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How To Take Care Of Your Vintage & Antique Jewellery
By Shazia Shaikh
25 May 2022
Vintage heirloom jewellery is beautifully unique and special. Every individual piece of jewellery carries with it a slice of history and reflects the opulence of the bygone era. And because these pieces are decades old, if not more, they must be looked after with utmost care to ensure they stay in pristine condition which will not only help extend their life but also maximise their inherent value for the future. So whether you are a besotted collector or simply drawn to the old-world charm of antique and vintage jewels, here are a few things you must keep in mind to ensure your jewellery lasts a lifetime:
Maintaining your antique/vintage jewellery
It is important to examine your heirloom jewellery periodically for any signs of wear and tear. Over the years, it is inevitable for these antiquities to accumulate dust particles. As a result, sometimes the clasps may lose their tenacity or the claws around gemstones and diamonds tend to deteriorate causing the stones to become loose. Often, there are minute cracks that aren’t visible to the human eye and require special attention. Therefore, it is recommended that you get your valuable jewels checked and cleaned at least once a year by a specialist to avoid any serious damage. Whilst harder jewels like sapphires, rubies and diamonds can be cleaned at home using a soft cloth, delicate gems like pearls and emeralds that are more vulnerable require professional handling and technical know-how. However, liquid and moisture can be damaging to metal and certain gemstones in the long run. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that your jewellery is absolutely moisture free if cleaned at home.
Vintage and antique jewellery are prone to become fragile over time. Therefore, they must be stored carefully to maintain their posterity. Ideally, they should be kept in a customised box. They should also be kept away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight as this can tarnish metals and cause certain stones to crack.
Wearing your heirloom jewellery
Flaunting vintage ornaments can be a special feeling. And while it is essential to ensure proper maintenance and storage of these jewels, one must be equally mindful of the care needed while wearing them. Delicate gemstones like pearls tend to get damaged with perfumes and deodorant while necklaces and earrings can get easily entangled in the hairbrush and break. It is therefore recommended that you always finish grooming before donning your jewellery. Remember to check for broken clasps beforehand and ensure your wardrobe is carefully styled and designed to avoid your jewellery from getting tangled with strands of loose thread.
Travelling with vintage jewellery
Vintage heirloom jewellery carries with it the quintessential charm of timelessness. And when we own such incredible pieces, it is only natural to wear them for the world to see and admire. So, if your plan is to travel the world with your precious jewellery in tow, you must take all the necessary precautions to protect them from getting damaged or lost in transit. Ideally, the safest place for your jewellery is within your sight and on your person. Furthermore, it is recommended to secure them with a customised pouches or storage boxes. For instance, a Guluband usually needs a soft, flexible, cushioned enclosure, on the other hand a Kada will require a square box with a groove to hold it steady. You might also consider a jewellery travel case or a jewellery roll if you travel often and want a convenient way to carry and protect your jewellery.
Insuring your heirloom jewellery
It is imperative that you safeguard your valuable jewellery with insurance that covers damage, theft or loss. To do that, you will first need to call a valuation expert and have your jewellery appraised. This will allow you to acquire a valuation certificate which can be used to determine and claim insurance as and when needed.
Although maintaining the captivating charm of your antique and vintage jewels requires a lot of attention, the majesty of each piece makes the effort completely worth it. Considering every metal and gemstone comes with its own set of unique properties, they must all be treated differently from one another. Nonetheless, the most important aspect is to treasure them and cherish their timeless beauty. Their vintage splendour not only gives a glimpse into the grandeur of the past, but also celebrates the legacy of the owner and becomes a symbolic representation of one’s heritage that can be passed through generations.