Aftercare and Cleaning

Shimell and Madden pieces are made to last generations, but however durable, precious materials will change over time and can also be damaged. It is best to take care of your jewellery as you would with anything you use every day. Simply protecting from abrasion, regular cleaning and biannual professional inspections can prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your special piece.

All precious metal surfaces will change with wear and gain their own natural patina. Rings are the most likely to come into contact with hard and abrasive surfaces and this can alter the finish on the metal.

Our heavily textured, polished and satin matt finish all wear differently. Heavily textured has the most longevity as the finish is applied deeply to the surface. Both polished and satin finish will gain marks, a polished surface becomes more matt and a satin finish more polished. Depending on wear, polished and satin surfaces will end up looking the same, settling on a finish somewhere in between the two. You can either leave your jewellery pieces to naturally change over the years, or have them refinished.

The 18ct white gold alloy is a warmer grey hue, in its natural finish the metal will not change colour with wear. We offer white rhodium plating on our 18ct gold pieces which gives them a brighter whiter colour. This surface layer gradually wears off over time and this can be reapplied to keep your piece looking fresh.

Gemstones vary in hardness and durability. Diamonds are the most suitable for everyday wear, but this does not make them indestructible. The rigid formation of molecules in a diamond that accounts for its hardness also makes the material relatively brittle and if caught at the wrong angle or weak point a diamond can chip or break. It is best to choose a setting aligned with how you wear your jewellery and your lifestyle. If you are quite active a fully enclosed setting would be advisable for example. Sapphire and ruby are second best as the material is quite durable, but over many years the surface can abrade, this happens more quickly with softer gemstones like tourmaline. Emeralds, tanzanite, opals and pearls are to be worn with extreme care especially in rings, and they aren’t suitable for an engagement ring. If you’d like to know more about the right gemstone choice or setting choice for you then get in touch.

To reduce wear and prevent damage we would advise you to take off your jewellery when;

Exercising – especially if you are using weights, equipment or rackets as applied pressure and hard surfaces can cause misshaping and deep abrasions.

Gardening – soil and stones can quickly damage and dirty rings.

Getting ready – remove your jewellery when applying cosmetics and perfumes and wait until your skin is fully dry before putting back on.

Swimming – whether in the sea or pool your fingers can change size do to the sudden change in temperature and can slip off easily. Chlorine can also discolour and damage precious materials.

Washing /cleaning - limit any contact with strong cleaning chemicals. It is best to remove jewellery when showering or when washing dishes to avoid loss and soap build up.

Sleeping – chains can easily tangle when worn overnight, and also earrings can get caught on bedding and lost.

Jewellery, especially rings can get dirty quickly if you are wearing them every day. Our fine pieces can be very easily cleaned by using warm water with dish washing liquid and a soft tooth brush, no other specialist chemicals are needed. This removes the build-up of things like moisturiser, which can greatly affect the sparkle of gemstones. Pay extra attention to the back of open settings. If there is hardened on grime then leave the piece to soak before scrubbing with the brush. You can dry them with a soft lint-free cloth or hair dryer on the cool setting. We recommend doing this every fortnight to keep your pieces looking their best.

We offer complimentary deep cleaning and refinishing of any items purchased from us if you are able to visit our studio.

Every gemstone setting is robustly made but they can loosen over time. For rings, we would encourage you to have it checked over every two years, or sooner if you have and accidental knock. The setting may not seem damaged but it is always best to have this double checked by a jeweller who can tighten your setting/s if needed. This will avoid potential further damage or loss of gemstone. We offer this type of check-up free of charge if you are able to visit the studio.

It is best to store unworn jewellery in their original box or airtight container, separate from other pieces especially when travelling. When kept together jewellery pieces can scratch each other and chains can get easily tangled.

We are able to repair Shimell and Madden pieces purchased through our website or from our London studio. Whether is it is accidental damage or normal wear and tear we can usually restore it to its original condition. Contact emma@shimellandmadden for a quote.

Our advice is to fully insure your pieces of jewellery for loss, theft or damage. We are able to recommend a specialist jewellery insurance company if needed. Our receipts are usually adequate for insurance purposes but we can provide extra documentation on request.