Jewellery Care

Jewellery can make you happy — especially when you often wear it. Hence, it is only natural that your favourite pieces dull over time and accumulate “dirt”.
That shall not be a problem for you any longer. Our care instructions help you make your pieces shine once more — 130 years of experience will do that.

Should you need assistance with an especially fragile piece or not be able to clean a jewel on your own, you can of course simply send it to us; we are going to return it gleaming and looking almost brand new.
The necessary contact data you will find here.

Gold Without Gemstones

To ensure high shine on your gold jewellery and make sure it is free of grease you can simply wash it in a bowl with warm water and some detergent. Using a soft tooth brush you can remove grease and creme residues. Rinse well afterwards and let the pieces dry on a soft cloth.

Take care with hollow pieces like necklaces, bracers, and kreoles as they take much longer to dry.
After drying polish the jewellery with a soft polishing cloth.

Also be very careful when cleaning pieces in Biedermeier style — they are often hollow and filled. We recommend, that you do not try to clean them yourself.

For convenience companies like Silbo, Hagerty, and Brillant offer gold-baths (e.g. “jewel clean”) and jewellery care-cloths — both work very well.

However, pieces that have become truly dull through much use as well as former semi-matt pieces that are now polished should be treated by a specialist!
Feel free to come to us with those pieces — as specialist we will take pleasure in restoring your jewellery.

Silver Without Gemstones

Sadly, silver has a high affinity to sulphur and, thus, quickly turns black through oxidation.
When the pieces are truly black, or even matt it is hard to clean them at home and you should consider bringing them to a specialist.

To prevent oxidation from progressing this far there is a few easy things that you should avoid: Contact with cremes, deodorants, hair spray, medication, and long stays in sulphurous baths all can speed up oxidation of your precious silver jewellery.

Thus, it is best to clean the pieces immediately after wear using a soft cloth; make sure to remove all greasy residues immediately. We also recommend cleaning silver jewellery in a very mild water-soap bath.

There also is some sound old home remedies for oxidised silver. For example:
Put aluminum foil in the bottom of a bowl, add some soda and, then, pour water into the bowl. Soak the jewellery for a couple of moments. Then rinse the pieces well and polish once dry.

For more convenience we recommend silver cleaning baths and/or cloths by Silbo, Hagerty, and Brillant.

Jewellery With Gemstones

These pieces require very special care!

There is gemstones that will tolerate a lot but, sadly, there is also stones that are not going to survive treatment with harsh solvents. (tragically, some customers use kukident, ruining their jewellery!!!).

Diamonds and garnets are rather tolerant but all other stones should be treated with extreme care.

Emeralds and rubies for example often have so called healing fissures. Fluids can enter into those and thereby ruin the sparkle of the stone. Other gems simply cannot tolerate aggressive cleaning and are going to turn blind (dull).
Turqoises and malachites, and corals and opals could change colours.

”Antique” pieces like old kropfketten often have foil behind the setting. During home cleaning this foil is often destroyed leaving the jewels with significantly less sparkle.

To ensure optimal treatment bring those pieces to your Bertele Goldsmithy — we will give you advice for the optimal care of your jewellery

Pearl and Gem Necklaces

Pearl necklaces need regular care. They are often worn directly on the skin and, thus, often have direct contact with cremes and perfume. Hence, we recommend to regularly wipe them with a soft cloth.
Please also remember to take them of when visiting a barber or hair stylist — hair spray can be dangerous for the pearls.

Although pearls are a product from water they do not like it once extracted from the conch. The reason for this is that in order to set them they need to be drilled. This destroys the natural protective layers of aragonite and conchin. This can lead to the pearl drying out and becoming brittle. A jeweller prevents that by coating them with a hydrophobic layer. This layer can be eroded through frequent baths and contact with water. Once it is gone, the pearls will become dull, or they break.

There is also a general rule for pearl and gem necklaces:

Once the gut between the pearls/stones turns dark or transparent, it is time to re-thread the necklace. The longer areas of dark silk are not only unseemly but may also tear with time.
Also, always take an extra look at the areas of a necklace’s lock for that is an area at special risk of falling apart with time. After all, your precious pendant does quite literally hang on a silk thread.

Peal earrings basically follow the same rules as necklaces: Regularly clean them with a soft cloth.
Should a pearl come loose make sure to take both earrings to your jeweller — often the second earring suffers the same fate in close order.

Pearl-baths are also available. However, we do not recommend their usage for we have yet to be convinced of their efficacy.

Silver Ware (Cups, Pots, Cutlery etc.)

The more regularly you use your precious silverware the more it will be washed and, thus, will need little special cleaning. However, a nice bright silver sheen is simply unsurpassable!
This may be achieved through traditional home remedies:
Put aluminum foil in the bottom of a bowl, add soda and hot water. Then, shortly soak your silverware. Dry it and, afterwards, polish it with a soft cloth — we recommend special silver cloths.

Luckily there is also a large variety of pre-made silver polish, baths, and pastes. They all work very well as long as you remember to always use a soft cloth for polishing.

Do not use dipping baths on hollow or filled pieces — this might break them.
Never use a kitchen sponge’s rough side, pumice, rubbing solutions, toothpaste, or other aggressive cleaning methods as they can permanently dull your silver.

If your silverware has become truly black and/or matt only complete professional restoration can salvage the piece.

Some dealers will offer a protective coating for silver ware. We do not believe in the efficacy of this kind of treatment: The protective layer can be scratched. Then moisture may enter at these points and create oxidation beneath the protective coating that can only be removed through complete restoration — no matter how slight or small the discolouration.

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Adolf Bertele Tegernseer Goldschmiede