Wear and care guide
Our delicate, handmade jewels can last for years with the right care and storage. We recommend following our care guide and cleaning instructions below:
At Embella Jewellery we strive to produce purposeful and high-quality jewellery for all our customers, therefore extensive quality control and assessment of each product is conducted to ensure the highest standard of jewellery is received. It is the customer's responsibility to check their order upon delivery or instore purchase.
As a precious metal, pure Silver alone is far too soft to wear as jewellery. Due to its softness, silver is usually mixed with other alloy metals to give it strength, preventing it from becoming easily scratched or dented. We use two types of Silver in our jewellery; Sterling Silver and HillTribe Silver.
Sterling Silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloy metals. This combination makes it strong, reducing the chance of scratching or denting. Sterling Silver has a bright, lustrous shine and is commonly used for clasps, ear hooks and ring bands.
HillTribe Silver is a traditionally handcrafted material that is made up of 99.5% pure silver, making it ideal for adjustable rings and intricately engraved charms.
The charms and beads used in our designs are intricately handmade, utilising ancient techniques only known to the Karen HillTribe of Thailand.
Although the finished beads are not as bright and glossy as Sterling Silver, the purity of HillTribe Silver means it holds its shine and lustre longer and is generally more resistant to tarnish. It is also more likely to be hypoallergenic due to the smaller presence of other alloy metals. All Hilltribe Silver Jewels are designed to be worn daily and are ocean friendly.
Most pieces are woven on wax cotton, not leather making the jewellery stronger and more durable for daily wear.
Any Hilltribe Silver designs that incorporate semi-precious stones should be worn with extra
care as these are individually hand wired and should be cared for delicately.
Although our Hilltribe Silver jewellery quality has been tested through time, we do
recommend applying basic care to each piece.
Silver is more prone to tarnishing from oxidisation than other precious metals, which can cause its surface to discolour. You can help prevent this by cleaning and storing your silver correctly.
There is no specific duration over which silver jewellery will tarnish, so we recommend lightly cleaning after each wear. There are a few key reasons your jewellery may be showing early signs of tarnish:
Oxidisation is a reaction that will gradually turn shiny silver metal into a yellowish colour. Without maintenance, the yellow discolouration will eventually turn black. The silver naturally reacts to hydrogen sulphide, which is found in many everyday items like wool, rubber and oil. It is also commonly found in eggs, onions, fish and shellfish. It’s not harmful to you. Some skin types have a naturally acidic PH level that can also cause oxidisation.
Moisture also causes tarnishing. Excessive humidity will speed up the natural tarnishing of your jewellery. Silver jewellery can even react to moisture on your skin or in the air. This is more common in hot and humid climates.
Contact with materials such as hairspray, cosmetics, deodorant, perfume, bleach, or body lotions containing chemical compounds can rub off the tiniest particles of metal that appear as jet black dust.
Recommendations for wear to avoid unnecessary tarnishing:
- Be sure to apply your make-up, perfume, and moisturiser before putting on your jewels and let it soak into the skin before styling.
- Keep your jewels in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight, and in a room with little moisture (Do not store your jewellery in the bathroom)
- Try keeping your pieces away from one another to avoid any scratches from friction
- Do not wear your jewels if you know that the surrounding conditions might cause them to scratch extensively or tarnish.
Since silver is so soft, care must be taken when cleaning to retain the texture and finish of the metal and avoid damage or scratches.
To remove dirt, smudges and oils from the surface, you should polish your silver regularly with a soft polishing cloth or soft 100% cotton cloth. Never used coarse fabrics as this will result in scratching. You can get your own Embella Polishing Cloth here.
Without regular cleaning, your jewellery will become harder to restore to its original brilliance. There are a number of cleaning methods for silver jewellery. We’ve listed our two preferred methods below;
- Add silver jewellery to a bowl of lukewarm, soapy water.
- Gently use a very soft toothbrush or cloth to scrub your jewellery clean.
- Rinse in clean water and dry using a soft, silver polishing cloth.
This gentle cleaning method may require some extra effort and time on your part, but it will preserve the detail and quality of your jewellery. NOTE: Only soak silver materials on their own. Don’t soak any materials that include wood, leather, cotton or similar.
Hoi Tong Polishing Powder: This product was originally used by many Asian ladies as a cosmetic powder. For many years now, this powder has also been used as a polishing agent by silversmiths, including our very own Karen HillTribe Silversmiths.
How to use:
- Mix with water to create a paste.
- Gently rub on silver using a soft cloth.
- Wipe clean.
- Store the powder in an airtight container.
If there are stubborn stains that you cannot remove we have a metal cleaner Wenol that can be used together with our polishing cloths or, take your jewellery to an expert jeweller, so it can be cleaned using high-pressure steam or ultrasonic cleaner.
To prevent dullness and tarnish, each silver piece should ideally be cleaned and then stored in its own soft jewellery pouch or bag. You can get your own Embella Travel Jewellery Bag here.
