How do I care for my jewellery?

Jewellery is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. Understanding how to care for and protect your treasured jewellery can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping your heirlooms sparkling for generations to come.

All SMITH pieces are made from quality gold, sterling silver and brass. Some of the silver and brass is plated, which means that eventually, the plating will wear off. This entirely depends on how you wear your jewellery, what chemicals and creams it comes in contact with and your skins acidity.

At SMITH, we believe in creating sustainable jewellery that can be worn and treasured for years to come. But do keep in mind that jewellery is still precious and care needs to be taken whilst wearing it, we recommend avoiding exposure to any impact, pressure or extreme temperatures. Metal, natural gemstones and even diamonds can crack or chip upon impact with the wrong object. Chemicals and some household substances can weaken metal or damage natural gemstones, even if not immediately apparent.

The most important factor in caring for your jewellery, is understanding appropriate wear. As much as we want you to love and enjoy wearing your jewellery, its important to remove your jewellery when:

  • Showering or swimming
  • Sleeping
  • Applying cosmetic products or perfumes
  • Exercising, especially at the gym. Keep it safe and take it off.
  • Doing any hands on work, where your jewellery is exposed to chemicals or force.
Depending on your professional life, you will need to carefully assess whether your jewels should be worn during working hours. If in doubt about whether you should wear your piece in a specific situation. Adhering to these guidelines will assist in maximising the longevity of your piece.

Many of our pieces are made with solid brass. Non-plated metals have the tendency to naturally take on a patina and age over time. We love this about brass and feel it gives each piece a unique character.

We do however realise that everybody’s different and that you may be totally NOT ok with this whole patina idea. If you prefer to keep your piece bright and shiny you’ll need to store it in an airtight container and use a gentle brass cleanser.

  • Sprays and creams including soap, perfume, moisturiser and suncream can cause dullness so it is best to remove your jewellery before using any of these products.
  • Brass can simply be cleaned back to their original appearance by using a standard brass metal polish (Brasso is our favourite brand).
If you would like us to clean any of our jewellery pieces for you, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange this.

Extra care should be given to plated jewellery.

  • Avoid bringing your plated jewellery into contact with perfumes, oils and lotions, rather only wear your jewellery once you are done working with those substances.
  • You should also remove your plated jewellery when you are exercising, swimming or in the shower or bath.
If you would like us to re-plate any jewellery piece for you, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange this. Your first re-plating is free, there-after a service fee will be charged starting from R150.

When worn regularly, our sterling silver pieces usually keep their original, bright colour. However, if a piece remains unworn or your skin is very acidic, it may very well start to tarnish. This is normal and all it needs is a simple polish or for you to wear it more often. Go on, give it some love.

As with the metals above, prolonged or repeated exposure to chlorine or other chemicals in cleaning products can harm your gold jewellery.

  • We recommend that you remove your jewellery when gardening or cleaning to reduce abrasions and prolong the lustre.
  • To clean gold jewellery, use a solution of warm water and detergent-free soap with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Then, polish it with a specialised cloth or cleaning solution.
  • When not worn, store your gold pieces in soft cloth bags or the original box to help prevent scratches.

The same rules apply when looking after your precious gemstones

  • Stay away from extreme or excessive light and heat and these can fade, bleach or damage your stones (especially with Amethyst, Kunzite, Topaz,  shell cameos and Pearls).
  • Keep away from chemicals.
  • Extreme pressure and hard knocks can chip or crack even diamonds, so take care.
  • Pearls should not be cleaned with any jewellery cleaner but only with a soft cloth or special pearl cleaner. They should be stored separately in a box with a soft surface.

Damage to jewellery can happen due to normal wear and tear or if one is not careful with the jewellery item, remember jewellery is delicate. We will repair the piece at no charge if the jewel has been damaged due to a manufacturing default. However, there will be a repair fee charged to the customer if damage has occurred at their own hands and this amount will be determined after inspection of the product.

If for any reason you lose or damage your jewellery, please send us an email to and we’ll do our best to help. We are happy to make individual earrings if required.

You will be responsible for any courier costs incurred in getting the piece to and from our studio. We are happy to arrange courier collection on your behalf.