Reference - Care & Cleaning of Antique & Estate Jewelry
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Mild liquid soap (salt free is best) or ammonia based window cleaner, an old soft tooth brush, water, a bowl and a clean eyeglass cloth or lint-free cloth.
1. Soak the ring or jewelry for a few minutes in warm water (or window cleaner) in a bowl. Do not use the sink, and make sure all sinks and other drains are closed!
2. Holding the ring or jewelry over the bowl, use the toothbrush, and water, soap or window cleaner to brush all crevices and underneath. Rinse. Repeat if needed.
3. For rings which are caked in soap and grime, you can even soak overnight, then clean.*
4. Rinse well with warm water still holding the item over the bowl. Remember even a brand new ring can have a stone come loose.
5. Dry on a link free cloth or use an eyeglass cloth or similar. Examine the item.
a. Opals, pearls, turquoise, and other soft and porous gems should be cleaned with just mild liquid soap and water. Soak only for a few minutes. Do not soak overnight. Rinse well.
b. For locket, do not use liquids if there are photographs or sensitive materials inside. Just use a soft cloth or jewelry cloth.
c. Never use water or liquids on portrait miniatures, photographs, hair or other sensitive materials.
d. When in doubt please contact us. We do not recommend ultrasonic cleaners for any antique and estate jewelry.
Cleaning for Closed Backed Jewelry - Georgian Jewelry or Prior
Any jewelry which is closed back (that you cannot see the back of the diamonds or gemstones and you can only see metal) most likely has set stones which are foiled on the reverse. This is a metal coating that allows the stone to reflect more light.
No closed back jewelry should ever be placed in liquids or left on the hands while washing or engaging in any other activity where water may come in contact with the stones.
Any tiny gap between the mount and the stone can let in moisture and the foiling can be spoiled and change color. Be careful wearing jewelry in heavy rain as well.
Never clean any early jewelry (those with closed backs) with water or any other liquid.
Use only the softest toothbrush to very gently brush away dust or old dirt. You may also use a very soft, lint free cloth to clean the surface of stones and gold and silver. Silver cloths for silver mounted jewelry or gold and silver treated cloths are fine as well to use for metal areas. Eyeglass cloths are ideal for removing light grease and dirt.
Care for Rings
For rings which are worn daily or frequently, we recommend having a jeweler check them every 1-2 years to secure any loose diamonds or gemstones. Contact us as we are happy to assit you.
Jewelry should be stored in cotton or soft cloth and care should be taken that pieces do not knock against other pieces of jewelry. Storage in dry humid-free areas are best. Do not store at length in closed, air tight plastic bags or boxes. With a modicum of care, the jewelry you adore can last many more lifetimes to come.
If repairs are needed, just contact us and we are happy to assist you. We have several jewelers and can assist you in shipping and returning your item(s) fully restored.
We regret but we are unable to make recommendations for jewelers in your local area.