Jewelry Cleaning & Repair Tips
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Gathered from Members of JewelCollect, Jewelry Ring
Collectors and Jewelry Lovers Everywhere
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Cm'on Share ! Add A Tip

Here's a product that I just found !
"Ring Guard Solution"
Solves the annoying problem of rings that slip, slide, twist or just fall off your finger.
Works on all sizes of rings
. Can also be used on clip earrings to ease pinching.

Ring Guards, Bracelet Buddies and Safety Chains !

Removing Hair From Jewelry

I keep a small bottle of the cream hair remover, like Nair around
to place my necklaces in when they have tangled hair balled up
around them.  Take the cap off filled with the cream. Soak the
necklace for about five minuets and the hair just falls off.  I
mention this to my jeweler and he thought it was a wonderful
idea.  Does not hurt the jewelry and leaves them nice and shiny.

from "Thrifty News"
- Never, Never immerse rhinestone jewelry in liquid cleaner
Use a q-tip with ammonia or windex for sparkling results
or for a quick pick up - use an eyeglass wipe
Canned air cleans in between those stones and intricate designs.

Simply take dry baking soda and a soft toothbrush - scrub all exposed
surfaces - rinse with water. (Not foiled rhinestones)
VOILA!  If the stone has ANY translucence,
it will magically reveal itself.  I can't recommend this strongly enough
for use on jade you already own - prepare to be amazed!!  [Jade is one
of my great loves and, contrary to what we're used to seeing in most
American jewelry stores, good quality jade SHOULD be translucent -
and alive!]

It works on both Jadeite and Nephrite - and you may be pleasantly shocked
to find that Jadeite ALSO glitters!  Any piece of jade that appears to
be the same, even color all over is usually a victim of dust build up
over time.  Jade (Agate, Carnelian, etc.) attract body oils, which attract
microscopic particles of dust - in even, ultra-thin layers.  Eventually
the layers grow and mask the true look of the stone.

The baking soda & toothbrush trick ALSO allows you to safely 'burnish'
(or buff up) the highlights on antique silver WITHOUT removing the patina!
It doesn't harm the finish, or the stone.  I carry a small plastic baggie
of baking soda in my pocket when shopping (with a couple of Wet Naps for
the fingers.)  You can discreetly 'polish' one bead - and see what you're
actually buying!!
MORE Below.................

From Jenny Stephens

"The biggest tip I can lend anyone starting out, or those who have not
been paying close attention to their repairs, is this: invest the time
to make sure what you're replacing is what was once there to begin with.
 Don't change it.  "

Kathie says "It's sad when a 1920s brooch has been outfitted with 1980 replacements
 because they stick out like sore thumbs"

From Mr. Stones "Dopsticks to hold stones (i spent almost 20 years in fine jewelry using
 tweezers-Not anymore) i sell these little gems for $3 each (well worth the

From Shimmerees !
"The biggest tip I have (that hasn't already been mentioned) is fairly silly,
and definitely cheap -- a spoon!  Use a spoon to sort rhinestones with.  It's
like your very own special Martha Stewart way to whip all of those tiny
stones around, push them around the table, and make them do your bidding.  "

Taunya Says "what I do now is I work on a piece of foam, or you can use felt as well,
this helps to keep the little rhinestone stinkers from bouncing and getting
away from you. Another thing I cannot be with out are Popsicle sticks, I use the edges of
them to close old tender prongs and they work great!!!"
More from Taunya "when dealing with the super tiny stones is tape.
I place a piece of Scotch tape with the sticky side up and
place the table side of the stone on the tape so that the point is sticking
up and then pick the tape up and just set the stone right down in the
setting with the glue waiting for it."

From Jenny Stephens
"Aside from using the correct glue is applying the correct amount!  Have
 you ever noticed the gobs of glue covering entire sections (or so it
would seem) all for the sake of replacing a (as in one) stone?  If you
can't see the setting buy a loupe for heaven's sake!  A drop is usually
all that's needed."
Most suggest using "Hypo Glue" which is actually a
watchmakers glue and is available from several online
jewelry supply stores as well as our own JC suppliers listed below !
Ellen From Santa Cruz says "A great way to repair rhinestone jewelry is to use clear nail
hardener. It dries fast and clear and is easy to use. Simply dip a pin head
into the brush for the minutest about. Dab the pin head into the spot where
the stone will go. Be sparing! You don't want it to glob up and push the
stone out."


From Cherry and Ivy Emerson "if  you use common table salt..  well, then if it gets on it, a simple
cue-tip with some water will disolve it away.... "

"....I worked for an Ophthalmologist at one time and we had a frame
shop. Those warmers that we would use to make temple pieces pliable to
reshape them is wonderful. What was it? A plug-in box that had ground
smoothed and polished, glass was called a bead warmer. The
optician always used to hold her earclips straight when she needed to
tighten them up a bit. Any major optical supplier carries those beads and
they are teeny tiny." From Molly At LaBijouterie


"Dental of course.   Also makes you fear the dentist less.. no
kidding...  And I can't do without those VERY SHARP exacto blades.. the
pointy triangular ones.  " From Cherry and Ivy Emerson


Bee Gee says "There is one thing that helps me more than anything I have and that is
my magnifying optical headpiece I got from BSue.  I have 2 of them now
because I got one in a auction lot not long ago so I keep one in my work
area and one by the computer.  I don't know if BSue still carries these,
at the time she special ordered the one in for me.  I can't work without
it.  I like fixing pave pieces and you just cannot do it without one of
those.  I also like the wax dop stick I got from Matt one time.  Those
are great for setting small stones!
From Jan Gaughan
"One thing I use - make shift - is a tooth pick with that tacky stuff on the end. It is great for picking up
stones and placing them in the stone cup. I know bees wax works well also but I tried the tooth pick thingy
and it works very well for me. "

6. Pinstems, Mechanisms, Clasps

From Francesca "I have an additional idea about the procedure of tightening
pin stems.  Here's a trick to prevent pinstem dents -- put a roll of paper
towels around the outside of the end where the pinstem attaches, or wind a
roll of tape around the individual prongs of the pliers.  This can prevent
damaging the metal.  As you said, do it gently -- or you could damage it
-- and test as you go, otherwise you could crimp it too tightly, and it is more
difficult to loosen again without damaging it than it is to tighten."

