Guide: How to Clean Roman Glass Jewelry
Do you want to keep your Roman glass jewelry in great shape? Click here for a comprehensive guide on how to clean Roman glass jewelry.
Keyword(s): Roman glass jewelry
Can Roman glass jewelry be cleaned? If so – how do you clean it? – these are questions that we get asked about Roman glass jewelry every now and then. Because this is an important question in jewelry maintenance, read this first before even touching your Roman glass jewelry.
Rule #1 for Roman Glass Jewelry
Let’s start with the #1, big-time no-no: Don’t get Roman glass jewelry wet!
An authentic Roman glass piece is 2000-years old, so special care must be given to the beautiful but delicate glass. The delicate patina and sea-colored glass will react chemically with any liquid - or even surface oil - that touches the glass.
Exposure to liquids WILL cause discoloration and even disintegration of the glass over time. Since Roman glass is 2000 years old, it should be treated with the care and respect that an ancient artifact deserves.
The "Dont's" for Roman Glass Jewelry
These simple guidelines will help you avoid 99% of the issues:
- Don't wear your jewelry in the shower or bath.
- Don’t go swimming with the jewelry on.
- Don't wear in super humid places or in the rain.
- Don't let your roman glass jewelry come in contact with hairspray, perfume, body lotion, massage oils, etc.
One other important thing to remember about Roman Glass jewelry: avoid touching the glass with your fingers.
Although our hands may seem clean to us, there is often a layer of surface oil on them. When coming in contact with the roman glass, these oils can change the chemical elements of the glass and cause its colors to change and turn murky.
The "Do's" for Roman Glass Jewelry
Finally, we come to what you SHOULD do when cleaning your roman glass jewelry: If you’re cleaning the silver setting around your roman glass jewelry, the best way to clean it is with a jewelry cleaning/polishing cloth. Use the cloth gently and carefully: polish all the areas you can reach without touching the Roman glass. You’ll see that once the metal is polished, any roman glass jewelry will look shiny once more – when the metal is clean, the glass really stands out.
Need more specifics?
Let's deep-dive into some history of Roman glass jewelry and how you can take additional steps to care for your individual pieces.
Get to Know the History of Your Roman Glass Jewelry
As a foundation for any primer, you have to understand more about the subject. In the case of Roman glass jewelry, this means having a basic grasp on what makes Roman glass unique.
All authentic Roman glass comes from the Mediterranean, an area rich in sand deposits. Remember from your chemistry class or visits to a glass-blower that sand is the necessary component to create glass? You can guess the connection!
Every piece of authentic Roman glass has its roots in the ancient world. Typically, the Roman glass was found by an archaeologist as a fragment of a larger glass item.
Jewelry designers and manufacturers purchase these spectacular finds to spotlight in their creations. Because Roman Glass jewelry features one-of-a-kind glass with its own nuances, no two necklaces, bracelets, or earrings are completely alike.
If it sounds exciting, you're getting the point. Roman glass has become a staple in unique jewelry collections for women across the world.
Want to keep yours looking spectacular, especially since you know its exotic beginnings? Keep reading for cleaning tips and tricks.
Do's and Don'ts When Cleaning Roman Glass
Roman glass isn't the same as the glass that you'll find in your windowpane or car windshield. Put down the harsh over-the-counter cleaners, because they'll damage this hardy, but still delicate, compound.
Just as some woods are more porous than others, Roman glass is more porous than its modern-day counterparts. This makes it susceptible to turning color when it becomes wet or has contact with chemicals. Pieces with the patina still intact are even more prone to water damage.
(As an aside, Roman glass naturally changes colors due to exposure to the air and even your perspiration. This is completely natural and doesn't indicate you're cleaning it incorrectly unless it loses its rainbow-like shimmer.)
Additionally, Roman glass is still glass, which makes it fragile. Being rough during the cleaning process is a big "don't," as you risk damaging the Roman glass. Once broken, it can't be repaired because its shape has been altered.
So what can you do to care for your Roman glass jewelry if you can't expose it to moisture or cleansers?
The answer lies in the jewelry piece you pick.
Caring for Roman Glass by Jewelry Type
The key to keeping your Roman glass jewelry's iridescent shininess throughout the years lies in conscientious caring of the glass and surrounding precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones. It also leans heavily on the type of piece you need to clean.
Roman Glass Necklaces
Necklaces typically feature at least one piece of Roman glass set in silver. For instance, you may fall in love with a Roman glass piece set in sterling silver with a sterling chain. In this case, you need to pay attention to foremost cleaning the silver.
Luckily, silver isn't tough to keep clean. Many Roman glass jewelry pieces have a finish that is intentionally oxidized, so be sure when cleaning that you don't remove this finish. Purchase a specially designated dry jewelry cloth and wipe with the grain of the metal in long strokes.
Roman Glass Pendants
Like Roman glass necklaces, Roman glass pendants come not as simple pieces of standalone glass but as well-defined shapes, like a cross. Again, your objective should be to determine the needs of the surrounding metal and clean the whole item conservatively.
Be sure to get your polishing cloth in the nooks, but don't aggressively rub any Roman glass item. Otherwise, you could harm it by putting undue pressure on your glass.
Roman Glass Earrings
Keep your Roman glass earrings as eye-catching as possible using your dry cloth to gently wipe away debris collected on the surface of the glass and metal. At the same time, be aware that with earrings, you must especially sanitize the parts that go into the ear.
Many Roman glass enthusiasts overlook the "loops" of earrings during their cleaning processes. This can lead to earlobe rejection if you have super-sensitive skin. However, proper care of all surfaces of your Roman glass earrings will lessen the likelihood of unwanted physical problems.
Roman Glass Bracelets
A Roman glass bracelet could be constructed in many ways, from having plenty of Roman glass pieces wrapping the wrist, to offering Roman glass bangles.
Bracelets are often more exposed to the elements and hazards of day-to-day life than other types of Roman glass jewelry. Why? Humans tend to use their hands quite a bit from morning until night, creating an environment that could be tough on the Roman glass.
After every wearing of your Roman glass bracelets, check them carefully to make sure the glass hasn't cracked. It's easy to bang a bracelet against a wall or door, and you'll want to know immediately if the glass has received any nicks. Afterward, you can clean as you do other Roman glass jewelry items.
Roman Glass Rings
Rings are without a doubt some of the most exposed jewelry pieces on the planet. Consequently, many designers of Roman glass rings embed the glass to protect its integrity, rather than allowing the pieces of glass to rise above the band.
As long as you're polishing your Roman glass frequently, you don't need to worry about cleaning. Yet you do have to be concerned about removing your Roman glass rings before doing any activities that involve water or cleaning supplies, such as washing the dishes or swimming in your health club pool.
Keeping a Supply of Jewelry Cleaning Products
Now that you know how to maintain your favorite Roman glass items, ensure you always have the right products on hand to clean each piece. Store those products in a special place, and replace them when they get grubby or ineffective.
Using dry polishing cloths? Be cautious about laundering them. They aren't like towels, but are often specially developed so make sure you know how to clean your jewelry cleaning items!
Show Roman Glass the Love and Respect It Deserves
Your Roman glass has been around for millennia. Treat it as respectfully as you would an ancient philosopher like Socrates or Aristotle, and turn your Roman glass into an heirloom that will continue to pass down from mother to daughter.
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