Finding the perfect piece of antique jewellery is a special experience. To retain the magic and history of your exquisite jewellery, each antique ring, earring or vintage necklace must be regularly cleaned and done so with the level of care an item of such excellent craftsmanship demands.
Cleaning vintage jewellery requires a delicate touch, the use of non-abrasive cleaning products and some expert guidance. Our jewellery experts share their knowledge to help you with the necessary cleaning of your antique pieces here...
All jewellery - whether an antique engagement ring or a set of vintage diamond earrings - require care to preserve them and maintain their exceptional quality. If a piece is vintage or even if you have ancient jewellery, you will still need to clean it - this will keep it at its very best. The age of your jewels doesn’t stop you from being able to wear them, and it shouldn’t stop you from cleaning them either.
Medieval lion intaglio ring Circa 11th-12th century AD.
The exceptional craftsmanship that has gone into every item we acquire means your antique jewellery from Berganza is an investment. To maintain the beauty and lifespan of your pieces, all cleaning should be carried out with the right care and with an understanding of what should and shouldn’t be used to clean the gemstones your jewellery holds.
The one type of jewellery we would not recommend cleaning is ancient silver. If you are in possession of ancient silver jewellery which requires an assessment or care, our experts can help.
Cleaning vintage jewellery doesn’t require strong cleaning solutions - mild washing-up liquid and warm water are enough to clean most. However, there are exceptions and certain tips to follow for gold and carefully crafted pieces to preserve them for generations to come.
Most of our pieces are set with exquisite gemstones so cleaning your cherished item in line with the cleaning specifications of the stones it holds is also very important.
Our jewellery comes from historical periods and bygone eras, from ancient earrings to medieval rings or Victorian engagement rings. With each period comes different methods of craft and a rich historical lifespan attached to the jewellery.
Roman gold cameo ring with the face of Zeus Circa 1st-2nd Century AD
This means jewellery from certain eras may require slightly different cleaning techniques. For example, Georgian-era jewellery typically uses closed-back settings - so Georgian rings should not be submerged in water.
Whilst ancient rings are wearable, their rich history and their sheer age mean they will be considerably more delicate and require extra care during cleaning.
If you are considering cleaning your historical jewellery, please take note of the below before you begin:
Each of these elements must be considered before cleaning to ensure your jewellery retains its pristine condition.
If you are unsure of the details of your piece, take it to a professional for assessment and advice - if you have purchased from Berganza we are always happy to assist with cleaning and maintaining your jewellery.
Antique jewellery can be extremely delicate and may require a specialist touch to restore it to its former brilliance. If you’re unsure of how to clean your antique heirloom, our expert jewellers can provide you with advice on pieces you have purchased from us.
Victorian pearl five stone carved ring, circa 1890.
All items purchased from Berganza receive an annual clean and check by our antique jewellery experts. You can book your annual clean via your account.
Gold has been used in jewellery since the ancient period and is what you will find most of our pieces are made from, along with platinum too.
The purity of gold jewellery can differ from either pure gold or gold alloy, but each gold jewellery item still requires the utmost level of care.
It’s important to note the highest carat of gold has no impurities and is, therefore, softer than lower carat jewellery, increasing the possibility of it being damaged during cleaning.
To effectively clean your gold or platinum jewellery at home, simply soak the piece in warm soapy water and clean the inside to remove any build-up.
For stubborn dirt, a soft toothbrush can be used to dislodge any embedded pieces. It can then be dried and polished with a soft cloth to restore its previous shine.
When using cleaning liquids, ensure to thoroughly wipe and rinse any remaining residue off the item to avoid potential damage and tarnish to your antique jewellery.
Our pieces feature some of the world's most exceptional gemstones from rare emeralds to pristine diamonds. Gems of any calibre require specialist care - but with rare and especially exquisite gems it is integral you do not risk their quality by cleaning them incorrectly.
Edwardian sapphire and diamond coronet cluster ring, French, circa 1910.
Before you clean any item set with gemstones you should perform the ‘Tap Test’ to check for any loose stones. Ensure you won’t risk a stone falling from your jewellery before cleaning by following these steps:
If your stones are all secure though, you can proceed with cleaning…
For vintage diamond, ruby or sapphire pieces, warm soapy water, a soft-bristled toothbrush and a soft cloth for drying are all you need.
When it comes to items featuring Emeralds, Amethysts, Aquamarines, Pearls or Opals, the same approach shouldn’t be followed. For these vintage gemstones, soaking in hot water is not advised, harsh chemicals should be avoided, and you shouldn’t scrub the stones. So to clean these stones whilst avoiding abrasion, we recommend just using a soft cloth to gently wipe the piece clean.
By caring for your antique jewellery pieces, and avoiding any damage to them, you shouldn’t have to clean them all that often. Our expert care tips will help ensure your vintage pieces maintain their excellence in between cleans…
The considered care that goes into cleaning a piece of antique jewellery is worth it to maintain its excellence and history. Remember, if you have purchased from Berganza, you can have it cleaned by our experts annually.
We have an exceptional array of antique and ancient jewellery from expertly crafted antique rings to delicate vintage bracelets. Own a part of history from bygone eras with a free annual expert antique jewellery clean included, when you choose a piece from us.