Free U.S Domestic Shipping


Jewelry Preservation: Tips For Antique & Vintage Jewelry Care

Tanzy Ward

Antique jewelry courtesy of the Zanathia Jewelry Collection


Antique and vintage jewelry are limited collectibles often constructed with excellent craftsmanship and a part of cherished memories. Unfortunately, due to improper care or mishandling, countless antique and vintage accessories are no longer in good wearable condition. The responsibility of preserving vintage and antique jewelry is ultimately up to the owner. Keeping the jewelry in great shape can allow us to cherish the collectibles for decades. One does not have to fret and be overwhelmed with taking care of heirlooms, but there are specific tips to keep in mind if we want to keep stunning vintage jewelry in excellent wearable condition. Here are some suggested tips for preserving vintage and antique jewelry and keeping them timeless for decades.
  • Please do not store antique and vintage jewelry in crowded jewelry boxes without the proper protective covering/storage method. Over time this will cause the jewelry's materials to rust, scratch, become dull looking, and collect dust that may change its aesthetic over time. Not to mention, necklaces and bracelets can become tangled and knotted if we carelessly place them in crowded jewelry boxes with other accessories. Keep your jewelry collections neatly stored in cotton-lined jewelry gift boxes. If you have it, the original jewelry box is even better. Try to keep jewelry items individually stored in one box each without putting one on top of the other in the same storage box. Use jewelry in non-tarnish plastic bags if cotton-lined packages are not available. The room temperature should be moderate and not in an un-air-conditioned storage room.
  • Perfumes, makeup, and facial creams can harm certain types of vintage jewelry if there is direct contact. Vintage jewelry directly exposed to chemicals/oils can become discolored, tarnished, or darkened. Examples of natural stones/objects that can change over time when exposed to perfumes/oils are pearls, turquoise, and coral. Rhinestones and crystals can also darken or become dull if constantly exposed to perfume/chemicals. If you wear perfumes and use chemicals such as hair spray, please avoid spraying the chemicals on the jewelry. Water can also damage vintage jewelry, so please remove jewelry before bathing or swimming. It is best not to wear your vintage and antique jewelry when exercising, gardening, or participating in any activities that expose you to chemicals. When washing hands, it is best to remove vintage and antique jewelry as a precaution. 
  • Cleaning antique jewelry involves different methods, and it is not ''one size fits all''. Other metals and materials can react differently depending on each solution used. Water and regular soap (liquid form or solid) is often not reasonable cleaning solutions because they can tarnish and damage the original aesthetic of the jewelry item. Ultrasonic cleaners (''jewelry baths'') should also be avoided because the pulsation may damage vintage and antique jewelry's enamel, create a looser setting, and damage delicate designs. Avoid store-bought dip cleaning solutions because they can damage vintage and antique jewelry.  A gentle jewelry polishing cloth can help clear vintage and antique jewelry of dust and help maintain a metal's shine. It is best to see a professional that cleans vintage and antique jewelry if you are uncertain of the best methods for your particular pieces. 
  • I know the previous tips may have left you unsure about the best method for cleaning your antique and vintage jewelry. I find it is best to do light research and background information on the materials your jewelry was crafted with or ask a professional that specializes in cleaning vintage/antique jewelry. Knowing background information about the jewelry's materials and what can damage them is very helpful in preserving our collectibles. 
  • If we store our antique jewelry properly from the beginning, this can help our timeless treasures remain in excellent condition. The key to preserving jewelry is gently wearing the pieces and appropriately protecting/storing the heirlooms. If we handle our vintage and antique jewelry with love, this will show aesthetically, which is a vital factor for keeping unique treasures timeless.   

Newer Post

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published