Dos and Don’ts for Cleaning Your Antique Jewelry

Dos and Don’ts for Cleaning Your Antique Jewelry

I have quite a lot of antique jewelry that was handed down from my mom and keeping them clean is a real job. Jewelry, in general, is expensive and without proper care and attention, a ring or necklace can quickly become jaded looking, or worse still, suffer a malfunction. Cleaning jewelry is somewhat of an art, and with antique pieces, the greatest of care must be taken, especially with delicate items. If you are new to the jewelry maintenance field, here are some dos and don’ts when cleaning antique pieces. 

  • Do Take Great Care – Antique jewelry items can be very fragile, and therefore, great care should be taken at all times, especially when cleaning. It is recommended to use a soft toothbrush with a tiny amount of very mild soap and some water. If you are not confident of carrying out the task, it is best to take the item to a reputable jeweler, who, for a small fee, will clean it for you. 
  • Don’t Use Chemical Solutions – While it might be fine to immerse a stainless steel ring in some liquid ammonia, you should avoid using any chemicals when cleaning antique jewelry. Immersion in any liquid is not recommended with very old items, and that includes detergents and anything that contains bleach.
  • Do Use Lint Free Cloth – This ensures that all the residue will be removed, and with your soft toothbrush and soapy solution, gently make circling patterns, without pressing too hard. Rinse and repeat and have patience, as perhaps a small amount of stubborn grime is attached to a clasp, and repeated brushing will eventually shift it. There is some further reading on the do’s and don’ts of cleaning antique jewelry, which highlights correct procedures.
  • Don’t Rush Things – To correctly (and safely) clean antique jewelry items, patience is required, and prior to actually doing anything, examine the item closely, looking for dirt and grime. Be very precise about how and where you actually make contact with the surface and make sure you do not apply too much pressure, and eventually, you will see a huge improvement and some tell-tale signs of ground in dirt on the cloth. Cotton swabs can be very effective in reaching those hard-to-get-to places, but it is easy for strands of cotton wool to attach themselves to the item. 

Like most things of value, antique jewelry should be cleaned with extreme care and attention, and if you would prefer, it might be a job for your local jeweler to undertake. There are also online video tutorials that are easy to follow, and if you have a regular jeweler, you can always ask for their expert opinion. Hopefully, with some TLC and attention, your jewelry will look as new as can be.

Before I go, I recently came across this antique jeweler that sells a wide range of amazing jewelry pieces. If you are shopping for some high quality rings, including engagement rings, and would like to browse elegant antique style engagement rings online, check them out!

Thanks for reading, lovelies!


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