- Diamonds may be the hardest natural substance known to man, but can still be damaged, chipped, abraded or scratched. Therefore, don’t jumble your diamond jewellery together or with other pieces, because diamonds can scratch other jewellery and each other.
- After removing jewellery, wipe with a soft cloth and store in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box.
- Clean your jewellery and diamonds regularly with a jewellery cleaner that you can obtain from your jeweller and ask your jeweller for advice on cleaning your jewellery at home.
- For certain gold jewellery, especially without gemstones, an ultrasonic cleaning machine may be appropriate. Once again ask your jeweller to advise you.
- Remove jewellery before chores and do not let your jewellery or diamonds come in contact with chlorine, bleach or other chemicals that can pit or discolour the mounting.
Hallmarking table for precious metal
As a minimum, all items of jewellery is stamped with a ‘fineness mark’ declaring the content of precious metal in the alloy.
A hallmark is a mark or series of marks struck on items made of precious metals – platinum, gold, silver and palladium. Hallmarks guarantee a certain purity or fineness of the metal.
National hallmarking systems differ from country to country. In South Africa, the following are the most popular caratages which are stamped on jewellery:
|Precious metal alloy||Designation||Fineness
(parts per 1 000, min.)
Plated jewellery and bonded gold jewellery
Plated refers to a piece of jewellery that is made from a metal such as copper or silver and then covered, through an electroplating process, with a thin layer of precious metal, usually gold. The product is usually hallmarked only based on the silver content and not a gold hallmark.
This form of jewellery, classified as costume jewellery, is more affordable than fine gold jewellery. The plating will wear off in time but can be replated to restore the original look.
‘Bonded’ refers to jewellery where gold is bonded through heat with the original metal, often silver. The bonded product contains a much thicker layer of gold that is less likely to wear through. You will either find a silver hallmark or a combination hallmark specifying the silver and gold content separately. Your jeweller has a responsibility to advise you as to the product you are purchasing.