5 great ways to clean jewelry before a sale (and get a better price)
When you are thinking about selling your jewelry, you probably want to get the most for it, so it is worth putting a bit of effort in to achieve maximum value. By making the effort it can be appraised in its best condition. This should involve cleaning the piece and making any necessary repairs.
It is worth noting that you should never use anything abrasive that can damage the piece and you should use a polishing cloth only to clean your jewlery because other materials such as paper-based ones like paper towels can scratch the jewelry due to the fibers in them.
You should also understand what your piece is made of so that you can select the right cleaning method.
- Cleaning jewelry with stones
If the piece has a stone in it, you should not soak it as described below. Harder stones like diamonds can withstand greater cleaning than softer stones such as pearls. Harder stones could be cleaned using some cleaners and a soft brush. Pearls, however, can’t withstand this and should only be cleaned using a soft cloth.
In most cases where possible, you should try to clean them only using a soft cloth to reduce the risk and consult a jeweler if it isn’t working for advice.
- Cleaning metal jewelry
You should polish your metal jewelry regularly with a polishing cloth to prevent any build-up from forming on them. To clean the piece you should place it in a bowl of water with a couple of drops of mild dish soap in it. After leaving the piece in the water for a while, you should rinse it with warm water, and dry it carefully with a polishing cloth.
- Cleaning gold and gold-plated jewelry
Gold can be easily scratched so you should not use brushes on pieces, just polishing cloths. You can use warm water with mild dish soap to clean them by dipping the piece into it and then rinsing it with warm water. You should dry it by gently rubbing it with a polishing cloth which can also help restore the shine.
- Cleaning silver jewelry
You can clean silver jewelry slightly differently by lining a bowl with aluminium foil (shiny side facing upwards) then dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt in a cup of boiling water. Place the items into the filled bowl ensuring that the piece is touching the aluminium foil for 2-10 minutes depending on how tarnished the piece/s are. Remove the item/s carefully from the hot water and rinse with warm water and pat dry with a polishing cloth.
Note – this is not suitable for silver-plated jewelry.
- Cleaning silver-plated jewelry
If you have silver-plated jewelry that is looking tarnished then you can use warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap to clean them. Using your fingertips you can gently rub the tarnished areas before rinsing them with warm water and drying them with a polishing cloth.