If you collect antique jewelry, one of the best ways to maximize the value of your pieces is to keep your items clean and beautiful. However, a general household cleaner won’t do when it comes to cleaning these items. You’ll need to take special care and specific precautions to clean your antique jewelry thoroughly while you minimize the risk of damage. Keep these tips in mind as you go about the process.
Examine Your Jewelry for Damage before You Clean
Before you start to clean your antique jewelry, take some time to inspect it. If there are any loose settings or stones, they should be tightened before you attempt to polish your item. Dust and grit that may have accumulated on your jewelry should also be removed by hand before you start to clean.
Choose the Right Cleaning Solution
There are a lot of products out there that claim to be safe for antique jewelry, but some are better than other. It is important to consider the cleaning solution that you choose wisely, as you’ll want to pick one that doesn’t contain ammonia, acids, or alcohol. Make sure you read the label on any product before you use it. Ensure the product is designated for your particular piece. For example, you shouldn’t use cleaner specified for rhinestone jewelry on your antique gold ring.
Use a Toothbrush
A toothbrush or soft makeup brush is a good tool for cleaning your jewelry. First, use a dry brush to lightly dust off the surface. Then, use some of your jewelry cleaner, and gently scrub the surface of your piece with the brush. While you’ll need to use enough solution to ensure the job is done properly, try not to get the piece too wet. A Q-tip can be useful to get dirt out of small crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.
Allow Your Jewelry to Dry Completely
Remember that when it comes to preserving your antique jewelry, moisture is the enemy. Make sure your pieces have time to dry completely before you put them away. For the best results, consider drying your jewelry upside down or in a hanging position so that moisture will flow away from the piece. Otherwise, it could accumulate within the settings.
A soft polish can help your antique jewelry to shine, but it should be applied with a specialized polishing clothes. They are relatively inexpensive and can make even an old piece of jewelry look like new within a matter of minutes.
There is no general rule for how often you should clean your jewelry. If you wear an item often, you may want to clean it on a weekly basis. For antique pieces that you don’t wear regularly, fewer cleaning sessions will be needed, but you should be sure to clean the item before you try to sell it.
If you have a prized antique jewelry collection, feel free to bring it in to us at Sarasota Antique Buyers. We can help determine the value, and if you are ready to sell, will place a bid just under this dollar amount. Call us today for more information.