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Beading Resources > Ask the Experts

Topics: Tools, Cleaners and Polishers

Q.
I have a cameo ring that was my grandmothers. It has dirt in the engraved lines. I was wondering what is the best way to clean it?
- Jennifer
A.
Cameos are frequently made of shell and can be damaged by chemicals and other cleaning processes. As a rule, any cleaning technique that is safe for pearls will be safe for your shell cameo. Avoid abrasive materials including toothpaste. A very soft-bristled brush can be used to gently clean away dust that may gather in the carved grooves. Jewel Brite™ jewelry cleaner contains no ammonia, acid or alcohol and is safe for pearls, opals, soft stones and antiqued jewelry and will be gentle on the ring setting as well. Never soak your cameo for more than 30 seconds. After cleaning and drying a shell cameo, some people recommend you moisturize it with mineral oil. Apply a light coating of mineral oil with a Q-tip, let it sit overnight and then wipe any excess oil away with a soft cloth.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert

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