Keeping Heirloom Gems Looking Fresh and New

Keeping Heirloom Gems Looking Fresh and New

A good piece of jewelry can last for your whole life—and should—with the proper care and storage. If you have a nice collection of antique jewelry, keeping it sparkling and shining will ensure you can pass it down for generations.

Before you begin cleaning any piece of jewelry, make sure to inspect the stones and confirm that none of them are loose.


Pearls are very soft and need special care and attention. Take care not to store them in jewelry box where they can brush up against other jewelry—they may end up scratched or nicked. Instead keep them in a fabric lined box or pouch, separate from other pieces.

Pearls should also be wiped down with a soft cloth after each wear. Acid from skin can eat into the pearl over time causing it to lose it luster, so wipe them off with a wet or dry cloth to prevent dirt and acid from gathering on the surface. You can also use a drop of olive oil on a cleansing cloth to help maintain their shine.

If you want to use a cleaner for your pearls, make sure it is marked as safe for pearls.

Finally, make sure to remove your pearls before applying any makeup, hair spray or perfume to prevent them turning brown, drying out or cracking.


Gold doesn’t tarnish, but it can be dulled by the oils on your skin over time.

If you want to clean your gold pieces, it can be done with a mild dish detergent and soft cloth. Mix warm water and mild dish detergent in a big bowl, let the jewelry sit in the solution for a few minutes, and then use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub before rinsing and drying with a soft polishing cloth.


Gems tend to be quite hard, but can still be damaged if you’re not careful. Make sure to taken them off before exercising, and store them separately so that harder ones don’t scratch softer ones.

To clean them, you can also use a bowl of warm water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Another popular way to clean your gemstones is to simply wipe them down with regular old glass cleaner. This removes any dirt or oil.


Hand lotion, hair products and every day grime can leave behind a film on your diamond jewelry that takes away the sparkle.

When it comes to your diamond rings, often a layer of dirt, grease and grime will collect on the back of the ring. This blocks the light from shining through and the stone will become dull.

Like with other gemstones, if you don’t want to purchase a special cleanser from the jeweler, you can simply use warm water and dish detergent to clean them. Make sure your brush is soft though!

Toothpicks and Q-Tips are also great for getting in between stones to clean.

With a little bit of elbow grease and tender loving care, both your vintage and special pieces of jewelry will last for years.


Bellevue Rare Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business located in Bellevue and Lynnwood. We are also silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry buyers. Visit us for a free evaluation or call 425-454-1283.

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