Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cleaning Your Pince-Nez Mounting


A week ago I received a hoop spring which I purchased on eBay. Despite its first impression, this mounting is actually in good shape. However, it is in need of a thorough cleaning as a lot of grime has accumulated on it over the years. I've never cleaned a mounting so I asked my knowledgeable friend for info. The mounting in question is gold-filled like most from the pince-nez heyday period.

My friend recommends an all-purpose, liquid jewelry cleaner.* This is the type that comes in a small plastic jar of about four ounces or so. If you have only the mounting, you can put it in the jar for about ten minutes or according to the instructions for the cleaner. You may find a tiny brush in the jar which comes with the cleaner. You will be better off using a medium hard toothbrush.

A pince-nez with lenses requires a little more effort but it is still quite easy. Dip a toothbrush in the cleaning fluid and then scrub the mounting. Re-wet the toothbrush often. Don't be afraid of scrubbing the mounting since it is quite sturdy. Do be careful with the lenses as it is possible to scratch plastic lenses with the toothbrush. The nose guards typically require the most attention in terms of cleaning.

For stubborn stains or oxidation you can dip a small piece of # 0000 steel wool pad in the cleaning liquid and then use the pad.

After you have cleaned your pince-nez, give it a brief polishing with a soft cloth. You can then rinse it with liquid dish soap and warm, running water. Dry it off and replace the nose pads. Congratulations!
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*Some mountings are made of brass. Use a brass cleaner for this metal if standard jewelry cleaner is not effective.

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