A Jewellers Guide to Caring For Your Gold Plated Jewellery

Gold. It does something to a soul. It's so pleasing to the eye and makes you feel a lot more special when you're wearing it. There's nothing like opening a gift box to see a piece of gold jewellery glinting out at you, all seductive and sophisticated (such a saucy minx, is gold). But, what to do if you have champagne taste and lemonade pockets? Gold plated jewellery to the rescue!!

Gold plated jewellery makes a great alternative to real gold jewellery. The cost of even 9ct gold can be quite prohibitive these days but nobody should deny their gold lust! Never! Gold plated jewellery looks just as beautiful as the real thing....well, it is kind of the real thing. With plated jewellery, a layer of real gold is applied to another metal so it has the same appearance. In the case of my jewellery, I use 24k gold to plate on sterling silver. Due to the fact that this jewellery has a layer of gold on it, different care is needed than with sterling silver or real gold pieces. And, be aware that, in time, the plating can wear off, especially if not taken care of properly.

I've seen sooooo much terrible advice online about how to clean and care for gold plated jewellery so I'd like to right that wrong! See my tips below for the best way to make your gold plated jewellery last as long as possible.

Gold Earth Necklace

Gold Earth Necklace

  • Remove all gold plated jewellery when doing pretty much anything that involves heat or moisture...so...bathing, swimming, exercise....and anything else you can think of where the jewellery may get wet.
  • After bathing/showering, wait until you're dry before putting on your gold plated jewels and apply all lotions and perfumes on before putting the jewellery on. Different chemicals in lotions and perfumes can seriously tarnish jewellery. It's best to avoid tarnish with gold plated items as they aren't as easy to clean as silver and gold pieces.
  • Store gold plated jewellery in the box it came in. Don't chuck it in your jewellery box with everything else as the friction of rubbing up against other metals can wear away at the layer of gold. And leaving it lying around increases the risk of tarnishing.
  • Don't sleep in your gold plated jewellery for the same friction-y reasons!
  • DON'T use any abrasives to clean your gold plated jewellery! So ignore all of the advice online to use baking soda or a toothbrush to clean your gold plated items! Anything abrasive will remove the layer of gold. This includes a lot of polishes used on real silver and gold as polishing metals usually involves slightly removing a layer of metal as you buff.
  • My jewellers secret trick for polishing up gold plated jewellery is to spray some window cleaner onto a piece of kitchen towel and gently rub it over your metal. Bada bing! Hello bling!
  • I plate all of my jewellery in a layer of palladium before gold-plating as palladium tarnishes much much slower than other metals and this under-layer slows decreases the tarnishing risk.

Lastly, if your plating has worn off your jewellery, which can happen eventually, you can always have it replated. It's not an expensive thing to have done and is a service I offer for smaller pieces of jewellery. Please contact me for further details and prices https://www.marciavidal.co.uk/contact-1/

Wonderful multi-purpose kitchen roll!

Wonderful multi-purpose kitchen roll!

June Jewel Of The Month

Ok. So I'm not great at keeping track of the month I'm in and totally lunched on creating a Jewel of the Month blog post for May! Time goes so fast and I've just checked the calendar to see that it's the end of June! So here is the Jewel of the Month for June (just in time!). But to make up for the missing month, it's more a Collection of the Month!

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that the sun is one of the most important entities in my life. I'm a different woman when the sun shines on my bones. As a teenager, my mum once observed that I grew visibly taller when the sun came out, like a flower. I feel this expansion in every part of me when I go for a stroll in the sun's nourishing rays. I'm flooded with a serene positivity and feel more confident, more empowered.

Some pieces from my Sunburst collection

Some pieces from my Sunburst collection

Living in a country that doesn't always see the sun inspired me to create my own sunshine. On those days when the sun don't shine, I can wear a piece from my Sunburst collection to take me back to the Marcia that comes out in the sunshine. Each time my eyes fall upon the piece of jewellery, I take my attention back to feelings of warmth and expansion. I focus on feeling the warm, golden glow of the sun coursing through my body. This is jewellery to chase the clouds away. A little bit of mind-over-matter can convince your soul that it's a beautiful day, no matter what the weather is doing outside. On days when the sun is shining, I wear my Sunburst jewellery to remind the Sun how much I love him and invite him to please stick around awhile. 

