FILIGREE JEWELLERY CARE
All of the filigree jewellery sold by Milt Fischbein Metal Arts (MFMA) is individually hand-crafted in Calgary by Milt Fischbein. MFMA filigree jewellery can last for generations if worn and cared for properly.
- Store your filigree jewellery in individual compartments in your jewellery box, or in plastic zip lock bags or in the gift box it was received in.
- You can wear your filigree every day, but take it off at night and do not wear it to bed.
- Do not drop your filigree jewellery or handle it roughly.
- Do not wear it when participating in rough or dirty activities such gardening or playing vigorous sports such as football etc.
- Do not wear your filigree while applying makeup or creams, as makeup can build up in the filigree wires and cause the need for frequent cleaning. Put your jewellery on after you have finished applying your makeup.
- If your jewellery is damaged have it repaired by a jeweller who specializes in filigree.
Your filigree jewellery from MFMA, should be cleaned on a regular basis.
You can clean your own jewellery and keep it looking like new by following these simple guidelines.
For jewellery containing Pearls, Amber, ammolite and other delicate stones some additional care must be taken as described later in these cleaning steps.
Note that I have provided two cleaning methods; Light Cleaning with Hand Sanitizer and Deep Cleaning with Hot Soapy water.
You can remove light tarnish easily with a toothbrush and hand sanitizer. Simply apply a few drops of hand sanitizer to your filigree jewellery, brush gently with a soft toothbrush and rinse with warm water. Purell or any similar hand sanitizer will do. The secret is the alcohol in the hand sanitizer. Alcohol will remove light tarnish and will not harm your silver filigree. Please avoid applying hand sanitizer directly to pearls as over time the alcohol may damage the pearls.
- In a Tupperware dish or a soup bowl, mix up a solution of a few squirts of dish soap and a couple of cups of very warm water. The water should not be boiling hot. You should be able to put your hands in it comfortably. I like to use Sunlight dish soap, but Palmolive and other similar brands will work just as well.
- Place your filigree jewellery in the soapy water, and let it soak for five or ten minutes. (For jewellery containing soft stones such as Amber, Ammolite or pearl, soaking should be limited to 5 minutes) After 10 minutes, remove the jewellery from the solution and then, with a soft toothbrush, gently brush the filigree jewellery. The toothbrush should remove all but the most stubborn dirt.
- Rinse under warm running water.
- If the jewellery is not yet clean enough, then soak it again in the same warm soapy solution for 10 more minutes and then brush and rinse again.
- Do not repeat with jewellery containing soft stones such as Pearl, Amber or Ammolite
- You can repeat this several more times if you wish, as this procedure will not harm your filigree jewellery.
- Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness, do a final warm water rinse and gently pat your jewellery dry with paper towel. Do not rub the filigree with the paper towel, as the filler wire will abrade the paper towel and you will end up with hundreds of little pieces of paper towel stuck between your delicate filigree filler wires.
- Lay the jewellery flat on a dry paper towel and let it air dry.
- If you are cleaning MFMA oxidized jewellery (ie MFMA lines of blackened jewellery), you are now done.
- If you are cleaning MFMA silver and white jewellery, then you can add one more step. Using a jeweller’s polishing cloth, and following the manufacturer’s directions, gently wipe the shiny outer frames of the jewellery to remove tarnish and shine them up. Do not use this cloth on the inner filler wire, as two things may happen:
- The polishing cloth can get abraded by the filler wire resulting in pieces of polishing cloth getting stuck between pieces of delicate filler wire.
- The very thin silvery white layer on the filler wire can eventually rub off making the filler wires look shiny. This will not damage your filigree, but it will not look as the artist intended.
- You can buy polishing cloths for silver at any jewellery store. Walmart also carries Connoisseurs brand at their jewellery counters.
Some additional cleaning comments:
- Do not clean your jewellery with dips such as TARNEX or other tarnish removing dips. These dips contain harsh chemicals that will damage your filigree jewellery.
- Do not use the aluminum plate with washing soda method. While this method is not as harsh as the Tarnex method, I prefer not to use it on filigree jewellery.
If you prefer not to clean your own jewellery, Milt Fischbein Metal Arts can clean it and give it a tune up for a small fee.
Questions about the care of your filigree jewellery? Please email me and I will do my best to reply quickly.