Wherever possible, keep jewellery away from moisture by storing in a cool, dry place. We recommend separating your silver jewellery from other metals because mixing metals can also speed up the tarnishing process.
Do not store sterling silver jewellery on wood surfaces. Prolonged exposure to acids found in natural woods may cause tarnish. If you cannot store your pieces in jewellery bags, we recommend a lined jewellery box or similar.
Embella's Silver jewellery can be safely worn in both salty seawater and freshwater. We recommend always rinsing your jewellery in freshwater and drying with a soft 100% cotton cloth after water exposure to remove moisture that may speed up tarnishing.
We do not recommend exposing your jewellery to any chlorinated water. Harsh chemicals can damage the finish of your jewellery. (other e.g. include Spa's, public pools, saltwater pools with chemicals, etc.)
Embella's Gold Plated jewellery is very delicate. The plating is thin, so extra care when wearing, cleaning and storing is essential!
Gold Plating gives the appearance of gold without the higher price tag of pure gold or gold-filled jewellery.
Embella Jewellery's Gold Plated jewels are typically made from 22-carat, 1-micron thick gold layered on a Sterling Silver base.
Occasionally, we will feature Gold Vermeil Jewellery which is made from 18-carat, 3 -microns thick gold layered on a Hilltribe Silver base. This makes Gold Vermeil more Hypoallergenic.
Gold Filled Jewellery (or rolled gold) consists of a base metal, such as brass or copper, covered in many layers of gold.
It is harder wearing than Gold Plated jewellery and is more resistant to tarnishing.
Compared to solid gold, it is also a far more affordable option.
Use a soft, dry 100% cotton or microfibre cloth and buff very gently. Exposing plated jewellery to harsh chemicals and perfumes can damage the finish. We advise that you do not wear or soak gold vermeil in any kind of water as, over time, the plating can thin and expose the underlying sterling silver. We do not recommend wearing our Gold Plated jewels as a staple 'everyday' piece as the plating will not last as long.
Store each piece in its own soft jewellery pouch or bag. You can get your own Embella Travel Jewellery Bag here.
Wherever possible, keep jewellery away from moisture by storing in a cool, dry place. We recommend separating your gold plated jewellery from other metals to avoid scratching the plating or tarnishing the metals.
Prolonged exposure to acids found in natural woods may cause tarnish. If you cannot store your pieces in jewellery bags, we recommend a lined jewellery box or similar.
We do not recommend exposing Gold Plated jewellery to any kind of water due to the delicate nature of the thin coating.
Waxed cotton has traditionally been an economical and durable alternative to leather. It is waterproof and doesn’t mind following you on your saltwater or freshwater adventures!
We’ve found that our poly wax cotton cord is stronger than leather and is less likely to fade in colour.
Avoid exposure to chlorinated water, perfume, bleach or other harsh chemicals. These chemicals weaken the cord.
The cords will start off feeling stiff but soften with use over time.
We recommend that you do not wear sneakers or shoes with cord anklets. This can cause the cord to rub against the shoe and wear faster over one area, resulting in breakage.
Jewellery items with Polywax Cotton Cord are usually adjustable in length (bracelets, anklets, necklaces and wraps). To adjust the length, a silver bead is moved up or down the length of the cords.
Standard cords (thin plaited strands) with beads should have a single knot tied behind the bead to prevent the cord from loosening whilst wearing.
Thicker cords (6 hand-plaited stands) do not need to be tied. Simply move the bead to the desired length, and the thickness of the cord should keep the bead in place.
Gemstones, Shells and Pearls
Some gemstones require specific care due to the hardness or colour of the stone/mineral.
Due to Larimar’s photosensitive nature, the brilliant blue hues can fade over time, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun.
Be sure not to use harsh chemicals to clean Larimar, as the soft stone can corrode. When cleaning, use only warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Remove all the soapy residues by rinsing the gemstone very well. You can wipe it down using a soft cotton cloth.
Store Larimar away from other gems and jewellery to prevent scratches and fractures. It is recommended that Larimar is wrapped in a soft cloth, bag or in a fabric-lined jewellery box.
Amber is a soft botanical tree resin and therefore is easily scratched or dented. Avoid putting excess pressure on your amber stones.
When cleaning, use only warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Remove all the soapy residues by rinsing very well. Dry using a soft cotton cloth.
Store Amber away from other gems and jewellery to prevent scratches and fractures. It is recommended that Amber is wrapped in a soft cloth, bag or in a fabric-lined jewellery box.
The natural oil from your skin is very good for freshwater pearls, it keeps the pearls looking lustrous and vibrant. The easiest way to care for your pearls? Wear them often!
Avoid harsh chemicals, including chlorinated water that can discolour your pearls. Store in a soft cloth, bag or lined jewellery box.
Shells are very delicate and should be kept away from harsh chemicals, including perfumes and chlorinated water.
Wash in warm water, rinse and then dry with a soft cloth before storing in a soft cloth, bag or lined jewellery box.