My mom was a bit of a character, and a bit of a magpie. She loved shiny, sparkly things. She had a few cubic zirconia rings that she loved to wear. She wore them pretty much daily, and all at the same time. That was just who she was. She wore her real jewels right alongside her CZ. Equal love for both.
After she passed I was left with her jewelry to divide up amongst the siblings. Those rings really touched me, in all their blingy wackiness. I loved them, they were so her.
Unfortunately they were in bad shape. A long soak in cleaning solution and a vigorous scrub with an old soft toothbrush cleaned the stones so they sparkled like new again. If anyone tells you that CZ fades and clouds over time, I don't see it. These are a good 20 years old and as sparkly as new after a good cleaning.
The metal settings are another story though. Badly faded and pitted, with much of the plating worn off. I tried a silver plating kit purchased online and got decent results. They were improved but not where I wanted them. Having them replated at a jeweler would be too costly. So I put them away and waited for the lightbulb moment.
I had the AH HA moment today- steel wool. I wanted to get the rest of the plating off and just polish the copper underneath. Steel wool would do the trick. Took about 15 minutes of good rubbing with 3 o or 4 o steel wool and gorgeous shiny copper was revealed.
Worked like a charm!! The copper looks like rose gold, and most of the pitting is gone. I can work at it a bit more to get them totally smooth and polished. I am a happy camper! Now I have some fun jewelry to wear that has a lot of sentimental value to me. I can think of my mom when I wear them! If you are worried about your finger turning green from the copper, try painting the inside of the ring with clear nail polish.
DISCLAIMER- Do not try this with any real/good/valuable jewelry. Take that stuff to a good jeweler.
Now go forth and find some thrift store jewelry to renew!