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Styling your vintage jewelry with other items is fun. But there are certain things that you should never directly mix with your vintage costume jewelry. In order to preserve the quality of the pieces in your collection, stay away from the enemies of gilding and patinas: Lotions, soaps and perfumes.
Lotion on your hands may be great for your skin, but for the vintage bracelet or ring that comes in contact with it, it’s bad news. Many of the vintage pieces you love were created with gold plating or silver. They were then sealed to preserve the color and surface of the pieces. The contact of lotion, soap, or perfume with the surface of your jewelry can erode the patina, fade or turn the color, and even lead to pitting in the metal.
The following tips can help you avoid damaging your jewelry: 1) Avoid getting your pieces wet. Remove your rings before washing your hands, make sure that all of the soap is rinsed off and that your hands are completely dry before putting your rings back on. 2) Don’t slather up with hand or body lotion right before putting on your jewelry, and try to avoid putting your vintage pieces on skin that has been moisturized with creams or oils. 3) If you want to wear perfume, spray it underneath your clothes, on your hair, or on another part of your body that won’t come in contact with your jewelry.
The great thing about vintage costume jewelry is that it was built to last. Following these simple tips can help you and your vintage costume jewelry have a wonderful long-term relationship.