Jewelry Toolkit: Simichrome Polish

As a seller of vintage jewelry, I often come across jewelry that needs a little “TLC.” One of my most common tasks is cleaning jewelry. Sometimes I also need to test jewelry for its metal content or other materials. So it’s really nice to find a product that does both cleaning and testing.

Part 1: Simichrome Polish as a Cleaning Tool

Simichrome Polish is a cream that has long been used by the automotive and motorcycle industry for polishing metal surfaces, like aluminum and chrome. But it’s a wonderful cleaner for all metals. It comes in handy tubes and also in cans, for polishing larger items.

Simichrome Polish Tube Simichrome Polish Can

I like to use Simichrome Polish to clean old Sterling Silver jewelry, Gold and Gold Filled jewelry, copper jewelry (except copper jewelry that has a protective silicone finish, as noted below), Aluminum, and Brass jewelry. You just rub some on a cloth (I like to use old T-shirts that I’ve cut up) and polish the item. You’d be surprised to see how much dirt comes off even jewelry that looks clean. Of course, with vintage Sterling Silver jewelry, you don’t want to polish off all of the patina, just remove enough of the dirt and grime so the beauty of the piece can shine through.

NOTE: Because Simichrome Polish can be slightly abrasive, I don’t use it to clean most costume jewelry, as it could remove some of the gold or silver plating. Also avoid using Simichrome Polish to clean Sterling Silver jewelry that has a Gold Vermeil finish, or Copper jewelry finished with protective silicone, as it could mar these finishes. I use other jewelry cleaning techniques to clean these pieces, which I will share in a future post.

Here are a few of the lovely vintage Sterling Silver pieces available for sale in my eBay store:

Vintage Sterling Silver Bracelets Vintage Sterling Silver Brooches Vintage Sterling Silver Earrings
Bracelets Brooches/Pins Earrings
Vintage Sterling Silver Necklaces Vintage Sterling Silver Sets
Necklaces Sets

Part 2: Simichrome Polish as a Testing Tool

I also use Simichrome polish to test for Bakelite. When applied to Bakelite using a Q-Tip, the end of the Q-Tip will turn a bright yellow or a rust colored orange, depending on the color of the Bakelite, as shown in the photo.

Simichrome testing with a Q=Tip

If you like Bakelite jewelry, make sure to visit my eBay store. I have lots of vintage jewelry for sale, including some nice Bakelite pieces. Just browse through the categories on the left, or use the search box above the store categories to find what exactly what you are looking for.

Vintage Bakelite Buckle and Clip  Vintage Bakelite Golfer Fob Charm

Beautiful Vintage Jewelry in My Classic Jewelry Shop

I hope you found this information helpful. Please come back soon and learn more about vintage jewelry and how to care for it. Thanks, Christine



Hi Christine!

All of your articles are so helpful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have a question about a white (crème) Bakelite bangle I purchased recently. I am struggling on determining if it really is Bakelite or not. The look, feel, and smell all come across to me as Bakelite, but when I try the Simichrome test the results are very strange…. it turns almost bright red?! I am familiar with the Simichrome test and usually only get yellow to orange results, so I was surprised to see red. I am not very familiar with crème Bakelite so I was hoping you could help me? Also, what is the selling price point for white/crème Bakelite?


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