*THIS IS A GUEST POST. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own.
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing your beloved jewelry tangled or tarnished. Even the best quality pieces require special care so they retain their brilliance and beauty.
Gentle cleaning and proper storage are the keys to getting the most of your collection. If you want those precious metals to last for years, and possibly pass them to your children and grandchildren in due time, you should properly care for and store your jewelry the moment you buy them.
Cleaning Your Jewelry
There isn’t a single approach to cleaning jewelry. It depends on the material and metal used.
Gold and silver metals are the most popular type of jewelry. They are well-loved for their versatility, class, and durability.
While you can buy cleaning solutions from local jewelers, the safest cleaning methods for metals are those that you can simply make at home. Basically, warm water and mild soap are all you need to keep your precious metals looking great.
Silver-plated pieces need gentle rubbing to keep from wearing away the finish. Just make sure to rinse your treasured pieces thoroughly. Then, air-dry them or use a microfiber towel. Make sure that your jewelry is completely dry before you store them.
For pieces with intricate designs, you will need a compressed air duster to get rid of droplets of water that you can’t quite see.
For metals that are heavily tarnished, baking soda works best. Mix three parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste. Then, using a lint-free cloth, gently rub the surfaces to remove the tarnish. Rinse and dry completely.
Stones, Leather, and Pearls
Soft gems like pearls can get scratched easily. To clean pearls, you’ll need a new, clean makeup brush dipped in soapy water. Place them on a clean towel to dry. Give it enough time to completely dry as the wet silk thread that holds together the pearls can easily attract dirt. Also, don’t forget that pearls should be restrung by a professional once a year.
Leather jewelry should not be submerged in water. Just put a dab of leather cleaner or moisturizing hand soap on a clean cloth and gently rub the leather until it’s clean and dry.
Jewelry that Requires Special Care
Some gemstones require special care, such as amethyst, emerald, opal, peridot, and tanzanite. They are very delicate and easily abraded so you want to use a soft microfiber cloth when cleaning them.
For diamonds, use a mild solution of six parts water to one part ammonia. Clean the jewelry using a soft-bristle brush.
Colored gemstones shouldn’t be exposed to heat, solvents, steam, or ultrasonic cleaners.
Note: Jewelry should be professionally checked every 6 months. Many local jewelry shops offer free cleaning and inspection at scheduled intervals.
Storing Your Jewelry
We all have different preferences when it comes to storing our treasured jewelry. Some people like to keep them in glass cabinets where they can be easily seen and admired. Others invest in jewelry boxes that often come with roomy compartments. Some people simply keep those precious stones in the drawer.
Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked, which makes those valuable pieces susceptible to scratches and irreparable damage.
So, what is the best way to keep them?
Choose the Right Jewelry Box
Most jewelry items come in a box or pouch when you purchase them. That’s the perfect place to keep them. You can also purchase a custom jewelry box if you have a vast collection for easy access and storage.
These boxes come with smaller compartments with padded slots for rings and earrings, as well as posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets. Note: Necklaces should be hung vertically to prevent kinking and knotting.
Jewelry boxes come in different sizes and materials, such as plastic and wood. However, fine jewelry should be kept in something that has a soft fabric lining.
Ensure the Right Environment for Your Collection
Where you store your jewelry boxes is very essential. They have to be stored at room temperature, and away from direct sunlight. Ideally, they should be placed in the area of your house with the lowest humidity as the high moisture content in the air can cause premature tarnishing of metals.
Some people like storing their jewelry in the bathroom cabinet. That’s a big NO. Aside from the high humidity, the bathroom contains products (body care, lotion, soaps, etc.) that can adversely affect the quality of your stones.
Delicate jewelry should be stored in a dark, dry location.
Separate by Metal
Keep your jewelry pieces in different slots (in case you’re using a custom box) or in separate boxes/pouches. Otherwise, they can get scratched or tangled.
You should also separate jewelry by metal. Make an inventory of your collection. Separate fine, from custom and silver jewelry. This is very important to prevent oxidation that causes metals to tarnish when they get in contact with one another.
Speaking of silver jewelry, they are best stored in a jewelry box lined with felt. The felt helps absorb moisture and delays tarnishing.
Diamonds should have their own individual boxes or compartments too because these super hard stones can easily scratch other gems.
Needless to say, fine jewelry should be kept in a location that’s less prone to burglary. If you have a valuable collection, consider investing in a locked storage compartment.
When traveling, keep them in separate boxes or cases. Look for one with extra padding and compartments to keep the pieces from moving too much and knocking on each other. Also, never pack them in checked luggage.
Most people consider jewelry an investment. Each piece comes with a valuable price that you worked so hard to afford.
Owning jewelry is also satisfying. They give us joy and a sense of accomplishment. Therefore, it is just fitting that we take care of every piece in our collection.
Properly cleaning and storing your jewelry is the best way to preserve its beauty and quality. In most cases, you’ll have everything you need at home to clean each piece, though sometimes, you will have to take it to a professional for inspection and routine care.
There are many things to consider when storing your jewelry. Make sure that each piece is individually kept (or placed in its own slot) and silver metals should be separated from the rest to prevent untimely tarnishing.
How to Clean Pearl Jewelry: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-clean-pearls-2042649
Picking the Perfect Jewelry Organizer to Store Your Jewelry: https://www.jewelryshoppingguide.com/how-to-pick-jewelry-organizer/
About the author:
Breanna Howell is the public relations specialist at Claremont Diamonds living her dream of promoting positive public awareness of the company. As a freelance blogger and mom of two millennials, she’s also passionate about providing inspiration and support to everyone on their journey to a fantastic marriage.