A Gift to Say: “I’m Thinking of You”

While the world is in lockdown, it feels like an important time to tell your family and friends how much you care about them. You might not be able to hug through the telephone, but you can still send them a personalised gift to make sure they know you’re thinking of them. Here’s a few of our suggestions:

This Sterling Silver Filigree Tree Locket  is the perfect reminder: its intricate sterling silver details make for an entrancingly magical accessory, and the nature-orientated design reminds recipients of the way they’ll be able to explore the outdoors when this crisis is over. The locket could be entrusted with a personal photo or item to compliment your message.

Silver Beaded Hoop Earrings

Birds are said to symbolise ‘the future’ and ‘freedom’; what a poignant message to accompany a sweet and endearing Little Bird Necklace. For someone in need of comforting message or an expression of hope, this gorgeous little gift delivers a wonderful, positive message.

These Paper Aeroplane Earrings are redolent of the times you sneakily handed friends notes in class. There’s something quite cheeky about the idea of sending a secret paper aeroplane direct to someone’s door, especially during a lockdown. 

Who wouldn’t feel chirpy after receiving a simple – yet elegant – pair of Sunny Weather Earrings. Shining a little light on a friend who needs it, or deserves it, is the least we can do for each other right now. 

We hope that you and your families are safe and well during these testing times. Hopefully, amid our current and upcoming collections, we can continue to inspire a new wave of positive thinking and selflessness.

The Martha Jackson Team x

Caring for your beautiful silver jewellery

Keeping the zing in your bling

There’s nothing quite like that feeling you get when you open up a box to find a sparkling new piece of jewellery that you’ve either bought for yourself or a gift which someone has thoughtfully bought for you. The excitement of wearing it for the first time, the compliments you receive from friends and family, often with a touch of envy in their voice, and the number of times you catch yourself admiring it. We all know how great it feels and a large part of the initial joy is the jewellery’s shine and polish. Now, just like any new item, the shine and polish can dull and fade. With silver there are two contributing factors in play, Patina and tarnish.

Tarnish is probably the word that most of us will be familiar with and is certainly what can occur first. Patina is less well known and is a quality of silver as opposed to an issue. The best way to describe Patina would be as a soft, grey, lustrous finish which develops on silver which has both been cared for and well used. In particular, rings often take on Patina which is formed by tiny marks on the silver. These marks are acquired by silver as it is a soft metal, similar to gold, and form what is often called a “living finish”.

Unlike Patina, tarnish is the result of a chemical reaction and is predominately easy to remove. Definitely not something to be worried or concerned about. So let’s look at what causes silver to tarnish

A breath of fresh air

Unfortunately the biggest cause of silver tarnishing is all around us and we couldn’t live without it. The very air that we breathe contains elements like oxygen and sulphur which react with silver. This reaction creates the dull film on the surface of the silver ranging from light yellow to black which we all know as tarnish. This will even happen if you keep your jewellery in a box and only wear it occasionally. Ask any jewellery shop, they will tell you that they are constantly polishing all the stock on display. Silver can also be tarnished by sea water, swimming pools and soaps.

Help is at hand

There’s no need to panic or move to the moon, where the lack of atmosphere would prevent your favourite necklace dulling, the solution is in your hands, literally. The best way to remove light tarnish is with a simple polishing cloth. These can be easily found in shops and online. It doesn’t even need to be done frequently. In fact, the more you wear your jewellery the less attention it should require. Naturally occurring oils in our skin can actually clean your jewellery as you wear it. What a brilliant excuse for wearing more and often! If you are using a polishing cloth, here are a few simple rules;

  • Invest in a silver polishing cloth, never use tissues or paper towels
  • Gently polish in the direction of the grain of the silver
  • Never polish in circles
  • Keep you cloth in an airtight bag, usually supplied with the cloth
  • Avoid getting dirt and dust on your cloth, especially abrasive grits
  • Use an old toothbrush to get into hard to reach areas
  • Always wash your hands afterwards

Are really good and cost effective (cheap) polishing cloth is available from Goddards. They also supply cleaning liquids.

