time.  Follow product instructions.  Always rinse the pieces after and dry thoroughly and quickly with a soft cloth. 


Further Considerations

Our gold vermeil is a generous coating of 22ct gold layered onto a solid silver base. It will wear and fade with time and the silver will start to show through and re-plating may be needed.  

Specialist advice should be sort before cleaning stones or pearls. Inappropriate cleaning methods could cause permanent damage.  Never use silver dip solutions for these items.


Regularly check that stones are secure in their settings, especially on full eternity bands, delicate items and claw type settings.  Settings can wear and loosen over time so its important to have valuable pieces professionally assessed from time to time.


Remember no metal or stone is invincible – some are harder wearing than others but even platinum will scratch and dent and diamonds can crack or be chipped so always treat your precious jewellery with care.

Professional Cleaning and Re-plating

If your Heather O’Connor jewellery is looking a little lacklustre or showing signs of natural wear and tear and you would like to have it professionally cleaned, scratches removed, refinished, settings tightened or vermeil pieces re-plated please do get in touch and we can provide you with a quote for this service.

Happy wearing! x

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