The term Antique Jewelry describes jewelry which has already survived a hundred years. To ensure your antique jewelry survives the next century, here are a few quick and easy tips and tricks.
Storing Antique Jewelry
There is a reason jewelry boxes are most commonly felt-lined. Felt is easily maintained, replaced and provides the perfect, non-abrasive and non-slippery surface upon or within which to store jewelry. The rich colours in which felt can be made also provide jewelry with the perfect backdrop, visually speaking.
Hence, always store antique pieces within their own felt-lined compartments so that no two pieces or metal touch. This is especially true of silver pieces; storing different items together can cause tarnishing, scratches and excessive colour-wear.
Cleaning, Polishing and Maintaining Antique Jewelry
Everybody has their own tricks to clean or polish their jewelry. Unfortunately, many people do not realise their tricks could be causing damage; the fact is, some stones and pearls for that matter are nowhere near as hard as diamonds. While this might seem obvious, it is worth pointing out that pearls, opals and even emeralds should never be cleaned using either jewelry cleaner of any type or washing up liquid. Instead, maintain them by using a soft cloth or brush (a soft toothbrush works well) dampened with mild soap and lukewarm water. Equally, avoid using ultra sonic cleaners entirely, to ensure the longevity of your pieces.
If when you are cleaning or polishing any of your jewelry you notice a stone is loose, take action to avoid the stone from being lost or causing any further damage to the jewelry llery itself. Simply place the piece within a secure jewelry box and take it along to a jeweller.
Handling and Wearing Antique Jewelry
Often people are very meticulous and careful about how they store and clean their antique jewelry, yet whilst wearing one of their antique rings they dont hesitate to plunge their hands into the washing up bowl, empty the dishwasher or jump in the shower. It isnt uncommon either for people to remove rings by placing pressure upon both the metal and any inlaid stones. All of these habits should be avoided.
Nowhere does your jewelry take more of a battering than when you are wearing it. Hence, take any precautions you can against giving your pieces too much of a hard time. Yes, it would be a shame to never wear or show your favourite pieces off, but losing, damaging or scratching it would be a far bigger shame. Hence, if when you go to perform an action or do something (like quickly washing up before heading out) your instinct makes you pause listen to it and remove your jewelry. And, finally, never remove a ring by placing a thumb or finger over a stone; hold the sides of a ring and gently pull and twist it, if you struggle to coax it over your knuckle.
Follow these simple tips and not only might you save yourself a lot of inconvenience due to damage, loss of a piece or unnecessary tarnishing, you could well save yourself a lot of heartache.