Vintage Jewellery, Make Up, Cosmetics & Perfume

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Have you ever wondered what those little "greenies" are sometimes found on vintage and even modern jewellery?  Known as verdigris they are a chemical reaction to the plating, either gold or silver, or indeed to the real thing itself, often caused by make up, cosmetics and perfume.  Our top tip for keeping your vintage jewellery in great condition is to apply make up, cosmetics and perfumes BEFORE you put on your jewellery and never AFTER.  Those little spray mists of things like perfume will in time eat into your jewellery and cause those nasty little "greenies"!

They can be removed using gentle cleaning and specialist cleaning products but care must be taken not to damage any stones, especially foil backed rhinestones and crystals as the foil backing can deteriorate and darken and this will result in the stones darkening and having what is called "black spotting".  Some vintage jewellery experts use tomato ketchup to remove verdigris.  If a small amount is placed on top of the verdigris and left for a few hours the acid in the tomato eats away at the verdigris.  The plating underneath will probably already have been damaged by the little greenies so please be aware of this when cleaning off the ketchup so that it doesn't come as a great shock when you see there may be some plating loss.

If the stones on the piece are prong or claw set most jewellers then recommend a gentle cleaning with standard washing up liquid and water and using an old soft toothbrush.  The same as is recommended by many experts for fine jewellery.  Rinse the piece thoroughly with water and dry thoroughly.  We recommend using a hair dryer to make sure the stones are completely dry, especially behind them, as again, if they are left damp this will cause damage to the foil on the back and darkening and black spotting as previously mentioned.
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