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Whether you’ve inherited your grandmother’s wedding ring or purchased a piece of jewelry with history behind it, you must take good care of the antique jewelry in your collection. With proper care, antique jewelry can last for generations and stay beautiful the entire time. If you plan on holding onto your antique baubles that highlight you or your family’s affluence, follow these tips for taking care of antique jewelry to ensure that they retain their value in your collection.
Be Careful Where You Wear It
When wearing any piece of jewelry, you must consider where you’re going before leaving it on. This especially applies to antique jewelry that holds sentimental value worth more than money can buy. Precious metals and gemstones don’t hold up well against many different activities we love (and hate) doing daily. Take your antique jewelry off before you do any of the following:
- Relax at the beach
- Chores that involve handiwork or harsh chemicals
It may seem like a hassle to take the jewelry off before doing daily activities but wearing it isn’t worth risking the jewelry’s value or the danger of losing it.
Identify the Materials Before Cleaning
Before you begin cleaning the jewelry, try to identify what materials are in the piece along with their current quality—are they in a state of degradation, or are they pristine? For example, tarnish on silver jewelry is easy to deal with and poses little threat to the metal itself, while corrosion on antique metal-plated jewelry can destroy it.
Identify the type of gemstones that are within the piece of jewelry as well—especially diamonds. Knowing whether a diamond is fake or not will not only impact the value of the accessory but will also impact how you clean and handle it. Softer gemstones may scratch easily, while hard ones can withstand a brushing. If you’re ever unsure about cleaning your own jewelry with gentle soap and water, take it to a professional jeweler for cleaning instead.
Store Your Jewelry Somewhere Safe
When you take your antique jewelry off, it’s not enough to simply leave it on a dresser or a nightstand. You must keep it in an enclosed container to prevent yourself from losing it. The container will also keep it safe from children, animals, and accident-prone people. Make sure your jewelry container has different sections for different pieces of jewelry—don’t clump everything together, especially when storing antiques.
Most importantly, wear your beautiful antiques when you go out on the town. By keeping these tips for taking care of antique jewelry in mind while you wear it, you’ll keep it safe as you show it off.