Our jewelry — whether antique, vintage or hand-cast by us — will last a lifetime with proper care. Cleaning sterling silver jewelry is actually quite easy. While each piece is unique, follow these basic guidelines for taking care of these soon-to-be family treasures.
Caring for antique and vintage jewelry
Prevention is always easier than repair. So, store your vintage pieces in a soft zippered pouch to prevent accumulation of dust. A dry, cool and dust-free environment helps to maintain the piece’s original appearance.
For cleaning, Windex (or a similar product) or mild soapy water is a good first choice, depending on the original material. Remember, do not spray the Windex directly onto your jewelry or submerge it into water. In this case, a little goes a long way. A little Windex on a soft, clean cloth should remove any dust. Clean hard to reach areas with a very soft toothbrush or cotton swab. Compressed (canned) air can damage settings or loosen stones or other decorative elements. When done, air dry the piece for at least an hour. Make sure that each is completely dry before putting it away.
Above all else, remember that antique and vintage pieces were made over hundreds of years, in hundreds of countries out of countless combinations of materials. These are only guidelines, and nothing prevents damage more than common sense and the advice of a professional. If you aren’t sure, contact a jeweler or vintage jewelry specialist.
Caring for sterling silver jewelry
The durability and lasting shine of sterling is one of the best things about silver jewelry. It will take a beating and keep looking great. In fact, the more you wear your jewelry, likely the shinier it will stay.
If you do feel you need to give your jewelry a quick shine, use a dry silver cloth. Find these online or at most home and kitchen stores. Just a few seconds of buffing will give your piece a nice glow. For a deeper cleaning, create a paste of baking soda and water to give your piece a brighter shine. Just rub it gently over the tarnished areas, rinse well and dry thoroughly.
We urge you to avoid jewelry cleaning dips for three very important reasons. First, if you dip unevenly or inconsistently, lines develop on your jewelry where the dip stopped. These can be very difficult to remove later. Second, dips tend to give a bright, consistent shine across the entire piece. Sterling silver jewelry should have darker and lighter areas. The darker patina in the pits and crevices of the handle gives it visual relief and are part of the design. Finally, many commercial dips can create microscopic abrasions and pits in your silver, which can damage the piece over time.