Antique Jewellery

BADA is the leading trade association for the fine art, design and antiques community. Read our guide to caring for antique jewellery.

Hair products and perfume

Antique jewellery should always be worn and handled with care.

Do not allow hair sprays or perfumes to come into contact with antique jewellery.

Perfumes and hair products can dissolve the surface of pearls.

They can also permanently stain gold and silver.

Always allow sufficient time for hair products or perfumes to dry before putting on jewellery.

Cleaning antique jewellery

Most items of jewellery can be cleaned with warm water, soap and a soft brush.

If you are cleaning items of jewellery in a sink, always remember to insert the plug. This will prevent the risk of losing any loose stones.

If the article you are cleaning is closed-set, do not immerse in fluids. Immersion may trap water behind the stones and cause precious metals to corrode. 

Some jewellery cleaning fluids can cause damage. It is wise to seek advice from a professional before use.

Most BADA jewellery dealers will be happy to clean items for their clients.

Antique Jewellery

Checking condition

Before wearing valuable items of antique jewellery make sure that all pieces and their stones are secure.

Loose settings and worn clasps can result in the loss of precious stones, or worse still, the item itself.

We recommend arranging an annual check with a professional jeweller.

This will ensure that all your items of valuable jewellery are in good condition.


The safest way to store items of jewellery is in individual boxes. This helps to reduce the risk of accidental damage.

For example, cut diamonds can scratch gold and silver through accidental contact.

Alternatively, wrap each item in linen cloth or pure cotton for safe storage.


To browse available items of jewellery online click here

To find BADA members who specialise in jewellery click here

For advice on caring for antique silver click here

For BADA recommended specialists in packing and shipping antiques and fine art click here