Care & Maintenace of Jewellery

Chilton's Antiques, pearl and precious stone jewellery

Jewellery if treated with care will give you many years of pleasure and enjoyment. Jewellery may often get dirty through the natural course of wearing it. If this occurs we suggest you clean it using a special solution of cloudy ammonia and warm soapy water or a silver cloth. The solution can be made up with two caps full of the cloudy ammonia to approx 1 cup of soapy water. Leave it to soak for approx 10 mins then give it a good scrub with a soft tooth brush to remove the dirt. This mixture is recommended for all metal jewellery, diamonds & most precious gemstones.

The only things that MUST NOT be put into the mixture are emeralds, pearls, opals and turquoise. These are too porous for harsh chemicals and should be cleaned with a damp cloth or by experts. If you have any jewellery which has been damaged for any reason, we are able to repair it.

Remember last on first off policy, when it comes to jewellery. Jewellery should be put on last so that it is not sprayed with perfumes and hairspray. Then at the end of the day take it off first before you catch it on clothing and before going to sleep, to avoid it being snagged and crushed. During the night people don't realise how much damage can be done to jewellery. For example if you wear earrings to bed, they can often break, this can be due to the fact a human head can weigh the same amount as a bowling ball and for a period of 8 hours during the night that bowling ball (your head) could be resting on your earrings!

Silver and gold are malleable metals therefore care needs to be taken with them. Earring posts, bracelets padlocks and clasps can often bend and break with excessive force. They can also bend out of shape with heating; this can even be caused by normal body temperatures.

If you find that your precious jewellery has been damaged, we can also offer to redesign or remodel it.

Gemstones that require that extra special care:

Chilton's Antiques pearls require extra care

Pearls - Need to be wiped down with a damp cloth after every wear to remove grime and to maintain the pearls' lustre. Hairspray and perfume should never be sprayed directly onto pearls as they act as a stripping agent and cause pearls to lose the lustre or shine. Once this is gone it can not be replaced as cultured pearls are made up of tiny layers, like skin, if you strip enough of those off you end up at the mother of pearl bead that was the original base of the pearl.

Note: pearls should be regularly re-strung every 2 years on silk thread. Chilton's has an excellent pearl and bead re-threaders with years of experience and knowledge.

Pearls should be re-strung every 2 years

Opals - Solid opals need to be kept moist to stop cracking and crazing. It is always suggested that they be stored with water or in cotton wool to prevent them drying out and cracking over long periods of time opals can become scratched and have a blurry surface. This can be repolished by a skilled gem polisher who can buff the surface of the stone.

This service is available through us at Chilton's. Opals that are not solid, like doublets or triplets, which are made up of thin layers of opal with a top or a bottom backing should not be exposed to moisture or water. This can get into the backing and cause a white shadow like appearance instead of an opal with all it's colour. This damage is irreversible. Solid opals only need just to be cleaned in warm soapy water or with damp cloth.

Chilton's Antiques, opals require polishing and care

Turquoise - Is a porous stone, and like the opal needs to be carefully treated when cleaning. Many antique pieces have a variety of colours of turquoise. There are basically two types of turquoise: Persian and Mexican.

Persian turquoise is an aqua fine blue colour while the Mexican variety has a lot of clay inclusions. The reason why turquoise darkens with time is due to acids attacking the surface of the stone. Some antique pieces have gone from a fine aqua blue to a dark green in a space of a few years. Turquoise should be wiped over regularly with a damp cloth removing skin acids. Turquoise should also, like pearls, not be sprayed with hairspray or perfumes. The acids in these will cause Turquoise to change colour rapidly. Like opals, after this change of colour has occurred there is no going back.

Chilton's Antiques turquoise, porous stone needs to be carefully treated

Emeralds - Are a very porous stone and have a great ability to draw in foreign substances. Today on the market, about 90% of all emeralds are treated in one form or another. This can be anything from an oil-like substance used to hide inclusions, or a dye used to give the stone a green appearance, more than what it already possesses. This is done after the cutting process before the stone is set. This technique is so widely used now that all emeralds are expected to be treated unless proven otherwise. Because of this treatment process, it makes cleaning emeralds a slightly difficult task. They should be only cleaned in warm soapy water not soaked for long periods of time and they should be dried straight away with a soft cloth. The earlier antique stones generally will not be treated as they did not have that technology back then.

HOLLOW JEWELLERY:

Chilton's Antiques, hollow gold jewellery

Hollow jewellery is made by a thin sheet of gold being rolled over to make a hollow tube. This is done to give a 'larger look' without the cost. In solid jewellery the links are full of gold €not air- as in hollow jewellery.

Do not sleep in hollow jewellery. Do not garden or clean the house in it. Don't play sport or exercise hard in it. The lifespan of hollow jewellery depends on the person's treatment of it.

Note: Any fine pins on bracelets can wear quickly so try not to pull or catch them.

 

Antique Fob watch care:

Fob watches are special pieces.

Chilton's Antiques, fob watches are very delicate

* Open from the front glass to change the hands, use the key for the earlier wind up watches. With the more modern manual wind up watches pull gently out the ribbed winder to change the time or move the hands, to wind the time piece up by rotating the knob. If the winding mechanism feels tight €stop. Six to eight winds should be enough. When closing the cover never press down on the middle of the cover as this is only a thin sheeted metal and can bend inwards causing the glass to shatter or break.

* These watches are not shock or water proof. Dropping them can cause them to not work, even if you feel it wasn't that hard a shock.

* They can be temperamental due to age. Heat and cold can affect them, as the metal expands and contracts with the pressure. With this added pressure this can cause time to be lost or gained with the watch.

* They need to be wound up daily. Please be patient and remember that these watches were very advanced in their day even though by today's standards they are very outdated. They will not keep accurate time, they are not digital. If your watch is running between 5-10 mins early or late that is considered within the limitations Some watches can even run much later than this due to the age and wear and tear on the parts, such as the cylinder movement watches. This type of movement can not be replaced in a watch. A majority of these watches are between 70-150 years of age and need to be treated accordingly. They are often given as gifts and are meant to be a curio worn on special occasions, an insight into the past for future generations to come.

* Care must be taken not to overwind as mechanisms are old and delicate.

* Regular servicing may be needed by a professional clock and watch maker.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE OPEN THE BACKS OF THE WATCH ESPESCIALLY AFTER JUST BEING SERVICED. THIS ALLOWS DUST & MOISTURE IN. ALSO NEVER TOUCH THE MOVEMENTS AS THIS LEAVES ACID FROM YOUR FINGERS BEHIND AND CAN CAUSE THEM TO CORRODE IN YEARS TO COME!

These watches are an investment for the future.