Quick Guide Cleaning Polishing Gold Jewellery Jewelry

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A short word on the cleaning and polishing of gold jewellery. This is about solid gold and gemstone jewellery, not plated or costume pieces.

It always amazes me how many people do not clean and polish their jewellery.
As you wear your valuable pieces they accumulate dirt, dust and oils. Those fabulous gems get a coating on them, changing the way light behaves, dulling the sparkle and colour MOST markedly.
They get little knocks and abrasions and those fine scratches dull the gold and it looses its sparkle and brilliance.
It is a very simple and quick matter to bring your jewellery back to life and I guarantee you will say..."gee, I forgot how good it did look".
  • First get rid of the dirt and oil. It is the mainly the oil you want to get rid of as the dirt will follow. Detergents, alcohol, shampoos all have there uses but I have found, by accident, that a window cleaner, like Windex, is a great product. Used with a fine tooth brush and possibly a long soak, it does an excellent job. Make sure you clean the back of the gems so they are clean and transparent.
    Some gems need to be treated gently. Emeralds (a beryl), Opals, Pearls, Amber, Turquoise are some that need special care and no solvents like alcohol.
    I use an ultrasonic cleaner which is, by far, the best way to clean BUT is not absolutely necessary. If you want to invest in one, it will be money well spent, but don't buy the cheapest. You should pay at least $100 AND don't use it with those stones mentioned that need to be treated gently. Get one big enough for a pair of glasses as they clean them and many other things very well, including blocked inkjet cartridges.
    Once the item is clean rinse in warm water and dry.

  • Now the polish. As gold and silver are soft metals you don't need a lot of effort to get a good polish. There are many polishes on the market. Liquids...like Silvo, foams...like Haggerty's, and impregnated cloths. They all will do the job but I use a cotton wadding polish, like Brite-Shine, available as a metal polish for cars in hardware shops. This wadding is made of loose cotton fibres, impregnated with polish. You just pull a little of and polish your piece with it. It is great for getting into all those nook and crannies PLUS you can wind it on to a thin stick and get into spots that nothing else can. A $10 can will last you for years and can be used to polish virtually anything. I wish I had invented it.
    Once you finish polishing, rinse in warm water with a mild detergent and then polish with a lint free cloth.

    Do it. It doesn't take long and the rewards will surprise you.
    There is another alternative. Take it to a jeweller for a professional clean and polish. It is not as expensive as you might think. It should come back looking almost like new. My method will get it back to looking near new. A word of caution if you go to a jeweller. If you professionally polish too often you might find your gold is slowly disappearing.

    LASTLY, I point out that I am not a jeweller and that the above guide is just that, a guide. I am a pawnbroker with 25 years experience. If you want professional advice go to a jeweller.


    SEE MY OTHER GUIDES FOR OTHER INFORMATION ON JEWELLERY.
    Vote as appropriate.
    © 2010 Edward Vabolis
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