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I have a couple pieces of Damascene Jewelry. I love the way it looks buy would like to do a good general cleaning. Making it shine would be even better. Any suggestions? Bernie
Your Bounty.

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The first thing you must do is determine whether your pieces are genuine Damascene or Damascene technique pieces. Here are some definitions taken from the Ebay Guide to Damascene jewelry, by Carolinacollections:

"As it pertains to jewelry, the word Damascene is a process whereby non precious metals are decorated with 18-24K gold in decorative patterns. The procedure is for artisans to cover the surface of an object with fine grooves, using sharp cutting tools. Figures are then drawn on the scored surfaces. Then gold wires are pressed into these grooves with a steel punch and hammer. Figures are then drawn on the scored surfaces. The whole item is then blued to produce a black background by a total oxidation of the surfaces which are not damasked. A delicate and light process of chipping gives a lovely sheen to the object. Finally, the piece is mounted to give the final object.

Much of the Damascene produced for sale on the internet is actually made in the "Damascene Technique" or would be better called "Faux Damascene." It has the appearance of genuine Damascene jewelry, in that it is often black and gold, but the gold is not usually genuine 18k or 24K, and much of it is mass produced - most likely in the far east."

A close look under magnification should tell you what you have. Once you know whether you're dealing with real gold or base metal, the cleaning solution should be simple. Real gold is inert, so there should be no corrosion, and simple soap and water should clean the piece. Dry thoroughly, of course. If your jewelry is Damascene technique, then ketchup should do the trick, or another mild acid, like lemon juice.

Thanks so much for the reply. I am still new at some of this and looked up the word,
Damascene. That was very unhelpful. The pieces are from Spain but I know little else.
Except that I really like the look. Thanks again, Bernie--yourbounty


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