All jewellery requires proper care and attention to maintain the beauty of the finish and the gemstones. In this handy jewellery care guide we’ve put together, we share some great recommendations to help preserve the condition of your vintage (or any) jewels and ensure they stay with you for a lifetime. Remember that your antique and vintage jewellery has seen many winters and passed through many hands, meaning it needs careful maintenance to continue standing the test of time and one day become your next generation’s heirloom.
Protection & Upkeep
Some strong chemicals like bleach and natural elements like saltwater can dull the appearance of gold and gemstones. That’s why we recommend removing your jewellery when:
- washing your hands
- putting on lotion or face creams
- putting on perfume
- swimming at the beach, the swimming pool, or relaxing in a hot tub
We also suggest taking daily activities into consideration when choosing what jewellery items to wear. For example, you really won’t enjoy removing cookie dough particles from your vintage ring! It could also slip off when you’re swimming, as our fingers usually contract in cold waters.
To avoid losses, scratches or damage to any stones, it’s best to avoid wearing your jewellery when you’re:
- spending a lot of time outdoors
- working out
- doing housework or gardening
- coming to contact with hard or rugged surfaces
- doing strenuous activities
Remember: Examine your antique and vintage jewellery periodically for loose stones and bent or broken prong settings.
Cleaning & Aftercare
For light cleaning, you can gently polish your jewels with a jewellery polishing cloth. If you think your vintage jewellery could use some deeper cleaning, follow these easy steps:
- Soak the jewels for three to five minutes in a bowl of warm water and diluted dish soap (avoid harsh soaps and chemicals)
- Gently clean the jewels with a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Dry thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth
We suggest taking your vintage gems and antique jewellery for professional cleaning once a year.
Remember: The ultrasonic cleaner may be great for modern jewels, but it’s too aggressive for most gemstones and not recommended for cleaning heirlooms. The pulsating motion may loosen vintage settings and/or damage antique finishes.
Nothing hurts a collector’s eyes more than the sight of jewellery jumbled together, all scratched and tangled up. Owning vintage and antique jewellery is like inheriting a piece of history. So if you’re lucky enough to own a time-honoured collectible, make sure it has its own storage place, where it can be safely kept when you’re not wearing it.
Try giving each of your jewels their own special place, whether in a velvet pouch, individual container, or jewellery box section. Store items separately and keep them away from:
- direct light
- heat sources
- plastic containers
Remember: If you own extremely valuable pieces of high collectable, monetary or sentimental value, we recommend keeping those under lock and key (perhaps in a safe deposit box) for peace of mind.
Wearing Your Antique and Vintage Jewellery
When styling your look, always put on your jewellery last to avoid any mishaps. Make sure you dress fully first, so your jewellery doesn’t get caught on your clothes. Also, style your hair before putting on any earrings or necklaces to avoid accidents with hairbrushes and/or styling appliances. We also suggest that you apply make-up, hairspray, deodorant, and perfume at this stage and ensure that everything has fully dried before putting on your jewellery.
Vintage and antique jewellery might be high-maintenance, but remember that these pieces were by no means created to sit in storage. They deserve to be flashed every so often. Take good care of your vintage jewellery and don’t be afraid to wear it, even if it’s only to steal the show on special occasions!
A word on the jewels' condition
Our jewellery collection comes from various eras and many places worldwide. It features antique, vintage and pre-loved pieces that have lived a life or two and have created many memories and stories over time. We endeavour to provide as much detail about the product origin, hallmarks, gemstone specifications, and general wear condition of our jewels. We either personally test or use a third party jeweller to test gold carat and gemstone authenticity before presenting anything for sale.
A picture speaks a thousand words, so we try to attach plenty of photos from all possible angles to help you judge the condition of each item. If there is a visible problem, we make sure it’s stated in the product’s description.
Do expect minor markings, scratches, and removable patina, all of which are natural for the age of the items and tell the jewel's story. We’re always happy to chat with you and answer any questions you may have about a particular piece you like. We can also share additional images and modelling pictures to help you make up your mind.
If you have any questions that we might have missed in the jewellery care guide, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org and help with your enquiry.
The YazJewels Team X