Holly says:
"Clip-ons will be the death of me yet! Even with the comfort-key, I cannot
find a comfortable medium. Either they pinch me into angony after a few
hours, or they are in danger of falling off my lobes. However, I do have a
method for tightening pinstems. I use a pair of small bent-nose pliers. Grip
the end where the pinstem attaches on both sides and squeeze gently but
firmly. Then try moving the stem; repeat until you have the movement easy
but firm.  You can do the same thing with safety catches that rotate too
loosely and won't hold the pinstem. But squeeze GENTLY or you end up with a
dented catch that may or may not turn at all."

1/31/03 - For a quick rhinestone and metal shine try using the paper
eyeglass cleaning sheets for a once over to remove lint, smooth scratches and smears on stones......from Jarretts Jade

From Kathleen,

1.  Salt and lemon juice.  Make a thin paste, apply with a brush or swab, wait 10 minutes or so, rinse or wipe off.
  Repeat if needed.

2.  Ketchup.  Yep, it really works, even tho' it looks horrible.  The green gunk sort of leaves the metal
and clings onto the ketchup.  It is messy, but I cleaned a gorgeous
Victorian expansion bracelet with it, and you can't tell where it was damaged.

3. **Riceez.  Love it or hate it, it really works like a charm on that horrible corrosion, and seems not to damage anything else.
I cleaned a beautiful Czech necklace whose enameling and stones were almost completely obscured with mountains of ugly green stuff.
 You do have to clean it off again very carefully (rinsing and using a soft brush or swab works best) and dry COMPLETELY.

**Available at several of our own "JC" supply sites listed at the end**

Beth Wonders
"I like your baking soda idea for polishing off verdigris (aka green gunk). 
My understanding is that the only way to stop the corrosion process is to use
some form of acid -- catsup, mild vinegar solution or (my favorite) lemon
juice.  I have a bottle of reconstituted lemon juice always at the ready in
my frig.  ;-)  Yet - since baking soda is a buffer, able to neutralize acid
or alkali, I wonder if it might not work to halt the corrosion.  Hmmmmm "
Donna queries
" I have a handmade mirror that is edged in hammered copper.  The person who made it told me to put
Pledge on a cloth and gently rub the copper to clean it.  You can control how much of the patina you take off by how long and hard you rub.
  It works well on the mirror, but I haven't had the nerve to try it on jewelry.  Has anyone else heard of this or tried it? "

From Sally
I use the "canned air" that is used to clean computers, etc. to clean dusty jewelry, dry a repaired
piece quickly or just to clean out the setting before I set a stone. Be careful you don't blow the stone away !


This may have happened to you also: For some mysterious reason the very
knot that is supposed to separate two knotted pearls (imitation or
cultured, whatever) is gone. It has come U-N-DONE and instead of the
strand appearing even there is now a big gap where two pearls ride into
each other, knot missing.

The obvious way to remedy this is of course to reknot the entire strand.
This is time consuming, hard to do well if no experience and expensive
if it must be given to an expert. The strand may not be worth the cost
of professional reknotting. Still, it would be wearable and/or saleable
if the pesky "gap" was not there.

Here's what I have done:

In the "gap" I tie another knot using a piece of matching string or
thread. It must match perfectly. Around the knot I snip off the two
thread ends at c:a 1/2". I push the string ends into the holes of the
two pearls, one on each side, using a darning needle. But, there is
still a "gap" between the knot and the two pearls, one on each side of
the knot. I push that part in too, on each side. To ensure that it stays
put and does not slide out again, I put a tiny amount of clear jewelry
cement on the exposed parts before pushing them into the holes. A very
tiny dab of cement inserted into each pearl hole adds extra insurance,
and then I let dry for at least an hour. Bingo, the new knot is now
there and no more unsightly "gap."

I only recommend this tip if there is only one or a few knots that came
undone. With more lost knots than that it may not be practical to do as
it's hard to make the all knots appear original. But for a couple of
them, neatly executed, it can be worth doing.

Additional Tip: This also works if a strand of pearls has a break and
needs to be re-attached. Be sure to take off at least two pearls at each
end of the break, attach the repair string to the string ends thus
exposed, and add your own knots. Always hide the repair string ends
inside the pearl holes and don't cut them too short so you get unsightly
tufts, secure the pushed-in ends with a little clear jewelry cement.
Make sure it's neatly done. Remember that if you can see that it looks
sloppy, so can everyone else.

The best repair or restoration is the one that no one knows has been
done. When selling an item that has been repaired, do disclose the it
however, it's the honest thing to do.

From Liz of JC



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Past Traditions Galleries

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Jarrett's Jade
Main Catalog

Past Traditions Gallery Index

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Jewels Of The Net
Ornamental Jewelry & Accessory