Warning! Don’t Clean Your Jewelry!

Antique PinThis is a busy time of year as a diamond and gold buyer. With the price of gold and diamonds still climbing, it seems that everyone wants to cash in, especially now that it is the holiday season.  After all, it’s easy money to turn your old gold or diamonds into cash so you can then have the funds you need to buy those gifts that make your loved ones so happy during the holidays.

It’s a great idea to sell your gold right now, especially if it is broken or you just aren’t wearing it anymore. But, before you pull out the jewelry cleaner – STOP!

Don’t clean your jewelry!

When you sort through the piles of all your gold and old rings and pins, we want to see it tarnished and faded and, yes, dirty. Now, if it’s a diamond that is a bit different…if you don’t bring your diamond in clean, we will clean it up for you, but we are also trained to see through the grime to grade that diamond, whether it is clean or not, and we are also trained to see through the grime to grade your jewelry.

Sometimes Old is Supposed to Look Old

Antique BroochOne of the main reasons to not clean your jewelry is that you might have a piece that is supposed to look old.  In other words, it could have a patina on it that is aged, or it could have a pattern on it.  Let me give you an example of what happened to one client.

He had a very rare silver coin, but it was tarnished. So, before bringing it to me, he decided to take a toothbrush to it with some silver cleaner to make it look all nice and shiny.  The idea was a good one, except for the fact that he actually scratched off part of the date and you couldn’t read writing on the coin anymore, which is what made it valuable to begin with. So, he took a valuable coin and turned it into a piece of silver that now held no value whatsoever.

We know how to clean things professionally so that the integrity of the piece will remain intact.  This works in your favor, because you will get the most for your piece and we will get the most from selling it. We both win.

Spit and Glue Won’t Hold a Gem Together

Estate RingI can’t tell you how many times I look at a cocktail ring that has an emerald or sapphire as a center stone, and the stone is cracked or chipped because the owner has put the ring in one of their ultrasonic cleaners.  I am not saying those cleaners are bad, they aren’t, but if you are going to clean your rings, take them to a professional who knows what they are doing, so the stones will not come loose or chip.

If a stone is chipped on a corner, it still might be able to be salvaged by one of our cutters who can recut and or polish the nick out. At least at that point it might still be worth something, but sometimes if it is cracked down the center you are stuck with a ring that once was worth a great deal and is now worth nothing.

Another example is a woman who sent me a tanzanite and diamond ring.  She cleaned it up and it looked very pretty, until I louped it and saw that her cleaning had cracked the diamond trillions.  That was the value of the ring, in the trillions. It broke my heart to have to tell her the news, and she was very upset as well.

I hate to deliver bad news, so if you don’t clean your rings, bracelets, gold, diamonds, earrings, necklaces or any other pieces of jewelry, I won’t have to! If you take nothing else from any blog post that I write, please take this advice….

If you are going to clean your jewelry, either do it with soap and water under a tap gently with a cloth or take it to your jeweler, who is a professional and will clean it the right way.

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Sergio About Sergio

Sergio Nuncio has been a diamond and watch buyer for over 20 years. He loves valuating fine estate jewelry, diamonds, watches and gold. When Sergio isn't working with diamonds, he is working on his salt water aquarium, fishing or spending time with his wife and children.

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