There are many other materials used in estate and antique jewelry, a few of which are outlined below. If in doubt about how to clean your piece, the best bet is always to just wipe clean with a very soft, dry brush or cloth.
Pietra Dura and Micromosaic
Pietra dura and micromosaics are both delicate and should be stored in their own box or pouch. To clean, brush with a soft brush and take care not to get wet. Be very careful not to dislodge any inlaid pieces that may be loose.
By its nature, cut steel is sensitive to moisture. Never let cut steel come in contact with moisture. Moisture causes it to rust and lose its appeal (as well as value). To clean, brush with a soft, dry brush or cloth.
Paste and other closed-back pieces
It is the foil backing that gives paste stones and closed-back pieces their unique beauty. This foil is prone to breakage and disintegration and is almost never replaceable. It is also moisture-sensitive; to clean, use only a soft, dry brush and cloth. Never immerse in water or cleaning solution.
Lava is an exceptionally porous material and should be cleaned with care. Do not use ammonia, acids or soap. Lava carvings are delicate and easily chipped. Clean with water and a soft toothbrush.
The sulphur compound in niello is soft and should be treated with care. Store in a separate box or pouch to prevent damage. To clean, gently rub with a paste of baking soda and water; rinse and pat dry.
Butterfly wing jewelry is extremely vulnerable to moisture. Any contact with moisture will destroy the butterfly wing and cause it to lose its luster. You may wipe the setting clean with a silver polishing cloth.
Hair jewelry is very delicate and prone to breakage and should be stored in a separate box or pouch. Do not attempt to clean the hairwork or allow it to come in contact with moisture.
Like hairwork, scarabs are delicate and should be stored away from other jewelry. Do not clean the scarabs with anything other than a very soft, damp brush or cloth.
Miniatures are very delicate and practically impossible to repair. They should be stored in a separate box or pouch, at a moderate temperature and away from direct sunlight. Portrait miniatures can be painted on many different bases, although the most common base is ivory. The type of paint also varies from piece to piece. As a result, it is very important to proceed with caution when cleaning a miniature. Gently wipe with a very soft cloth, being considerate of any area where the paint may be exposed. The mountings may be wiped with a silver polishing cloth, depending on the material.