Cleaning something as important as your antique jewelry can be a daunting task! The best products to use? How frequently? What not to do? Let us walk you through a few keys do’s and don’t to make sure your pieces are always at their best.
Antique jewelry is considered any jewelry that is more than 100 years old. Pieces with that kind of history need to be treated with the utmost respect and care! That means taking some time to learn the best practices.
A great place to start is by touching on a few things not to do.
Things Not To Do When Cleaning Antiques
1. Polish Away Patina on Old Rose Gold or Yellow Gold Antique Jewelry
Patina is something that takes years to form. It is important to not over polish pieces with patina, as you do not want the yellow gold to be too light and take away some of its charms.
2. Submerge Jewelry For a Long Period of Time
Liquid can be detrimental to some antique jewelry, especially any pieces with cameos, opals, seed pearls, or any other soft stones. Fragile jewelry should never be saturated in liquid at all. Instead, use a damp brush or cloth.
3. Clean With Harsh Chemicals
We often hear that ammonia is great for making your diamonds sparkle but that isn't always the case. This may work in moderation for new jewelry but antiques deserve a much gentler approach.
Things To Do When Cleaning Antiques
1. Make A Gentle Cleaning Solution
The best way to care for your pieces is sometimes the way you have the most control.
To make your own solution, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap like Dove until it is sudsy. The key here is in the cleaning technique, not necessarily in the solution.
2. Make Sure to Rinse and Dry Antique Jewelry Thoroughly
It is important to make sure you remove any soap residue that might build up on your antiques. Run the jewelry under lukewarm water and pat dry.
3. Have the right expectations
Antique jewelry is never meant to look brand new. If that is your goal while cleaning your jewelry, then you may be disappointed. You want to remove dirt, grime, and bacteria, but you don't want to remove the years of character and patina.
Antique pieces are something to be treasured and taken care of to pass down for generations to come.