How To Clean Turquoise Jewelry (5 of 5)

tarnished ringAnd for my final blog in this series, what happens if your turquoise jewelry has become tarnished beyond the help of Hagerty’s Silver Spray polish.  This is typically the scenario if you have purchased a piece in an estate sale or from a pawn shop.  The turquoise jewelry, such as a turquoise ring, may not have been properly cleaned for years, and is beginning to look like wrought iron more than silver!  Don’t despair, it can look as good as new in a very little bit of time.  There are two ways that I usually go about cleaning these pieces.  The first is to use a stronger silver cleaning agent.  These can be easily found at any grocery store; but be careful, these stronger polishes can easily harm or even destroy soft stones like turquoise.  Remember that turquoise, and other commonly used stones (like coral and shell), is relatively soft and porous, so using strong chemicals can damage your jewelry.  I use a Q-Tip almost exclusively with stronger silver cleaners for two reasons.  First, their small size makes it easy to clean the intricate silver work around stones.  Second, the Q-Tip can only hold a small amount of cleaning agent, so I’m almost guaranteed not to use too much.  Follow the directions that came with your cleaning agent and you should get very good results.  Ventilation is almost always strongly recommended with any stronger silver cleaner.  And finally remember to rinse your jewelry with some water before wearing it.  This will ensure that the chemicals used to clean the piece are completely removed.

Although the above method works well, I don’t care for using the stronger cleaners; mostly because of their smell.  When you clean silver for hours a day, the smell is terrible; and with some cleaners it can be dangerous.  So the second method I’m going to describe for this blog is my preferred method, but is also not going to be the most common for people at home.  I like to use a polishing wheel, like the one pictured.  It’s easy, fast and doesn’t use harsh chemicals.  It’s safe for almost all stones.  The only drawback is its size.  I won’t go into great detail here since most people won’t use this method; and if you have a polishing wheel, you probably already know how to use it.

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