Monday, April 28, 2014

Cleaning & Shipping Vintage Jewelry

      I have almost finished listing my backlog of vintage jewelry on Ebay. My front porch mail basket is at this moment piled nicely with little packages going to various states, and one is headed for Russia. I love seeing them sell, and I enjoy packaging them up prettily.  But before discussing that I thought it would be good to talk about cleaning vintage jewelry prior to taking photos.
Old jewelry is often a bit grimy to the touch and lacks sparkle simply because it has never been cleaned.  I keep my jewelry cleaning supplies in the guest bathroom when I am listing a lot of pieces. That includes a bottle of regular liquid jewelry cleaner, a bottle of Tarn-X tarnish remover, a glass jar with a lid to keep the tarnish remover in, along with a tool to swish the jewelry in the tarnish remover and take it out and rinse it quickly. Be sure to wear glasses and gloves to protect yourself from caustic splashes while you work. 
If a pieces is really dirty I use this little jewelry vibration cleaner.
      Never clean a piece of jewelry if you have any doubt about its ability to survive that process without being damaged.  But most pieces, if they feel a bit grungy or look a bit down in the tooth, can be gently hand washed in a mild solution of lukewarm water and a few drops of jewelry cleaner, then gently rinsed.  Just lay them on a clean towel to dry, patting them to get off the majority of the water.       
      For sterling silver pieces which have a become tarnished you might want to polish them with silver polish, or for small pieces with intricate work or chains, where you don't want to have any polish residue, a very quick dip into some liquid tarnish remover works.  Just be sure not to remove tarnish from any silver pieces that would look better in it's original condition, such as very old antique pieces.  Leave that to the Buyer to determine, rather than destroy the patina, and possibly the value of an antique. 
      Once the jewelry is cleaned, photo'd and sold you are ready to package it for shipment.  Especially with jewelry I try to package it prettily.  It just a takes a minute to wrap jewelry nicely and make it look special.  I often have repeat customers buying jewelry because they are so pleased with how well their item was treated.  And I get lots of comments on my feedback such as, "Thanks for the Boutique treatment--packaged nicely!"
If the piece is small I might put it inside a little net bag with a ribbon tie.
Or inside an envelope I have sewn together out of vintage wallpaper and tied with a bow.
Sometimes the jewelry has to be packaged in a protective box, or packed thickly in protective bubble wrap.  The most important thing is that it arrives safely, of course.  I use a kraft bubblewrap envelope to ship it in.  And of course I always add my flower-stamped glycerine envelope with my business card inside so they know where they can contact me if needed.
A bit of Washi Tape is a pretty addition, too.
I hope this gives any of you who sell, or give, jewelry some creative ideas.


  1. Hello again
    Good for you - that is impressive work!
    Best wishes

  2. Linda, I haven't had time to browse on here for awhile. I love coming for a visit to your sight. Thanks for always sharing such beautiful and lovely ideas. I truly think you are a very creative and gifted person. Love you. tina bowling

  3. I love your packaging. What a nice touch.

    1. I do think it helps make someone feel appreciated, don't you? Thanks for the affirmation.

  4. really a nice finishing.The packaging are so good. car transport shipping