Family heirloom jewellery is such a special thing to have, so we know that you will want to know how to care for it properly. This is why we are here with this guide! From how to clean your jewellery to how to store it and maintain it, these simple tips can make all the difference when it comes to the longevity of your jewellery. It’s your job to keep your vintage jewellery looking beautiful, so it can continue to be loved and appreciated in your family for decades if not centuries to come.
Firstly we’re going to introduce how to clean your jewellery! We should note that if you have any very delicate vintage jewellery, like pearls, then you should always have them professionally cleaned. However, for most other metals and gemstones, like an Art Deco engagement ring or an Edwardian diamond bracelet, you’re fine to clean them at home intermittently and then take them for professional cleaning once a year.
So, to clean your jewellery, make a weak mixture of mild soap and warm water. Take a very soft bristled toothbrush and dip it into the mixture, then without submerging the jewellery, gently brush all of the jewellery, removing dirt and dust and making sure to focus on any settings where things like hand cream may build up.
After cleaning, give the jewellery a really good rinse under a tap to remove any soap, and then leave it to hang for around 24 hours to dry completely before storing again. Your jewellery may look dry, but even the slightest bit of moisture can really damage your jewellery. So, hang it on a stand evenly spaced apart and make sure it all dries nicely.
Next, we’re going to talk about how to store your vintage jewellery. Make sure that it is stored in a room that isn’t prone to extreme temperature changes or humidity, for example, the bathroom, kitchen or conservatory wouldn’t be a good fit! Instead, a bedroom or dressing room is usually the safest option. Then, quite simply, you should store your vintage jewellery in a jewellery box on top of a soft pouch or cloth, as this enables your jewellery to breathe but the box still helps to protect it from dust. Space out your jewellery and you might need different layers for this if your collection of heirloom jewellery is large! It is very important that your jewellery is never layered on top of eachother, and always keep it out of direct sunlight, as if exposed for long enough, it can cause more delicate gemstones to crack.
Now you know how to clean and store your jewellery, we’re moving onto how to maintain it. Whilst this won’t require any work from yourself, it is important that you remember to take it to professionals every so often. As mentioned, we would always recommend annual professional cleaning, and when you go to a reputable jeweller for this, they can also conduct checks to make sure that everything is in the condition that it should be. This includes checking settings, as an issue with the setting that is not resolved could result in damage to the ring or even losing the gemstone in some cases. So, quite simply, take your jewellery to a professional jeweller every so often and it will help to maintain it for so much longer.