You have a nice collection of vintage and estate jewelry passed down from your mother and grandmother. It is exhilarating to be the recipient of that emerald and diamond brooch you had your eyes on when you were a child.
However, owning family heirlooms and estate jewelry isn’t as simple as it seems.
The lovely diamond engagement ring that once sparkled on your grandmother’s hand has become a dull reminiscent of its once beautiful days. You are given a responsibility to take care of your family heirlooms, so that each piece may last for generations.
What Are The Elements That Damage Antique Estate Jewelry?
Taking care of the following will minimize the ill effects of deterioration.
- Scratching the Gemstone
- Inappropriate storage
- Wearing the jewelry while doing household jobs
Some General Maintenance Tips
- Keep jewelry items separate
- Store beaded jewelry in the flat position
- Keep jewelry items away from sunlight, hot car interiors and heat vents
Cleaning Your Antique Estate Jewelry Isn’t As Hard As You Think!
A number of mild cleaning products can be found in the market, ideal for cleaning your vintage estate jewelry. Select a cleaning solution that doesn’t contain alcohol, ammonia, or acids. Avoid harsh ingredients, in general. Follow these steps for the rest of the cleaning process. The Easiest and the most economical is cleaning you jewelry under warm running water with a soft toothbrush.
Conduct Thorough Inspection before Cleaning
Inspect the pieces of jewelry for loose dust, dirt and other grit hidden in crevices, with the help of a magnifying glass. Doing this will also help you find any loose parts or stones that must be tightened by a Jeweler before cleaning the jewelry.
Antique estate jewelry should always be dusted first, using the softest toothbrush or makeup brush you can find.
Spray A Little water or Commercial Jewelry Cleaner
Windex is a good alternative to clean jewelry if you don’t have proper jewelry cleaner on hand. Never use dish-washing solution to clean antique jewelry as the froth can further damage the metal or precious stones.
Spray a little water on a soft cloth and apply it to the jewelry. Make sure you don’t spray too much, i.e. the cloth should be damp enough to clean well. Use a Q-tip (with a little jewelry cleaner) to get at the hard-to-reach places.
Dry Jewelry Properly Before Storing It Away
As mentioned above; moisture is a jewelry piece’s biggest enemy. Nothing will damage your diamond ring or gold pendant necklace more than water damage. Most people, though, are careless when it comes to proper storage of their jewelry after cleaning, i.e. they put a piece of wet jewelry away.
Experts suggest thoroughly drying antique or vintage estate jewelry after cleaning. Dry your jewelry using your hair dryer on medium heat.
How Often Should Cleaning Be Done?
There is no rule of thumb when it comes to cleaning antique or vintage estate jewelry. Items worn more often should be cleaned after every week (or two). For special jewelry items that are taken out of storage occasionally, it’s better to clean it right before donning it on, or when putting it back again.
If kept well, you will require only a little bit of cleaning every now and again. Your precious vintage or antique jewelry collection can still be passed down to your kids and grand kids in mint condition! Solitaire Jewelers offers free jewelry cleaning to all clients, so if you are in the area visit our showroom for a complementary jewelry cleaning at our jewelry spa. Of course you can always make your own “modern” jewelry by selling your estate jewelry to Solitaire Jewelry and buying new pieces.