There is nothing quite like a beautiful piece of vintage jewellery . Perhaps you have a selection of rings, brooches, or necklaces passed down from your grandmother or an aunt. Or maybe you've been scouring second-hand stores and shopping online to build up a collection.
However your vintage jewellery came to you, it’s vital to know how to look after it.
Protect Your Jewellery and Your Memories
Jewellery is so much more than just something pretty. Each piece holds memories – of a beloved friend, a perfect wedding day, a treasured relative – and the loss or damage of a piece can be heartbreaking. To help you avoid this sad situation, we’ve put together these 7 essential tips for vintage jewellery care. Follow the advice here and you’ll keep your pieces looking great for a long while yet.
- Choose Your Cleaner Carefully
You don’t have to break the bank to get a good cleaner for your jewellery, but you do need to be careful. Avoid any products that contain alcohol, acids, or ammonia. If you are using a specially made jewellery cleaning product, make sure it is intended for the piece you are cleaning.
The best alternative to jewellery cleaner is actually Windex. Just remember to never spray it directly onto the jewellery. Warm soapy water is also fine, though it can leave a residue.
- Inspect Before Cleaning
Before cleaning, use a magnifying glass to inspect for dust, grit, and loose precious stones – these should be tightened before cleaning. An old, very soft toothbrush or makeup brush is perfect for dusting the piece before cleaning.
- Choose an Ideal Location
Be careful about where you choose to clean your jewellery. Avoid the sink and its dangerous plughole. Use a large bowl of water for rinsing instead and polish the pieces at a table. Spread a tablecloth or other fabric underneath – this will minimise damage if something is dropped and it will also prevent your jewellery from rolling away.
- The Cleaning
Once you’re ready to clean, spray a little Windex or jewellery cleaner on a very soft cloth. It should be just damp enough to get the job done. Use a little cleaner on a Q-tip to clean dirty nooks and crannies.
- Dry Up
Moisture is jewellery’s persona non grata, so make sure all pieces are thoroughly air dried before being put back in storage.
- Bringing out the Sheen
Once your jewellery is dry, gently rub it with a polishing cloth to make it shine. Special cloths for this purpose are inexpensive and can be purchased from many jewellery stores. They do a wonderful job, leaving your jewellery looking like new.
- Build the Right Routine
How often you clean your jewellery will depend on how often you use it. For pieces you wear regularly, weekly or fortnightly cleaning is a good idea. For pieces that you only bring out on special occasions once every six months – or even just before you are planning to wear it – should be enough.
A Lasting Legacy
With a little storage and cleaning care, your precious vintage jewellery will survive the decades and continue to bring joy to you and your family. For more advice on cleaning your vintage jewellery or to find your next piece, contact Harrington and Co .