Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Many of us are currently spending more time at home, which means sorting through jewelry and crossing spring cleaning tasks off of our to-do lists. If you find yourself with a pile of jewelry in need of cleaning, here are some of our best tips for determining if you can clean your jewelry at home and when you should take it in for a professional cleaning.
At-Home Jewelry Cleaning
When you prepare to clean your jewelry, you should remember that, just like clothing, no two pieces are alike. Unfortunately, unlike clothing, most pieces of jewelry do not come with care tags attached telling you how you should launder them! Gold and sterling silver can typically be cleaned at home, but other pieces are more delicate. Jewelry that is made of precious metals and set with sapphires, diamonds or rubies can be cleaned with commercial jewelry cleaners at home, or you can use a soft cloth and a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Ensure that you rinse the pieces thoroughly when you are done cleaning them to avoid clouding the gem or setting.
If your jewelry has a little more tarnishing, you should let it soak in the dish soap and water mixture for a few minutes before wiping it dry. If you need a little extra friction to loosen the dirt, you can use a toothbrush with very soft bristles to avoid scratching the stone or metal and damaging it.
The Pieces You Should Bring to a Professional
Anything that is delicate should always be cleaned by a professional. Platinum, for example, can get small scratches very easily. A professional cleaning and re-polish can ensure that your jewelry stays glimmering and has no damage in the process. Antique jewelry is often difficult to clean, and sometimes you are not sure which metals and stones have been used. Anything that contains a softer stone like opal, coral, pearls or turquoise should also be professionally cleaned. Finally, any jewelry pieces that may have cracking or damage should only be treated by a professional to avoid permanent damage.
Talk to the Experts at SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal
Whether you have a family ring you are interested in learning the value of or you’re looking to expand your collection, SAZ Gem & Jewelry Appraisal is here to help. We know how to verify the authenticity of vintage jewels and can assist you before, during or after the purchasing process. For more information, give us a call at 425-785-1871.