Coco Had the Right Idea


For jewelry lovers, vintage costume pieces present an irresistible and affordable way to collect. Widely available at flea markets, jewelry and antique stores, and even at estate sales and garage sales, this delightful adornment was brought into popularity by the famous Coco Chanel, and this type of jewelry still shines as bright as ever. If you have some vintage pieces, taking special care of them will extend their life and give you more years of wearing enjoyment. Read on to learn how to care for these unique pieces.

That's not mold, is it?

Older pieces often display an ugly, green, mold-like growth that is not just unattractive but can also damage your jewelry in time. Called verdigris, this growth can spread to your other pieces and cause weakening of the metal, so separate the affected pieces from others immediately. To clean your jewelry, do the following. 

1. A gentle touch is mandatory, since your pieces could already be weakened and damaged. Wash each piece carefully by hand and allow to air dry. Don't scrub!

2. An acid-based liquid is best for cleaning—try vinegar, ketchup, or lemon juice. Use a q-tip or a toothpick to gently dislodge the verdigris. If you need to use a brush, use a very soft brush, like an old toothbrush.

3. Let the acid-based liquid sit on the piece for several minutes, and then wipe the liquid off very gently.

4. You may lose some of the metal finish underneath the verdigris, but cleaning it off and keeping it clean is the only prevention to further damage.

Caring for Bakelite and plastic

Light is the sworn enemy of these materials, so keep them in dark when not in use, or else you will find the color darkening over time. No harsh cleansers should be used, nor should they be needed. Just wipe the jewelry down with a soft cloth. For dull finishes, a little beeswax will bring back the glow.

Caring for metals

If you have pieces that don't have stones, you can safely soak them in a mild dish-soap bath for a few minutes, rinse and dry thoroughly, and then store away in a dark jewelry box. Never use harsh chemicals to clean your costume jewelry.

General care and feeding of your costume pieces

  • Put your jewelry (whether it's costume or fine) on last, after you've sprayed your hair and your cologne. Alcohol is normally present in both of those grooming products, which should kept far away from your jewelry.
  • Store your jewelry in a box that offers separated sections. Jewelry has a mysterious way of getting tangled up when you aren't looking.
  • Don't use plastic bags to store jewelry; the moisture stays locked in with the jewelry, which could damage it.

Talk to the experts at your local jewelry store for more tips on keeping your pieces beautiful.


26 October 2016

A Special Gift for a Sweet Mother-In-Law

A few days ago, my mother-in-law’s dad passed away. This sweet man lived a long, full life. He was ninety-one-years-old when he died. At his funeral, my mother-in-law told me she liked the ruby, cross pendant I was wearing. Because I wanted to cheer this sweet woman up, I immediately came up with a plan. I decided to buy her a pendant like mine. Because this pendant was also available in sapphire, I decided to purchase this stone for my mother-in-law. Sapphire is her birthstone. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best types of jewelry items to buy for a mother-in-law. Enjoy!