Any person steeped in vintage style or a lover of vintage cufflinks would want to know how to care for their treasured adornments. Some may assume that keeping their cufflinks in a jewelry box and mostly free of dust will prevent the erosion of the 1930’s style splendor, but while it is a start it is certainly not enough. With all the glamour vintage elements can bring to a modern suit or tuxedo, let’s ensure that it remains as dazzling as when it was first produced.
- Keeping antique cufflinks far enough apart as to not scratch each other or in a soft pouch or cloth.
- Keeping vintage or antique cufflinks and jewelry away from moisture and heat.
- Do not store your cufflinks in an oak jewelry box as oak boxes tend to give off fumes that will damage your vintage treasures over time. The same goes for jewelry containers that may have been formed with or exposed to sulfur.
- Not all vintage cufflinks are cleaned equally. Some antique cufflinks can be dipped in a jewelry cleaner while others should never go near it and others may need a specific cleaner or a specialist.
Any pair of antique cufflinks containing Mother of pearl is a good example of the last general tip. Most jewelry cleaners have a chemical in them that can discolor or erode the pearl. The best way to care for these beauties is just a damp soft cloth and to gently wipe it down. To keep the mother of pearl gleaming, a soft polish cloth will be sufficient.
Many vintage cufflinks have a dazzling array of diamonds or rubies and other precious gems. These sturdy wonders run the gamut on cleaning techniques and you should read the directions of jewelry cleaners before dipping your antiques into them. For example, do not expose emeralds to commercial jewelry cleaners unless it specifically says the solution is safe for delicate gemstones. Diamonds can be cleaned with jewelry cleaner, as they’re one of the hardest materials on the planet. But, mishandling or the wrong jewelry cleaner can damage them. Stick to jewelry cleaners that contain ethyl alcohol and ammonia. Always read the instructions and make sure it’s suitable for the metals or gems besides the diamonds in your cufflinks.
When it comes to gold, sterling silver, or enamel cufflinks one can wipe the tarnish away with a soft polishing cloth rather than exposing your vintage cufflinks to strong chemicals. But a commercial jewelry cleaner can be used if they’ve collected their fair share of tarnish or crud. But always be sure to read the manufacturers instructions and be sure it’s safe to use on the metal as well as the enamel. Again, vintage cufflinks are not all made the same way and require different kinds of care. For example, cracked or chipped enamel requires a specialist to handle and if parts of the design create grooves then a Q-tip is appropriate to remove dust or grit.
With gold and sterling silver cufflinks, be sure to know to know if the fabric or silver cufflinks have oxidized finishes. You do not want to expose these particular pieces to jewelry cleaner. Otherwise, gold and sterling silver do not need any special care unless other materials that do need particular cleaning techniques are also on the cufflink.
Our love for vintage style and cufflinks means extra care and attention to these historic treasures. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of the different needs in maintaining these pieces, I do hope it will propel you read further on the proper upkeep. Remember that a soft cloth is usually enough to keep your vintage cufflinks in tip-top shape and to always read about their particular needs in heavier cleaning.