The traditional symbolism of the sun often relates directly to the ways it makes us feel. It is a symbol of vitality, passion and energy. But my personal favourite meaning to attribute to a piece of sun symbolism I'm wearing is "rebirth". The sun heralds the dawning of a new day, every day. It's a beautiful reminder to start anew, recalibrate. A message to ourselves to shake off the shit from this chapter and step, cleansed, into a new one.

World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day. A day to honour and remember the millions of people around the globe who have been forced to flee their homes. But, most importantly, it's a day to remember that, although the refugee crisis has faded from our headlines, the suffering and displacement has definitely not faded.

Image from the CalAid website

Image from the CalAid website

According to the UN, this past year has seen the highest ever number of displaced people since they started recording these figures. By the end of 2016, 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes due to conflict or persecution. I can't even begin to process the magnitude of suffering that implies. 

There are so many organisations out there striving to help as many as they can find a level of comfort in their uprooting. CalAid is a grassroots charity that is now mainly focused in the camps in the Epirus region of Greece. I am proud to donate a portion of all of my sales to this wonderful charity. Have a read of their About page to find out more about what the money they raise goes towards http://calaid.co.uk/about/ They are doing such great work. They rely on donations and are always in need of our financial support. 5% of every sale I make is donated to CalAid but you can also donate to them directly here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/calaid

Choose love. Spread love.

Peace.

x

 

April Jewel Of The Month

Welcome to my first Jewel of the Month blog post! Every month I'm going to go "behind the scenes" of one of the pieces in my collection and share the inspiration behind it and go more in depth into the meaning of some of my symbolic jewels. Every now and then, subscribers to my newsletter will get a flash discount on one of these monthly picks. It won't be every month and is only open to subscribers so make sure to check every newsletter for the goodies. Sign up with the form below if you're not already subscribed.

My Jewel of the Month for April is my Earth necklace. It was Earth day last Saturday so I thought it fitting to start with this piece.

I designed this necklace out of a desire to create an amulet for grounding, wholeness and balance. Inspiration came in the form of the triangle - a wonderfully rich symbol with so many meanings. Alchemically, with the tip pointing down, it symbolises Earth. 

Alchemical symbol for Earth

Alchemical symbol for Earth

The earth is the most powerful embodiment of the maternal. It is the source of all life, a womb for all beings. A multitude of plants and trees grow in it's soil and are nourished and kept alive by it. This is a maternal nurturing that we all crave at times and something we must take care to provide for ourselves. 

The triangle is also a popular symbol for a trinity. With three sides of equal length, it represents three aspects that we seek to balance within our lives or our selves. The Christian trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the most commonly known one but even this holy triad actually alludes to three things we all seek to hold in balance - mind, body and soul. One of the main drives behind the creation of my jewellery is to guide women towards their divine feminine and sense of empowerment and so the most apt trinity for this necklace is the Triple Goddess. This refers to the the three female figures who represent the three stages of womanhood - the maiden, the mother and the crone. The essence of all three stages are within us throughout our whole life. To hold all three equally within us brings a sense of wholeness and this wholeness leads us to the "grounding" associated with earth symbolism. (The notion of "mother" being a stage may seem quite old-fashioned in an age where so many of us are choosing not to have children, but these are symbolic figures referring to qualities we hold within us. There is so so much to say about this trinity so I highly recommend doing some more reading on it if it sparks something in you.)

Wear this necklace as a reminder to "earth" yourself, find your own sense of balance and to mother yourself as well as you would another. The beauty of symbols is that they hold whatever meaning you yourself attribute to them. What does the earth symbolise to you? I'd really love to hear. Tell me in the comments below.

With love,

Marcia