We’ve all had the experience of pulling out a piece of jewelry we haven’t worn in a while and finding it dull or tarnished. This can be particularly true for plated jewelry. Plated jewelry cleaning and care is recommended regularly to maintain your jewelry piece’s beauty. So you ask, what is plated jewelry and why does it require special care?

Jewelry Cleaning and Care Tips

The Difference Between Plated and Filled

Olive Yew’s rose gold and gold chains are all filled, which means they are made from solid rose gold or gold and then “filled” with other alloys. A filled chain is created by using heat and pressure to fuse a layer of rose gold or gold to copper, brass, or some other base metal. The bond produced is a permanent tone. Filled chain can be worn like solid rose gold or gold because of the solidity of its outer surface.

Rose gold Silver Gold Chains

Many Olive Yew charms are plated. This means they have a heavy coating of rose gold, gold or sterling silver over hypo-allergenic brass or stainless steel. The gold or silver can eventually wear thin if it comes into constant contact with the wearer’s skin and friction. Because of this, Olive Yew does not recommend, and does not warranty your piece, if you sleep, swim, shower, or exercise in your jewelry.

Below are tips for keeping your plated items beautiful plus a Takeaway Tip Sheet:

Remove at Night

Do not sleep with plated jewelry, night sweat and the extra rubbing against the skin will cause the plating to wear off faster. Some people might be allergic to the base metal (varies from item to item, manufacturer to manufacturer) and having an item on 24 hours might cause an unwanted reaction. Remove at night to avoid skin reactions and extend the life cycle of your items.

Avoid Getting Your Items Wet

It is best to store your plated jewelry in a dry area. Humidity can thin the plating, so a bathroom is not and ideal place for storage. Also, avoid swimming, showering, and sweating while wearing your plated pieces. For an extra layer of care, place your jewelry in a small plastic bag and store it in your Olive Yew box! Our boxes contain anti-tarnish cotton.

Olive Yew Jewelry Box

Do Not Clean With Chemicals

What’s the most common cause of plated items fading? Chemicals. Never use any chemicals to clean plated items because it will cause fading. Plating is much more delicate than pure metals. To keep free of elements which can oxidize the metal, use a damp soft cloth (damp, not dripping wet), wipe down gently and then use a clean towel to dry. Do not over work the plated materials, as you can “wear off” the plating. When cleaning chains hold by the clasp and do not tug at the chain or you run the risk of breaking the clasp.

Jewelry Cleaning

Spray Perfume Before You Put On Jewelry

Just like cleaning chemicals, perfume’s chemicals can interact with the metal in plated jewelry. Always spray first, and then put on your favorite pieces of jewelry.

Shiny or tarnished silver chain

Other Chemical Sources

Interested to know a different chemical source that can also interact with plated jewelry?  Certain medications, such as blood pressure and diabetes medications, have been known to cause the plating to fade faster – particularly with rose gold plating.

Takeaway Cleaning Tip Sheet

Download our quick tip sheet to get 4 Jewelry Cleaning Tips. Clean your jewelry with products you already have at home.

You can enjoy the beauty of gold and rose gold plated jewelry for a lifetime. However, these pieces will take a little bit of special care to maintain. The extra time and effort are well worth it. Check out our product selection!