When the going gets tough

If your silver is heavily tarnished or you have just dug up a Viking bangle from your back garden you may need to use a cleaning liquid. Again, these can be easily found in shops or online. There should be more specific instructions accompanying these products as they can contain some robust cleaning chemicals and should be used carefully. Alternatively here are some homemade recipes you can try;

  • A baking soda and water paste that’s rubbed onto the silver
  • Lemon juice and olive oil used to rub onto the silver
  • Baking soda and white vinegar used to soak your jewellery in before polishing

Always clean any polish off your silver jewellery after cleaning, by running under a tap and drying off.

Don’t have nightmares

The most important thing to remember about tarnish is that it is very easy to remove and should in no way spoil your enjoyment of your jewellery. What really counts is how much each piece means to you or the thought that went into buying you the gift. In every life a little rain must fall, but you only get a rainbow when it rains…

Time to get personal

There are so many thought processes involved in present shopping. It generally starts with “who’s it for” and “what would they like”. There is also that dreadful worry in the back of your mind about getting the wrong gift. Something which will be politely accepted with thanks and kisses but will immediately be discarded, never to see the light of day again. In all honesty, we’ve probably all been guilty of this at least once.

As you spend more time considering the gift you will buy you start to imagine the joy it will bring. The warm fuzzy feeling of delight and love the recipient will experience when they open it and see the wondrous offering you have procured for them. The sparkle in their eyes, the gasps of joy and the (you’ve really hit the nail on the head) “thank you so much”

Now there is a plethora of gifts which can inspire such reactions, ranging from a handmade card to the deeds for their own sun drenched tropical island. We know the latter will be outside most budgets however, a really great way to make a gift extra special is to have it personalized.

Personalisation can take many forms, our particular favourite is engraving. Again, there are a vast number of things which can be engraved, pens, trophies, mirrors and jewellery to name but a few.

An engraved message is often the icing on the cake when it comes to jewellery. Not only does the lucky receiver get a beautiful piece of jewellery, there’s also a thoughtful message engraved forever on it. This makes the gift completely personal to them. No one else will have one quite like it.

Oh what to write…

In some respects, though it doesn’t always feel that way, picking the piece of jewellery to be engraved is the easy part. Lockets and rings are firm favourites and have been for centuries but other options are available. Bangles, bracelets, watches and cufflinks can often be engraved as well. The great thing about lockets and rings is that you can usually fit quite a few letters/characters on.

We’ve certainly seen a wide variety of messages, some of which we would be unable to repeat. Let’s just say there are some pretty passionate gift givers out there! The best messages often contain the person’s name or a special date. This is what makes the message personal and means the gift will mean a lot more to them. And don’t forget, the best way to end one of these messages is with a couple of kisses, feel the love.

X marks the spot

One of our favourite messages we engrave is co-ordinates. These can be the co-ordinates of anywhere in the world which is of special importance to you or the person you are buying the gift for. Where you first met, where you had your first kiss, where you proposed and so on. There are lots of different ways to find the co-ordinates you want to have engraved, you may already know them. One of the easiest ways is to use Google Maps. Here is a quick guide on how to do this;

• Open up Google maps

• Find your special place. You can do this by entering postcodes, street names, landmarks etc. We’re using the Eiffel tower for this example.

• Once Google maps has found the place you are looking for it highlights it with a red pin. If you right click on the pin you will get a list of options. Select “What’s here?”.

• When you click on “What’s here?” a small box will open at the bottom of the screen with details which will include the co-ordinates you are looking for eg: 48.858497, 2.294513.

• These will however, be a string of numbers. If you click on these numbers a large box will open on the left-hand side of the screen. This will contain a more artistic version of the co-ordinates e.g: 48°51’30.4″N 2°17’40.1″E. Simply copy these co-ordinates and you will have them ready to paste into the “Text to be engraved” box.

As an engraved message, these look great but you can also add a date or initials for that extra special touch.

So, happy gifting everyone, we hope that this has given you some useful advice about personalisation.