Jewellery Care & Information
One of the key components of silver jewellery design is managing the inevitable tarnish of the metal and the level or speed at which your piece reacts to oxidisation.
What we love about Sterling Silver is the high lustre polish that we are able to achieve with the initial finish. However, as silver is quite a soft metal it is not practical for wear by itself.
The majority of Crooked Howlet Designs (CHD) pieces are cast in 925 Sterling Silver. "925" Sterling Silver represents 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% base metals. Silver is mixed (alloyed) with base metals to make the alloy more durable, but unfortunately this is where the tarnish comes from. The base metals in the 925 react with sulphur in the air or skin causing tarnish.
This can vary from person to person and in different climates or time of the year. The acidic levels in your skin will also determine the extent of the tarnish and in cooler, dryer climates or times of the year, tarnish will be less obvious. The list of reasons for tarnish, can be anywhere from heavy sweat, swimming pool and washing up chemicals to things such as antibiotics or pregnancy. Particular environments such as areas in New Zealand that have high concentrations of sulphur in the air, will greatly affect the Sterling Silver.
This may sound discouraging, however with a few simple tasks, you can keep you piece in looking good.
Try and avoid your piece coming into contact with chemicals such as dish washing liquid or moisturiser. We also recommend that you remove the rings to sleep, so if you sweat a little during the night, the ring will not be affected. Also make sure to give your ring a little rub down with the CHD polishing cloth!
With this knowledge, you'll be able to take better care of your ring, understand the nature of precious metals and all round appreciate how the ring matures and looks over time.
We also have a collection of 9ct Yellow Gold rings. These gold rings are significantly easier to look after and less complicated than the alloy of 925 Sterling Silver.
We cast all of our pieces at Palloys Pty Ltd, Sydney, which is part of the parent company Pallion. It is the largest and most respected casting house in Australia and therefore the quality of alloys that CHD uses is of the highest standard. Palloys are one of the only casting houses who alloy their own metals which gives us even greater assurance of the quality and control over any issues that may arise.
As tarnishing is a battle for jewellers around the world, we have endeavoured to design and produce rings that not only lend themselves well to the effects of silver tarnish, but also age gracefully. With natural signs of wear, your ring will gain more authenticity and charm leading to a well-earned look.
If you have experienced anything out of the ordinary with your ring, we will be more than happy to check and see if there are any issues with the metal. Our team have no doubt, that working with you, you will be more than satisfied with your purchase.
An obscure but not so uncommon reaction from your CHD piece, will be an a green-like substance on your finger. This will be particularly obvious on a new piece's first contact with your skin. This is the sweat from your finger, reacting with the blackening solution used in the detailed areas of the ring. We use a Liver Of Sulphur solution to darken the groves/details in the ring and with certain skin types, this may leak a small portion of the solution and give a green look on your finger. With most of our ring designs, the wide surface also creates a larger area for perspiration that will affect the 'green finger'.
This is purely an early stage event. After a few times wearing the ring, this will stop! If not, just send us the piece back and we can give the ring a clean to rid the surface of any impurities.
A service we provide at CHD, which is unrivalled in the industry - is a free professional polish in studio.
Being a customer of CHD, we wanted to bring you a lasting service beyond the original order and this will be in the way of a professional clean up.
We’ll have open studio days specifically for the service and you will need to come past the HQ in St Peters, Sydney - however we are looking at opening more polishing points this year, so stay poised.
There is a final option we can offer you; if the tarnish you're experiencing is significantly aggressive to the point that you are not happy with how the piece looks - then we can rhodium plate the ring. We can do this for you for AUD$25 and will give your piece great protection from the acidic skin and safeguard against any further oxidisation. This is essentially like waxing a car! Providing a surface coverage over the raw materials underneath.
Any other questions about the alloys we use and the care for these pieces, get in touch because we'd love to help out.
The CHD Team.