All that glitters: how to clean gold jewellery

A few well-chosen pieces of sparkling gold jewellery can elevate your outfit like nothing else, and with a little bit of TLC you'll be able to keep your jewels dazzling all year round. Lianna Sheppard, OB’s Buyer for Silver, Gemstone and Gold-Plated Jewellery, talks about how our gold jewellery pieces are made and how to look after them.

‘Our gold jewellery is coated in approximately 1 micron (layer) of 10k gold plate on a brass base,’ Lianna explains. ‘It’s durable and has all the outer beauty of solid gold, but it is more affordable, making it the perfect choice for on-trend pieces.’

The plated layer will inevitably wear away over time with day-to-day use so, where suitable, we add a protective e-coat on gold-plated designs, which will help preserve the colour of the plating and extend the life of your gold earrings, hoops and necklaces.

How to prevent gold-plated jewellery from tarnishing

If worn every day, gold-plated jewellery will gradually start to show wear, particularly on highly-used areas such as the chain or back of a pendant or the backs of your earrings. This is a natural process. Find out more in our guide to preventing tarnishing.

Keep your gold-plated jewellery sparkling

Gold-plated jewellery should be handled with care,’ advises Lianna, ‘as their gold plating can wear away over time. But a gentle buff with a soft, non-abrasive microfibre or lint-free cloth should be enough to restore the shine without scratching the surface. Keep it dry to avoid stripping the plating.’

Lianna recommends a good polish every three to six months to remove any dullness and keep your gold jewellery sparkling, especially with pieces you wear more often, such as gold-plated earrings and rings. ‘We don’t advise using chemicals, wipes or dip polishes, but you can carefully clean pieces with a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water if they need it, as long as you carefully pat them dry afterwards before storing them away.’

Take care handling earrings and intricate costume jewellery, especially around the posts and backs of earrings, as these areas can be softer and can mishapen more easily. If you clean earrings or chains with soapy water, leave detailed pieces and chains to air-dry before storing away, as moisture can get caught between the links and small design details.

If your jewellery contains gemstones, you’ll need to take more care when cleaning it. For more advice, including tips on how to clean silver jewellery, have a look at our jewellery care guide.

Store in style

‘Keeping your jewellery in its best condition starts with storage,’ says Lianna. ‘Store your gold jewellery in a clean, dry place, such as in a sealed plastic bag or a jewellery box, to avoid it getting scratched by other jewellery.’ All Oliver Bonas jewellery pieces come in a soft pouch that can be handy when travelling, or if you take several pieces away with you, keep them safe in one of our travel jewellery boxes. If you have long chains, jewellery stands are great for preventing knots and tangles.