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If you're living in Barbados, unless you whipped up something good in your own kitchen, this Valentine's Day was a dinnerless one. You were locked down, on curfew and looking online longingly at the menus of restaurants you had your heart set on going to this year.

But a lot of us saw this coming. With news of new strains of the virus making headlines on the networks, we anticipated an indoor Valentine's Day and made alternative arrangements. Whether cosmetic or the real deal, jewellery ranks highly as a gift option for Valentine's Day. Several brands on the island turned out some chic, handmade, gold–plated and gold–filled options, and many of us have been happy to get our hands on these creative pieces.

So after you've received or purchased the perfect piece, the question is, how do you care for it to ensure longevity? Here some care tips for your cosmetic jewellery and for the real McCoys.


Caring for your gold–plated jewellery

Let's first establish that gold–plated jewellery is not gold jewellery. It simply is jewellery made with a type of metal as a base and is then thinly covered or plated with a layer of gold on top. This application suggests that this type of jewellery needs some attention if you want it to stay around tarnish-free as long as is possible. So how do we make this happen?

  1. Remove your gold–plated jewellery when exercising. Sweat can cause your pieces to tarnish quickly.
  2. Avoid getting chemicals on your jewellery. The chemicals in perfumes, hair sprays and even lotions can reduce the life on your gold–plated jewellery by dulling their shine.
  3. Clean your jewellery with a soft cloth to remove any build-up.
  4. Store your gold–plated pieces away carefully to avoid any scratches to the plating when you rummage for the perfect match for your outfit!


Caring for your gold–filled jewellery

Again, gold–filled jewellery is NOT gold jewellery. It's made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal that may be sterling silver or otherwise. This layer is typically thicker than that used in gold–plated jewellery and is, therefore, a more durable piece. It still is no gold, though! So let's look at how we can care for our gold-filled pieces to prolong their life:

  1. Avoid wearing gold-filled jewellery in the pool. The chemicals used in the water can be too harsh on them, causing them to tarnish.
  2. While sweat does not break down the gold layer on this type of jewellery as quickly as it does with its gold–plated cousins, continuous exposure to sweat can eventually affect your gold-filled pieces. It is advised to remove them when exercising or give them a wash with warm water and dry them with an absorbent cloth afterwards if you wear them during your workout.
  3. Similar to gold–plated pieces, avoid using chemicals directly on your gold–filled jewellery. So spritz that perfume or cologne on first, let it absorb into the skin and then put your jewellery.


Caring for your gold jewellery

The real McCoy! Solid gold is pretty durable, and it will hardly tarnish on its own. Still, if you are really negligent or super determined, you can manage to dull, scratch or lose them so let's get into how to protect your pricier pieces.

  1. Have a cleaning schedule for your jewellery. About every 3 or 4 months, take your jewellery to a professional to have it cleaned or use a professionally recommended jewellery cleaning solution to soak your pieces in. Be sure to dry each piece afterwards with a soft cloth.
  2. Avoid storing your jewellery with other pieces that can scratch them or cause tangling, which may cause you to bend your jewellery to get it free. On top of that, what can be more frustrating than a tangled chain you had your heart set on wearing?!
  3. Buff your gold jewellery from time to time with a soft cloth. This enhances the brilliance of its natural shine!
  4. Get insurance for your jewellery! A contents insurance policy with ICBL provides protection for your valuables. If your pricey possession is lost, damaged or stolen, wouldn't you want some help with its recovery or repair?

Now that you have some tips on protecting your jewellery get dressed in your gifts and live fabulously at your bubble. Follow the protocols and stay safe but make it fashion!


Written by:

Sharleen Browne
Corporate Communications Specialist