Posted By Inktiques / Michelle Greysen

jewels

             With the hot fashion statement of vintage so in these days extra care should be taken in cleaning and repairing your lovely vintage jewellery and sparkling rhinestone finds. Antique and vintage jewellery is one of the few collectibles one can buy to truly enjoy and wear as the cost of the imposters to real jewels is minimal the enjoyment from wearing it far outweighs the risk of loss.

          Rhinestone costume jewellery beauties, often called foil and paste, are not made from precious metals or real stones so extra care is necessary to keep your less than perfect fun baubles in sparkling condition. The synthetic cut-glass stones often have foil in behind to add more colour and reflection and also as it is so much softer than gemstones it is easily scratched and tends to look duller.

Moisture can and will destroy your favourite piece of rhinestones jewellery if it is not cleaned properly. Not just cleaning product or water moisture but your own sweat can harm these lovely stones. The moisture can collect under the foil behind the stone eventually peeling it away and deadening the sparkle.
Brushing the piece with a soft clean cosmetic or small artists brush will remove the dust. Any built up residue can be gently eased away with a tiny piece of a lens cleaning cloth moistened on the cloth only, not the gems, with an approved eyeglass cleaner. If any scrubbing action is needed to get the piece clean water damp but well squeezed out q-tip can be used.
Cleaning the metal should only be buffed using a soft jeweller flannel-cloth intended for that purpose with care being taken not to catch any of the setting in the cloth while buffing. Placing the cleaned jewellery upside down while drying after cleaning will help prevent any moisture from seeping into the foiled back between the stone and the metal.
To replace or repair any damaged or lost rhinestones care must be taken to not scratch the soft synthetic or glass gems in the changeover. Stone setting pliers and jewellers tools will aid in the delicate process as will a professional glue. Jeweller’s glue, also used in eyeglass repair, will not yellow with age.
Many websites are available where you can find replacement stones in all shapes, colors and sizes such as round, square, flat back, pointed and more can be had to repair your vintage and antique jewellery.
Not all costume jewellery carries little value so cleaning and caring for your gems will protect your investment. Many famous makers of authentic jewels stepped out in the 1920’s and through the post war times, creating intentional fake gem pieces to market to the everyday woman. Many of these synthetic pins and jewels by notable makers such as Trifari, Dior, Chanel, Eisenberg and more are avidly collected and bringing strong prices in spite of their imitation qualities.
 

 
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