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Care and cleaning of antique ring? Difficulty level: oxidized silver on gold, rose cuts

Bezeled

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
20
Hi all,

About 10 years ago I impulsively bought this little antique diamond ring on Etsy, and it has pretty much sat in my jewelry box ever since. It needs a good cleaning, but I’ve always been afraid to touch it due to the oxidized silver and rose cuts. Plus, one of the rose cuts got chipped and now is a little loose in the setting (the picture makes it look worse than it is). Getting it fixed up professionally would probably cost more than it’s worth. Is there a safe way to clean this ring? Or should I just leave it alone? Thanks in advance for your help!

Ring.jpg Ring 2.jpg !
 

Bezeled

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
20
Good point! I guess just eye candy for now - I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing it without fixing/replacing the damaged rose cut. I'm just curious what it would look like without the layer of dirt that is currently on it. I was under the impression that soaking in water was contraindicated with this type of rose cut setting, but I don't know that for a fact.
 

88_star

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
157
If it's just silver topped gold, I think a gentle cleaning with warm water, soap, and a gentle (baby) toothbrush would be acceptable to get the dirt off. It's when gems are foil backed (which some rose cuts are, but just from your photo it doesn't appear to be but don't quote me on it. It appears that the bottom of the rose cut is open though so that's why I say it doesn't appear foil backed) that you would not want to get it wet.
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
13,803
@Bezeled, I had the same thought as 88_star, I think you could gently clean this ring using a little soap and water and a toothbrush. It's my understanding you shouldn't get a rose cut wet if it has a foil back, so that's the only thing to watch out for. It's a pretty ring, I can see why you'd want to clean it up a bit.

Btw, I love the rings in your profile pic!!
 

Bezeled

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
20
Thanks, @junebug17!

The rose cuts are set on a solid metal backing and are bead set, but they don't appear to be foiled. Does that change anything? Would you think it is ok to soak the ring in hot water with some dish soap?

Also, just out of curiosity, a question for vintage/antique jewelry buffs - was the metal behind the rose cuts intended to be oxidized, or did that just happen over time? I would think that a shiny silver surface would make them look brighter. They do catch the light when you look at the ring top down, but can look dark head on (like they do in the second pic).
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
13,803
@Bezeled, if it was my ring I'd probably err on the side of caution and not soak it. I'd give that center stone a good cleaning but I wouldn't do too much to the rose cuts, maybe a quick wipe with a damp cloth and then dry the ring.
 

88_star

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
157
Probably just from time since silver oxidizes with exposure to air, but gold would not. They used a silver layer on top of gold to help make the diamonds brighter, like you deduced.
 

YadaYadaYada

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
10,446
I think the answer depends on how you are approaching this ring. It sounds like it may be more of a collectible than a piece to wear, if that’s the case I would probably just leave it.

Now as a piece you might want to wear, as long as nothing is foiled, you could gently clean with some Dawn and a toothbrush as other have suggested. I would be hesitant considering one of the rose cuts is loose though. It is a very pretty ring!
 

Bezeled

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
20
I did end up cleaning it the other day in my usual manner (hot water, dawn and a toothbrush, minus the soaking). It was pretty much impossible to clean the main stone without getting the rose cuts wet too, but it turned out to be fine. I think in the process I rotated the chipped one so that it now feels more secure!

I don't come from jewelry people, so this is all new to me. I was afraid at first to clean my bezel ring as well, because I didn't want soapy water trapped between the stone and the underside of the bezel. But after I did it once the fears went away. This ring is tiny and wonky and not the best quality, but I'm sure it was once someone's prized possession so I want to take care of it. I appreciate everyone's help!

First pic is the glamour shot. Second pic is how it looks most of the time :)

Ring7.jpg Ring6.jpg
 
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