An antique piece of jewelry is very precious for you. It is not just about its monetary value but also the emotional value attached to it. Whether it is your own collection or you inherited it, you kind of feel possessive about it. Like it or not, it tends to lose its sparkle with time if not properly cleaned and stored. When you find that your antique jewelry has turned dull and drab, you feel disappointed. Do not worry you will be able to restore its brilliance by following certain rules on cleaning and caring for antique jewelry.
Tips for Cleaning Antique Jewelry
You tend to delay the cleaning antique jewelry as you feel that cleaning can cause harm to it. Though the fact is that it is a simple task, that does not damage the jewelry. Some valuable tips in this regard are as follows:
Tip #1: The loosely bound dust and dirt particles on the jewelry can cause scratches on its surface. You have to remove it with great care. A soft bristled toothbrush is the most suitable tool for this job as it can reach out to the curves of the intricate designs. Move the toothbrush over the jewelry with gentle strokes to avoid any scratches.
Tip #2: If you want to opt for commercial jewelry cleaning products, then you must read its label carefully before purchasing. You have to select one such product that does not have alcohol, acids or ammonia as these ingredients are too harsh for the jewelry. Another thing you should know is that all products cannot be used on all kinds of jewelry. For instance, you cannot use a product meant for gold jewelry on pearls. While using the product, you should always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Tip #3: Alternatively, you can safely use the regular window cleaner on old jewelry. Take a clean soft piece of cloth and spray a little window cleaner on it. Now, rub this slightly damp cloth on the jewelry piece lightly to clean up the dirt build up on them. Never spray the cleaner directly on the jewelry. No need to put the jewelry under running water after using the window cleaner on it.
Tip #4: After cleaning the jewelry, leave it untouched for at least an hour for air drying. Any moisture residue left behind on the surface of the jewelry can tarnish the precious metals and gemstones. Moreover, the clasps and springs of the jewelry may get deteriorated due to prolonged moisture exposure. When it is completely dry, rub the jewelry with a polishing cloth before storing it.
Tip #5: If you wear antique jewelry on a regular basis, you must clean it after every one or two weeks. However, if you wear them once in a while on some special occasions only, then you just clean it before and after wearing it.
Antique Jewelry Care
Along with cleaning, proper storage of the jewelry is equally important to maintain its shining and stunning look. You also have to keep your jewelry away from all such substances that can have a harmful effect on it. Some important aspects of antique jewelry care are as follows:
- Antique jewelry should not be exposed to extreme temperature. Temperature change can loosen the bond between the gemstone and glue and it may fall off. Cracks often develop on some gemstones due to high temperature.
- Store each piece of jewelry in separate jewelry boxes. If you keep them together, they get rubbed against each other and scratches may appear on their surfaces. If you have to store it in the same box, put each of them in a soft pouch to prevent any direct contact with each other.
- When you are wearing the jewelry, make sure that it does not come in contact with bath soap, perfume, hairspray, body lotion, make up, etc. These substances form a dull film on the surface of the jewelry which you will find very difficult to remove.
- You should avoid doing household chores with your antique jewelry on. Regular household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can cause extensive damage to the jewelry.
- Inspect your jewelry pieces on a regular basis to check signs of damage. Use a magnifying glass to get a closer look at the stones. If you find any loose settings, you must take it to the jeweler immediately for repairing.
These simple tips and techniques will help you to retain its attractive look for many years to come and you can pass down this precious possession to the next generation with great pride.