- How do I care for my jewellery?
Jewellery made from precious metals will scratch and wear naturally over time. These marks become the story of your piece, be it a decades-old wedding band or a recently acquired silver cuff. Having said that, it is best to avoid letting your jewellery come into contact with hard materials: steel, concrete, and other hard materials can cause real damage to a piece. Wearing your pieces whilst gardening, swimming or at the gym can damage the surface of the piece and also damage stones. Avoid extreme temperatures and exposure to harsh chemicals such as chlorine, bleach or cleaning products, as these will also damage your jewellery.
It’s important to store your jewellery with care—ideally in the e.g.etal box in which it came. Keep it separate from other jewellery, as one item may scratch another. Neckpieces and pendants should be stored flat to avoid a kink or bend forming in the chain or cable. Jewellery strung on silk cord also needs to be laid flat when not being worn to prevent the cord from stretching. Silk cord should be checked annually for wear and will need to be re-strung from time to time.
Remember to check all clasps are strong and secure before wearing your piece. If in doubt, please contact us to arrange for the clasp to be repaired.
- How can I get an item repaired?
We are happy to repair all items made by current e.g.etal artists. Please feel free to bring your jewellery back into the gallery, or alternatively, send your item to us via registered and insured mail. If you choose to send your piece back to us, please include your details and include any information as to why the piece needs to be repaired. We’ll provide you with a quote for the repair upon receiving your piece. Please post your repair to:
Downstairs 167 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Please email us if you’ve purchased a piece from e.g.etal in the past, and we don’t appear to currently represent the artist.
- How do I care for my diamond?
We recommend cleaning your diamond often to remove lotions, skin oil and everyday dirt, which will all affect the brilliance of the stone. If convenient, we recommend visiting the gallery to have our staff clean your ring in our ultrasonic machine. If you aren’t in Melbourne, we recommend cleaning your diamond with warm water and a couple of drops of lemon dishwashing detergent.
We recommend having your diamond jewellery checked annually by the artist. They will be able to tighten any loose settings, examine your stone and clean and polish your piece. Contact us to make arrangements for this.
- How do I care for my gemstones?
Always try to protect your stone-set jewellery from potential impacts. Even diamonds—the hardest of stones—can break or be chipped from a hard knock or shock. We recommend having your stone-set jewellery checked annually. The artist who made your piece can check the settings, examine your stone and clean and polish your piece. Contact us to make arrangements for this.
- How do I care for my silver pieces?
Sterling silver is a precious metal and may tarnish naturally over time. The tarnishing will be accelerated if it comes into contact with chlorine and bleach, hence these chemicals should be avoided.
For all silver jewellery with polished surfaces a tarnished surface can be removed with a silver polishing cloth.
To clean silver jewellery that has a matte finish we recommend a silver dip or foam. Silver dip is a specialized bath for silver jewellery that removes tarnish instantly and restores the original shine. Jewellery should be dipped into the solution for 5-10 seconds, removed, and rinsed in cool water. The piece should then be dried with a soft cloth. Silver foam is an orange paste that is applied to the jewellery with a sponge. Once the sponge has absorbed and removed the tarnished surface, the paste will change colour to grey. The piece should then be rinsed in cool water and dried with a soft cloth.
Please email us if you would like to purchase any cleaning products or if you would like to arrange to have your e.g.etal jewellery cleaned.
- How should I store my jewellery pieces?
Store your jewellery with care, ideally in the e.g.etal box in which it came. Keep it separated from other jewellery, as one item may scratch another.
Neckpieces and pendants should be stored flat to avoid a kink or bend forming in the chain or cable.
- How do I care for pearls?
If cared for properly, you will able to pass your pearls on for generations. Always remember to put your pearls on last, after your perfume and cosmetics, as exposure to these products, along with perspiration and dirt, will age your pearls. Your pearls will benefit from being gently wiped with a slightly damp cloth to remove any dirt.
When not being worn, jewellery strung on silk cord needs to be laid flat to prevent the cord from stretching.
If your pearls are threaded on silk, the silk will naturally stretch and weaken over time. We suggest bringing your threaded jewellery back into the gallery annually to be checked for wear. Pearls will need to be restrung from time to time.
- How should I care for my oxidized silver pieces?
Oxidised or blackened silver has been given a surface treatment, which should not be cleaned with a silver dip, as this will remove the treatment. The blackening will naturally wear away over time, which is a beautiful part of the piece’s life. If appropriate, e.g.etal can arrange to have some pieces re-oxidised (blackened) by the artist for a small fee. Please contact us if you would like us to arrange this service for you.
- How do I clean my jewellery?
Your jewellery will benefit from being cleaned regularly. Use a silver cloth for pieces with a polished finish. Use a cleaning dip for chains and pieces with a matte finish. Gold and silver dips are available for purchase through e.g.etal via email and instore. When time allows, the e.g.etal staff are happy to give your jewellery a quick on-the-spot clean in our ultrasonic machine. This brings the sparkle back to your stones by removing dirt that may get lodged behind the setting.
- How should I look after my enamel jewellery?
Enamel is a very fine glass, which is fired onto the surface of metal in a thin layer. It is very fragile and needs to be worn with care. Enamel jewellery tends to be worn as an occasional piece, rather than everyday.
We suggest thinking of your enamel piece as glass and treating it as such. Avoid dropping your piece, as this may result in chips in the surface.
The enamel components of your piece won’t change over time, so they won’t need any cleaning. The silver will naturally and gradually tarnish over time. We recommend cleaning your piece with a soft silver cloth. Avoid silver dip, chemical or abrasive cleaners and hot water, as these may damage the piece.
- How do I care for my jewellery containing plastics?
Contrary to popular belief, plastics do degrade. To prolong the life of your plastic jewellery we recommend storing jewellery containing plastics in a cool, dark place when not being worn. It is best to store plastic jewellery in a rubber-sealed glass jar. Furthermore, be sure to keep plastics away from perfumes, chemicals and water.
- How do I care for my jewellery made from other materials?
Jewellery made from less conventional materials sometimes needs a little extra care.
To look after wooden pieces, we recommend removing them when you are in or around water. From time to time, rub a small amount of oil into the surface of the wood to prevent the wood from wearing.
Zoe Jay Veness’ paper pieces have been built up using layers of paper that is slightly lacquered to prevent the paper from being damaged. Regardless of this, we recommend removing these pieces when you are in or around water (That also means rain!).
Kathryn Wardill’s and Jess Dare’s glass pieces should be stored in their original e.g.etal box when they are not being worn. The glass will break if it is dropped or knocked.
Joungmee Do and Sarah Heyward’s steel pieces should also be kept away from water, including rain, as it will rust and this will change the appearance of your piece.
Don’t be concerned if any of your pieces require some repairs over the course of your life. All of the artists are happy to repair or replace any damaged jewellery.