Classic and timeless

Classic and timeless

SILVER STORIES

Classic and timeless

Usually, when we use the word ‘vintage’ alongside jewellery, we refer to something that has been previously owned. In my opinion, however, a piece of jewellery becomes vintage when it has been around long enough to come back into style.

Vintage jewellery designs, as the name suggests, belong to a particular time period. For instance, jewellery from the late 70s and 80s are usually termed  vintage as they are considered to be collectables and often fetch a good price when compared with modern pieces.

Just like architecture and clothing of a particular period, jewellery has also come to reflect certain popular styles, colours and stones over the years. Unlike tossing away clothes once they become unfashionable, vintage jewellery is meant to last for a long period of time and be passed on through generations.

The word vintage often forces us to think about the older generations
(usually those of our parents or grandparents). When it comes to vintage
jewellery, the trend is fashionable among youngsters and fashion-forward people. This is, perhaps, because of the uniqueness and unparallelled personal style that it offers when paired with a traditional attire.

Slice of history

Vintage jewellery often carves its own history and when it is crafted in silver
using traditional Indian art, it cannot be outdated, courtesy the unique gems, cuts and exceptional detailing. Buying and wearing vintage silver jewellery offers a stylish glimpse of, often, tribal Indian tradition.

Whether buyers are looking for an exquisite, antique necklace or earrings to match their beauty for a special day, an authentic vintage bracelet for a 60s-themed party or a pair of distinguished cufflinks for that black-tie event, silver vintage jewellery is a simple and satisfying solution. Vintage silver jewellery has always been in vogue, and it will continue to do so now and in the future as well. Rings, earrings, bracelets and cuffs are likely to be favoured, as opposed to heavy pieces of jewellery.

The most alluring thing is that the element of mysticism will always remain. Pieces that have exquisite detail and craftsmanship will always help increase the value of an antique item. Often, buyers look out for jewellery that has character and tells a story about its era.

Given that most people buy jewellery based on visual appeal, the maintenance of silver jewellery is extremely important. If proper care is not taken, the pieces can lose their sheen, get tarnished and oxidised. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure.

Take care

Here are some quick and easy tips to help protect your silver jewellery:

 Store well: The more moist the climate, the faster the jewellery tarnishes. To keep your silver shining bright, store sterling silver jewellery in a cool and dry place; exposure to air will tarnish it. Silver jewellery should always be packed with anti-tarnish strips when storing in zip-locked plastic pouches or in airtight boxes. It is advisable not to store multiple jewellery pieces in the same bag as silver is a soft metal; the pieces can scratch each other. Always ensure that the storage area has low humidity. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimise tarnish as these are useful in absorbing the moisture in the air.

 Avoid exposure: Other factors that can tarnish your precious jewellery is
exposure to sulphur, certain acids and cosmetics, such as lotions and perfumes. Contact with rubber bands may also be harmful due to the existence of sulphur in the rubber band. Generally, food items such as mayonnaise, eggs, mustard and onions contain sulphur. So, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing silver jewellery while doing household chores like cooking. Also, make sure that you are not wearing any silver jewellery piece when you go for a swim and sunbath, as direct sunlight also causes silver to
tarnish.

 Wear it often: You can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewellery more often while keeping in mind the exposure preventions. The oils in your skin will ‘clean’ the silver and keep it shiny.

 Homemade solutions: There are many commercial polishes and dips you can find in the market. But they can have several serious drawbacks while using them at home without proper knowledge and guidance. So, it’s advisable to let the homemade cleaning solutions take charge. With your own economic and environment-friendly style, you can clean your silver jewellery by just using ingredients from your kitchen. For example, you can dip your silver jewellery in warm soapy water and clean them using a soft brush and then thoroughly rinse your silver with running water. After this, dry the jewellery with a soft towel or a clean damp cloth. For jewellery with clear gemstones, it’s important to take special care while cleaning.

 Polish it right: To keep your silver jewellery as new as possible, simply polish it with a soft cotton or muslin cloth regularly. This works well when the tarnishing is not too severe. This is a pre-eminent method for cleaning oxidised silver. Never forgot to remove the dust or dirt with a clean piece of cloth before polishing the jewellery.

Owning a piece of vintage silver jewellery is a matter of pride. With these simple tips, maintaining all your favourite pieces can be much easier, ensuring that you can pass the beauties along to many more generations to come.

(The author is designer and managing director, Shreem Jeweller)

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