Caring for Antique Jewelry Full Page

While vintage and antique jewelry carry unique histories because of age, they also require extra care to maintain further longevity. Check out our guide below to safely care for your new treasure.

Sterling Silver

Unlike higher karat gold, sterling silver requires unique care because it tarnishes over time. Tarnishing occurs when silver interacts with various chemicals present in air, so it requires occasional upkeep. When looking through our listings, you may see some pieces with darkened areas. We retain some tarnishing on certain antique pieces, as it may lessen its desirability to fully remove it. 

To clean your sterling silver, we recommend gently soaking it in lukewarm water mixed with a few drops of dish soap. After 5-10 minutes, gently scrub with a tooth brush. Rinse the jewelry under some water then dry with a silver polishing cloth. Each purchase of sterling silver from The Paradise Vintage will come with a silver polishing cloth. You can also purchase extras from us here.


Gold is much easier to care for than silver. For the most part, gold jewelry does not tarnish. Jewelry 14k and below may gain a slight patina over time, but it is not as drastic as the tarnishing on silver. For caring for gold, we recommend running the piece under warm water before gently going over it with a soft bristled tooth brush. Dry off and polish up with a glasses cloth or microfiber towel for extra shine.

Gold Filled

For gold filled jewelry, follow the same instructions as gold. Gold filled will tarnish more than gold, but not as much as silver.


Costume jewelry requires care in terms of water temperature. Because most costume jewelry is plated and/or uses glue to hold in stones, hot water is a no go. It can further the degradation of the materials. Follow the sterling silver instructions for costume jewelry.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners are fantastic for cleaning jewelry, especially pieces you wear everyday that build up dirt and grime more quickly; however, avoid putting these items in an ultrasonic cleaner:

-Pearls or seed pearls

-Paste/glass stones


-Emerald, lapis, onyx, turquoise, jade, opal, and other soft stones

-Delicate antique pieces

-Diamonds with large, visible inclusions