I love using vintage jewelry, breaking it down and making something new out of it. I was in New York a few years back when I found a vintage jewelry shop. It was amazing. They had 5000 sq ft of jewelry components, crystals and beads stack a mile high. It was the best 3 hours I ever spent in one place.
I hope to go back when this covid 19 goes away.
To clean vintage rhinestone jewelry - use a paper towel and glass cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the paper towel and wipe the rhinestones clean. Do Not put the rhinestone jewelry in a container of water, this will ruin the gold or silver foil backing on the rhinestones.
Below in the slide show are beads and rhinestones that were from New York, still in the paper envelopes and boxes from the 1940's-60's. I don't know if I will be able to use them all. But I will try.