Should You Clean Your Jewelry Before Selling It?

Should you clean and polish your jewelry before selling it?

The simple answer is yes. This practice is similar to cleaning your house or decorating it nicely to show off to potential buyers. People want to see its best form prior to buying it. In the case of pawning off jewelry, doing the grunt work yourself and presenting your valuables in their best condition may help you get a better deal.

However, it’s not always the best choice. Depending on what the jewelry is made of, how old it is, and if you’re unsure of how to properly clean it, you may need to leave it to the experts. A professional clean might cost extra, but that can pay for itself by avoiding damage to your jewelry and receiving a better price when you sell it.

How can you tell the difference? What is the best way to clean your jewelry? Let’s take a look.

Jewelry Cleaning Basics

While it can’t replace a professional cleaning, there are some ways to clean your jewelry at home.


Pure gold doesn’t tarnish, but most gold jewelry isn’t pure gold due to its soft and bendable nature. The other metals that gold is mixed with to become stronger do tarnish, like copper, silver, and iron. The lower karat of gold the jewelry is, the more likely it is to darken with tarnish from the other elements in its alloy.


Silver is known to tarnish, which is why silver polish is easily accessible! Some polishes come in kits with wipes and/or soft cloths. Be sure to research any polish before you buy it, checking the user reviews and seeing if they accomplish what they promise.

Though you can clean silver at home without manually polishing, this should only be done if you know what you’re doing and have performed extensive research into the process of performing a DIY polish. With added or extra steps, beyond using a tried and true polish, you’re at greater risk of messing something up. This is extra important if your silver jewelry contains gemstones.


For most gemstones, you need only wash them with warm, soapy water and then clean with a soft, bristled toothbrush or a fine, soft cloth.

Take care to be gentle around the areas where the gemstone connects to the ring, necklace, or other form of jewelry. The prongs holding it in place may become damaged if brushed too thoroughly.

Organic Gemstones

For organic gems like peals and amber, it’s recommended you do not use water or soap to clean them. Instead, use a soft cloth (a microfiber cloth is preferred) to wipe away any dirt or dust.

If you want to polish the jewelry around the organic gemstone, it’s best to take it to a professional. You need to prevent the organic gemstone from coming into contact with any soapy water or polish, so that detailed form of work is best handled by expert hands.


Add a Comment