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How to clean Opal/pearl mounted on silver jewlery

Cina_s

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
158
Hi! not sure if this is the right place to post this... if so I can move it and repost where it's appropriate.

Maybe silly question, but how can I clean a a silver tarnished ring that has an opal or pearl in it?

I dont have this ring haha but have seen some posted online that I'm interested in. I prefer gold/white gold w/pearls or opals, because I've been worried about the silver tarnishing.

Any thoughts?
 

jordyonbass

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,880
I can't speak so much for Pearls, but if it's Australian Opal then it will be fine to go in an ultrasonic cleaner as long as there's only cleaning chemical and no abrasives in the cleaner.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,449
Easy, a silver cloth. That’s a cloth impregnated with metal polish. It’s safe to use, gently, around opals and pearl.
a soft toothbrush, a fraction of dishwashing liquid and a dab of water can be used to clean all over. the main thing to avoid is “soaking” pearls if on a strand (the cord can rot and then break) or if glue has been used to set the pearl. Solid Opal dosent mind water but if it’s a doublet or triplet Opal, glue has been used so again, no soaking.
 

Cina_s

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
158
thanks!! what about stubborn silver that has been tarnished for long time?

Do those cloths "expire" I have a few from the 2000s, but haha they are like over 15 yrs old. I assume they expire?
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
5,679
thanks!! what about stubborn silver that has been tarnished for long time?

Do those cloths "expire" I have a few from the 2000s, but haha they are like over 15 yrs old. I assume they expire?
i think they still work if they have been kept in their box or plastic bag
they are not exspensive to buy either on line or in store.
i had one for years and years and just kept it in its bag
 

Cina_s

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
158
Thanks @Daisys and Diamonds. I'll keep that in mind :) I don't know why I didnt think of the cloth! I keep thinking about polishing solutions. Normally I do the tin foil, baking soda and boiling pot option for my silver (no gems/pearls attached), and my brain got jammed.

@Skyjems Thanks David! I would be wary of my opals in the ultrasonic cleaner too. Even though I have heard some Opals can withstand it. But I'm worried mine might not or it might have a hairline crack etc.,
 

Skyjems

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
58
But I'm worried mine might not or it might have a hairline crack etc.,
EXACTLY! Even diamonds, sapphires and rubies can break in ultrasonic, especially if left for too long.

Many types of gems have either liquid or gas inclusions in them of one kind or another, the heat can be an issue, and add in the vibration and you can turn a small inclusion into a massive fracture!

When manufacturing, I always tell my jewellers to finish the entire ring including any side stones, do all the polishing, THEN set the centre gem and do the final polish of claws/bezel. Even the vibration from polishing can damage gems, and I don't only mean softer gems only!
 

Cina_s

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
158
@Skyjems thank you for this info. I did not know! How do you feel abt using an electric toothbrush with and older brush head?
 

Skyjems

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
58
On non porous opal, and most gems, a soft toothbrush and room temperature water should pretty much always do the trick.

Pearls: no water, just a gem polishing cloth.

Don't put emeralds in anything but room temperature water ever, ever, ever.

Don't put Ethiopian opals in water, they are porous and will absorb the water. It's best to store Ethiopian opal with desiccant bags.
 
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