Collecting antique and vintage jewelry is undoubtedly a special activity. Because of their rarity, each piece carries a visceral sense of legacy and heritage. However, with the unique beauty and uniqueness of these classic pieces comes the great responsibility of safety and good preservation. Here are the top five ways to ensure these vintage beauties stay in pristine condition in your jewelry box.
Maintenance of your jewelry: Due to their years of existence, vintage and antique jewelry are susceptible to general wear and tear. This could include a loose stone setting or a damaged clasp. That’s why it’s important to regularly check your collection for signs of inevitable damage. Moreover, these pieces are extremely intricately executed, and some small erosions often escape the eye. It is therefore advisable to have your vintage and antique pieces checked by a reputable jeweler at least once or twice a year.
Cleaning: Cleaning is an important part of keeping your antique and vintage jewelry in good condition. While most gemstone jewelry, such as sapphires, rubies, and diamonds, can be cleaned at home with warm water and a soft brush, delicate gemstones are best treated by a professional, which involves thorough technical knowledge. For example, more care should be taken when cleaning emerald jewelry, as most cleaning products can easily damage it. It is not advisable to submerge your pieces in liquid during cleaning, as this may cause erosion. Also, gently wipe antique jewelry with a soft cloth to remove the top layer of dust.
Storage: Antique and vintage jewelry is special and often not worn every day. This results in them being stored at good intervals. That is why it is extremely important to provide quality storage space. One of the most important is to keep them out of direct sunlight, which can cause metals to fade and stones to crack. The specially customized jewelry boxes are temperature and humidity controlled, but can also be stored in a soft velvet pouch. It’s also important to make sure your pieces don’t bend or twist while they’re waiting to be worn. Especially for elaborate items like Parures, you should have a box that contains every piece of the jewelry set. For safety reasons, it is important to be careful and keep them in a safe and closed container.
Care while wearing: A simple rule of putting on your vintage and antique jewelry and taking it off first after wearing it can go a long way in keeping their beauty and quality intact. Products such as perfumes, deodorants and body lotions tend to damage jewelery and can also make it greasy, attracting more dust and dirt. Wearing them last will keep those old pieces from getting tangled in hairbrushes or clothing. You should also check for loose stones and insecure clasps before putting on vintage jewelry to avoid losing it. In addition, it is highly harmful if it gets into water bodies while wearing jewelry. Natural minerals and chemicals can immediately damage gemstones and cause discoloration.
Restoration and repair: Restoration and repair of vintage and antique jewelry are two different things. It is always difficult to completely repair a piece of jewelry, due to the uniqueness and rarity of the components. This is when the restoration takes place, where the pieces are carefully repaired with small changes so that the originality remains intact. However, restoration and repair still have in common that they should not be done alone and that they should be taken to a specialist workshop in a safe package.
The opinions expressed above are the author’s own.
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