They’re your most precious pieces. Some of your necklaces or rings may be inherited items, imbued with memories and sentimentality. Others are perhaps pieces of fine jewelry, or customized diamond jewelry you’ve been gifted to mark the milestones in your life. We tend to think our jewelry is designed for life, but ensuring it’s stored correctly will help retain your gems in perfect condition.
Don’t be tempted to leave your fine jewelry lying in a drawer where it can become scratched and damaged. Here’s how to store your gems to keep them shining the way they were designed to.
There's a reason diamonds are also used to make drills – they're extremely tough. This makes them ideal for jewelry such as engagement rings too, but when they're being stored, you need to avoid them coming in contact with other items. Your diamonds can easily scratch the metal on other pieces, and even softer gems like emerald and rubies. Keep those diamonds in solitary confinement!
This extends to pieces where the diamonds are placed on a pendant or part of a bracelet. When you want to store the piece, remove the pendant from the necklace or bracelet, and store it separately.
Ring boxes are a great solution as they separate rings from one another and display them effectively at the same time. This means one quick glance, and you can look at your rings and decide which will work together stacked or worn simultaneously. With layering and stacked diamond engagement rings being a big trend right now, this strategy hits the spot. You want to be able to safely store your multiple rings in one place so you can dress your ring look up and down with ease.
The best environment for jewelry storage is a space that is cool, dry, out of direct sunlight, and in a place you know they won't come into contact with chemicals. If you've been able to hold onto the original box the item came in, it's likely that this is ideal for storing the jewelry piece in.
Alternatively, you can wrap each piece with acid-free tissue paper, raw silk, or untreated cotton. You can also hold onto the little pouches of silica that you get when you buy shoes or other items. Place them near your jewelry that’s being stored as these help balance humidity levels.
Jewelry boxes are attractive and convenient, but they’re not often designed to hold more than a few pieces safely. You also need to check that they are lined with a material that won’t damage the jewelry in any way.
If you prefer to have your items stored in a way that you can see them, or want easy access to them, there are some easy solutions. You can stick earrings or brooches into a pin cushion, for example. Necklaces can be hung on hooks covered in fabric or laid across cushions in a drawer.
Another consideration is to think carefully about how you store them. When you're in a rush looking for that ring, you're likely to mess and muddle your collection in your search. If you categorize your jewelry according to type, you’ll always know the right spot to start your search.
Pearls are soft and porous, so they need special care. Padded silk bags are ideal for storing pearls. It’s always best to lay necklaces flat so that the silk thread that they’re strung on doesn’t stretch. Most crucial is to ensure that the pearl jewelry is never stored in a sealed container or plastic bag. This will cause the pearls to become dry and fragile. They draw moisture from the air and need to maintain humidity levels by being exposed to fresh air.
Silver jewelry is prone to tarnish and discoloration. To prevent this dull outcome, clean your silver pieces before you pack them away as sweat tends to lead to tarnishing. Consider investing in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth to keep them that way.
In fact, it’s a wise idea to keep silver jewelry (and copper or brass heirloom and costume pieces) separate from your fine jewelry. They could cause your high-end items to tarnish more quickly if they come into contact with them.
Platinum jewelry should also be isolated from pieces that are made with softer metals. Platinum is extremely tough and can cause scratches to gold if it comes into contact with the more delicate substance.
Your most valuable pieces should be stored in a safe in your home. The same storage rules apply to a safe, with the exception of pearls. They shouldn't be stored in a safe for excessive periods.
One of the healthy habits of protecting your jewelry against soap buildup and chemicals is to remove them before you bathe or shower. It’s not advisable to expose gemstones (apart from diamonds) to high temperatures, so don’t leave them on the shower shelf while you wash. Instead, treat yourself to a beautiful jewelry dish where you can place your fine jewelry pieces. The bonus? If you're not wearing them, you always know where they are.
When you’re on the move, keeping your jewelry protected is equally important. Keeping necklaces from tangles can be the biggest bugbear, but here’s an unbeatable hack. Thread them through straws, and you'll never find yourself fighting knots again.
When it comes to the rest of your jewelry make an effort to store them separately in cloth pouches. There's no point in taking care of your most elegant jewelry at home all year only to allow it to get to scratched and damaged during the holiday season.
Before you store jewelry, you want to do so when they're free of oil, grease, dust, sweat, and grime. Here are some tips to clean your most beautiful pieces at home:
Mild dishwashing soap mixed in lukewarm water works well for most jewelry. Invest in a soft bristle toothbrush for scrubbing and finally, a lint-free cloth to dry it off.
Don't skip the drying step, particularly if you live in a hard-water area. You don't want water spots forming on your jewelry.
For much more on home cleaning, read our blog post on cleaning your jewelry at home.
Another thing to keep top of mind is the following mantra: ‘Put it on last, take it off first'. What this means is you should only put your jewelry on once you've finished doing your hair, make-up, and applying your perfume. This will prevent it from being exposed to the chemicals in these products. The same applies when you undress and get ready for bed. Remove all your jewelry and store it, so it doesn't come into contact with the soaps and creams you use on your body at night.
Shimansky New York will be able to advise you on the best way to care for, and store, your fine jewelry so it lasts a lifetime. If you're unsure of the metal or gems that make up your jewelry, check with us before you attempt to clean them. We also offer a professional jewelry cleaning service, just make an appointment to visit us at the showroom.