Tips On Caring For Turquoise and Silver Antique Jewellery

Antique silver and turquoise jewellery is beautiful, and unusual stone varieties such as Persian or Spider Web turquoise can be very expensive to buy.  Turquoise can lose its colour over time if it's not cared for properly, and silver settings can also be prone to tarnishing and discolouration.  So, how do you keep your vintage turquoise stones and their silver settings looking gorgeous and in good condition?  Read on for some helpful tips.

General care tips for turquoise

Turquoise is quite a soft stone, meaning that it can be easily scratched or chipped.  For this reason, you should never wear turquoise when carrying out manual tasks that could expose the stones to damage.

The absorbent qualities of turquoise can mean that it soaks up any liquid it comes into contact with.  Household cleaning chemicals can permanently discolour turquoise, so always wear rubber gloves to protect your stones, or better still, avoid wearing your jewellery when cleaning.  Be very careful when applying make-up or perfume, as some of their constituents can also alter the colour of the stone.

As turquoise is porous, it's not advisable to wear it in the shower or when swimming.  Note that chlorine and pool chemicals could be absorbed by the stone, altering the colour, as could sea salt.

Storing your turquoise vintage jewellery in a padded jewellery box is the best way to keep it safe when you're not wearing it.  Put each piece into a separate compartment so that it won't be scratched by other harder stones, such as diamonds or sapphires. 

Cleaning turquoise set in silver

Silver tarnishes over time, so you'll probably want to clean it periodically.  The most efficient way of doing this is by using silver polish.  However, this polish could discolour the turquoise stones.

The best way to proceed is to clean the setting very carefully first with a soft, lint-free cloth dipped in a very small amount of silver polish.  Try to avoid letting the polish come into contact with the stones.  Polish away the silver preparation to leave the setting nice and shiny.

Now clean the turquoise by simply wiping it over with a damp cloth, taking care to remove any silver polish residue that may be on the stone.  Don't use any soap or jewellery cleaning products as this could cause discolouration of the stone, and don't immerse it in water.  When you're happy that the piece is clean, wipe it dry with a soft, clean cloth.

In conclusion

Silver and turquoise antique jewellery is undoubtedly beautiful, but it does require special care to keep it in good condition.  Follow the care and cleaning tips above to keep your pieces looking good for many more years to come.

For more information, contact Chilton's Antiques or a similar company.