How To Clean Turquoise Jewelry (4 of 5)

reverse of bolo tieThe reverse side of most bolo ties will look similar to the one pictured here.  The difficulty with cleaning bolo ties with silver spray is that the spray may not come off of the braided cords.  Therefore, I choose to remove the braided cords and then clean the bolo.  There are two “flaps” of silver that are bent into a circular shape that guide the braided cords down into the clasp.  The clasp is the part that provides the tension to hold the bolo to the corded braids.  To clean the back of the bolo tie if it has become tarnished, I first remove the tips as described in an earlier post.  If the bolo itself needs cleaning, then generally the tips need to be cleaned as well; might as well do them all at the same time.  Once the tips are removed, I move on to the bolo itself.  I start by using a pair of flat (sometimes called “smooth” or “jeweler’s”) pliers.  These pliers are nothing special, you can buy them for around $5 at any craft store such as Michaels or AC Moore.  The only difference is that these pliers’ grabbing surface is perfectly smooth; so as not to mar or damage the silver.  With the pliers in hand, I very gently open up the two “flaps” that hold the braided cord at the top of the bolo.  The goal is to only open them up enough to allow the cord to be removed.  Once they are opened I gently slide the cord up and out of the bolo.  With the tips removed, the braided cord should slide right through the clasp.  After this, it’s business as usual.  Spray the bolo tie, and polish it up.  Putting the bolo tie back together is as easy as reversing the process.  When you’re all done, you will have a brand new, shiny piece of Native American artwork to wear with your favorite shirts.  In the final blog of this series I’ll talk about how I clean turquoise jewelry that has become tarnished beyond the help of Hagerty’s Silver Spray polish.

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