Wearing a piece of history, spark from the past gives you a real feel good moment but how do you make sure it stays that way.
What you should know before buying a piece of antique or vintage jewellery
Foil Back Rings and Jewellery
Foil backed stones
Foiled back jewellery is found in antique pieces, the foil helps them to reflect light or enhance colour, the stone protects the foil, but such pieces should not be exposed to water or the foil can discolour, remove rings with foil backed stones before washing your hands or moisturising.
The back of most foiled back jewellery will be closed like the image of this Georgian cross pendant.
Antique Enamel Jewellery
Antique Enamel Rings and Jewellery
In antique jewellery enamel provides a wonderful back drop to diamonds, it is made by fusing molten glass on to metal but like other materials in a closed back setting should not be exposed to water, as any liquid could become trapped between the two surfaces causing the enamel to crack.
Filigree and Cannetille work
Filigree and Cannetille work. The fine network of precious metal that frames many pieces of antique of jewellery, often made from soft high carat gold.
Care should be taken not to apply pressure on it causing it to bend or creating dimples.
Gem Set Antique Jewellery
Caring for gems in antique jewellery, Some gems are for every day others prefer a gentler life, here are some gems found in antique jewellery that need special care
Antique Shell cameos Brooches
Antique Shell cameos, These delightful pieces that are testament to age old craftsmanship, have survived for a century or more and with care will go on to be your family heirlooms, wash with weak soap solution using gentle movements, they can then be moisturised with baby or mineral oil and left overnight, When any excess oil should be removed.
Antique and Vintage Coral Jewels
Coral will keep its sheen for many years with these simple tips, put your coral earrings on after using hairspray, don’t wear a coral ring while washing up, keep away from acidic fruit juice or strong detergents
Antique Opal Jewellery
These unique stones with their twinkling colour do not like extreme heat so don’t leave your opal bracelet on a sunny window sill or put your hands in very hot water while wearing your opal ring.
As this can leave them to dry out and crack.
Antique and Vintage Pearl Rings and Jewellery
Store in a cloth bag and avoid wearing next to anything with hard edges like a cluster ring. Clean with a soft damp cloth and avoid touching with perfume or strongly scented creams. Periodically check the stringing and make sure pearls are not rubbing against each other.
Antique Emerald Jewellery
The beautiful green of emeralds is best kept out of very hot water, harsh detergents and perfume.
Do not put them in an ultrasonic cleaner