Can this be saved, so I can wear it?

I purchased some pieces that were stored from a closed business and they are pretty dirty. I’m starting with this necklace. I used a soft toothbrush to brush out most of the unknown stuff caked underneath the the leaves and wiped the stones a bit but I was wondering if I could wipe the round beads down to remove the dirt? Can the coral be saved at all? It’s pretty dirty and caked on one side pretty good. Is there a safe way to clean the stones up a bit more? Thanks so much for any help you can offer :grinning:



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I love those stones!!!

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Thanks so much, me too. They were hard to resist :smile:

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Looks like Bisbee. The stones are definitely worth saving, and that is where the value is in this piece. The silverwork probably not so much. If it were in my collection, I’d consider swapping those beautiful stones out for something a bit more common, and having the Bisbee stones set in something sensational.

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Personally, re: vintage or antique I would not wear a necklace that was dirty. Patina and dirt are not the same thing. Dirt, hair, skin - no thanks. I would gently scrub the necklace - especially those recessed areas where “stuff” collects with soap & water - go way easy on the soap and use a gentle soap - something without a lot of chemicals. Dry completely. Probably to the dismay/ horror of some, I don’t like tarnish either - again tarnish and patina are not the same and I would clean up the tarnish as well. Depending on how bad the tarnish I may use a jewelry cleaning cloth or just a piece of leather, suede side up.

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Can you remove the pendant from the necklace? I would be really careful about using soap and water on the necklace with the pendant attached.

I’d prob put the pendant on something else, cause to me it seems like it doesn’t quite match the necklace.

The stones, oh my, gorgeous!! And I’m one of those that loves patina…to me the pendant doesn’t look tarnished (but maybe it doesn’t show in the pic). Shiny looks too new, but that’s just me!

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This idea works for me. A nice cuff would definitely work much better for me. Thanks so much :grinning:

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I completely agree, I don’t like anything dirty and I would wash this entire thing if I could. It is quite dirty and I’m sure I scraped out a dead bug or too. Under a loupe it’s pretty yucky. I like a bit of a patina, as opposed to bright and shiny but this is way beyond that.

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That’s another great idea :smile: The bail is open at the bottom, so I could definitely take it it off the necklace. I would definitely have to get it cleaner to do that. It’s pretty yucky up close. I put a little dawn on the back and quite a bit of brown/dirt is still coming off the back. The front is just as dirty.

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Maybe you could see if someplace like Perry Null could clean it. I wouldn’t want any water around the stones since it looks Navajo made (unless you want them out for a cuff :relaxed:). You could try cleaning in between the silver on the front with a q tip, although you’ve prob already done that. So funny, the front doesn’t look that dirty in the pic, but I’m sure you can see it much better IRL. Back does look dirty or tarnished.

The pendant would look great on a handmade silver link chain. I wear a similar type pendant I inherited from my mom on a simple leather cord. Or making it into a cuff would be fun! I have some old earrings with awesome stones I need to have made into a ring.

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They would probably do a much better job than I can. I did try try dry qtips, but it didn’t do enough. I think I’ll contact them and see if they think the can clean it for me, because I do like it as a pendant, especially the size and simplicity. I love vintage jewelry, so I’d hate to destroy it. If not, then a cuff will work :grinning:

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the necklace probably had some whopper coral branch at the bottom that bustified right off, they wore it with this instead. i’d be super careful using anything cleaner-ish on the coral or shell heishi.

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So I forgot to do the reply option.

Very interesting, it doesn’t really like they belong together. I don’t think I’ll try and clean it now. I’m gonna take the pendant off of it and just see what I can do to get the pendant cleaner. It would be nice to get it all clean but I don’t think that will happen with out damaging it.

Take care around the stones, it looks like the upper right stone has been chipped near the bottom, looks like a line too - is it a healed fracture? And, I can’t tell, but is that same stone coming out of the bezel on the lower left edge…maybe just a shadow where the bezel isn’t tight.

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What is the necklace strung on? That would determine how it could be cleaned.

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You are right on both your observations. There is a little movement in that stone too. I’m not sure what to do about that at all.

I ended up taking the pendant off of it. It looks like clear fishing line.

It should be OK to soak in mild dish soap. I have done that before. If the coral is real red branch coral, it will be ok.

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That’s good to know. You just never know, so I like to ask first. I damaged a nice vintage ring with too much water.

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