It's a great time of year to review your jewellery collection, how you style it and look after it. Our five step guide will get you started.
1. Not knowing about the metals
It’s so easy to pick up a piece of jewellery in a supermarket or large retail chain that comes on a pretty backing card or hanger but has no labelling at all.
Is it hypoallergenic? Which means, will the metal react with your skin?
Is it lead compliant? Nickel, lead and cadmium are elements that make jewellery pieces appear heavier or brighter for example. However, metals exposed to the skin for long periods of time must only release nickel at a specific rate, and likewise lead and cadmium are also subject to restrictions. These substances are covered by legislation, so you deserve to know what you’re putting on your body!
All of our jewellery comes with a card that tells you what metal it’s made from, and all of our pieces are hypoallergenic and lead compliant. Demand no less from your jewellery!
2. Never taking off your jewellery
Ok, so lots of us are guilty of this one.
Whilst precious metals such as sterling silver and solid gold certainly won’t (shouldn’t) lose their plating from continued use, they will build up a layer of grime. Just consider how much you sweat in a day, not to mention the layers of deodorant, moisturisers and perfume you likely put on- it all contributes to a residue over your treasured pieces.
All of this will dull the shine of your jewellery and grime build up in places you can’t see such as the stems of your earrings. Ideally, we should clean our most worn jewellery a couple of times a month with a designated jewellery cleaning cloth- I like this one.
A word on wearing your jewellery while swimming. Chlorine can actually discolour silver and some stones, while salt water can dull diamonds and even weaken the soldered joints in metal jewellery. Plus it would be devastating if your beloved jewellery slipped off you while swimming or showering!
3. Not being able to see the pieces you own
You keep your jewellery stashed away in some of kind Ikea storage solution or nice shiny box on your dressing table right? The problem with this is that you’ll never see the pieces you own. And that handy saying ‘out of sight out of mind’ really holds true here.
The likelihood is that you neglect to wear that lovely pair of earrings you bought online or the bracelet your best friend bought you, simply because they are stored away and you forget about them.
Opt instead for a jewellery tree or hanger of some kind, or at least a box or tray that has compartments where you can easily see individual items. Remember to glance over them when you get dressed and match interesting pieces to your outfit of the day.
4. Wearing too many pieces at once
We have a whole article on how to style statement jewellery. But as we’re talking mistakes here…
It can be helpful to consider the phrase ‘statement outfit or statement jewellery’ when getting ready, particularly for important events and nights out. In other words, are you wearing a statement outfit that is the focal point of your look, or are you wearing a pared back outfit and styling it up with accessories? A sequined dress with a bib necklace, chandelier earrings and bracelet stack could leave you bit blinded.
So have a think about which aspect of your outfit you would like as the centre piece and add in jewellery appropriately. Not a Mr T impersonator in sight….
5. Not considering sustainability
In this age of fast fashion none of us ever consider whether we ‘need’ yet another bracelet. After all jewellery is an emotive purchase not a practical one.
But this point goes back to the idea of a jewellery capsule wardrobe, which I talked about in this article. It's important to consider how much stuff we have and therefore how much of the earth’s resources we are using- and jewellery is one of the easiest categories to amass. If you’re interested in this topic, then I suggest definitely checking out the slow fashion movement.
Other points to consider on this topic:
- What metals are used in the jewellery production? All RockPaperRoses metals are environmentally sound.
- Are the stones lab grown or ethically sourced? Our jewellery features mostly AAA zircons which are lab grown and have the brilliance and lustre of a diamond. We do not use stones that have come from war zones or have any human cost involved- and it’s important that you never support this trade.
- Most precious metals are recyclable so if you are disposing of a piece of jewellery, consider giving it to a reputable local jeweller to be recycled.