Cleaning probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you pull your great-grandmother’s treasured heirloom brooch out of your jewelry safe. If you’re dealing with vintage costume jewelry, that’s actually a good thing; these relatively delicate pieces can be damaged by the strong cleaning solutions meant to tackle solid silver or gold.
If your vintage jewelry is made of fine metals, however, you can usually clean it just as you’d clean fine jewelry of any age — tackle minor tarnishing or soil with a high-end cleaner that’s formulated for use on the metal in question, then store carefully to keep your jewelry in pristine condition. Just keep in mind that if your keepsake includes gemstones, you must also take their care requirements into account. (Some metal cleaners will scratch delicate gems like pearls.)Continue reading