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If you are fortunate to have a vintage ring in your jewelry box, you certainly want to make sure it remains in mint condition for as long as possible. This requires special care and careful handling on a daily basis, especially because vintage rings can be anywhere between 20 and 100 years old.
Just like antique or estate rings, vintage rings have a unique appeal. They are evocative of the era in which they were made, be it Art Deco (1915 to 1935), Retro (1935 to 1950) or Modern (1950 onwards). They are treasured heirlooms that can last a lifetime and longer, if properly cared for.
To learn how to maintain and care for your vintage rings, read through our practical tips below.
You should give your vintage ring a thorough cleaning about three times a year. If you have a vintage diamond ring, you can either clean it yourself or take it to your jeweler for a professional cleaning. Some owners of vintage diamond rings choose to clean the ring themselves. Since diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones, it’s unlikely you will scratch them during cleaning – only a diamond can scratch a (real) diamond. This means that you can easily clean your vintage diamond ring with a soft brush and a mild detergent or soap.
However, if your vintage ring contains pearls, emeralds, other softer stones, it’s best to have it cleaned professionally so as not to scratch the stone.
Still, the decision between DIY and professional cleaning will also depend on your ring’s setting. Rings that we classify as vintage were usually handcrafted, a process that requires a high level of skill on the jeweler’s part. Special attention is paid to the setting so each gemstone would sit securely for long periods of time. Rings that have the enhanced holding power for gemstone settings can be cleaned at home without fear the gemstones will fall off. Provided they are cleaned gently, of course.
To make sure your vintage ring is in tip-top condition for as long as possible, protect it from strong chemicals, many of which lie around your home. For example, furniture polish, silver polish and hairspray may seem harmless but can damage your vintage ring permanently. Other chemicals you should keep your ring away from are bleach and chlorine.
So how do you protect your vintage ring against harmful chemicals?
Easy – take your ring off before you have to use any of the abovementioned chemicals. What’s more, you should wear gloves even if you have taken the ring off. In that way, the chemicals won’t have the chance to transfer from your hands onto the ring.
It should go without saying that you should take off your precious vintage ring whenever you do manual work such as lifting. Even if you have a vintage diamond ring (and we already mentioned the hardness of diamonds), it’s still risky.
The same goes for doing sports, especially outdoor sports. In addition to damaging the ring, you can also lose it if it slips off your finger into the grass, water or elsewhere.
A vintage ring is a very valuable possession, even more so if it was given to you as a present or handed down from an elderly relative. It holds more than just material value. That’s why you should treat it with care on a daily basis. Whenever you pick it up, hold it by its band and not the center stone or the setting. The stone will remain secure and the natural oils from your fingers will not build up around the setting.
Vintage jewelry enthusiasts simply adore Emerson & Farrar’s exquisite selection of vintage rings, including the coveted vintage engagement rings. If you are looking for a unique present, a one-of-a-kind engagement ring or a valuable addition to your heirloom jewelry collection, stop by our stores in Palm Springs and Redlands and check out our beautiful selection!