3 Simple Tips to Care For and Store Your Jewelry
Jewelry isn’t just beautiful — it’s also one of the best, most valuable purchases you can make. But it does require some upkeep to prevent it from becoming tarnished or damaged. Those tasks include proper cleaning and storage so that it lasts and retains its sparkle. At Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, we’ve spent over 35 years keeping our customers’ jewelry shining bright. Read on for our simple tips on the right way to clean and store your jewelry pieces.
How to Clean Your Jewelry
The first step is to clean your jewelry before storing it because jewelry that isn’t maintained can lead to damage to precious and semi-precious gemstones and cause the metals to tarnish. Brittany’s recommends that you have your jewelry professionally inspected and cleaned twice yearly.
You can clean your fine jewelry about every month using a gentle method but leave the ultrasonic cleaning to professionals because they watch closely for loose stones and advise on how to correct them. A common cleaning method that you can do at home is use lukewarm water in a bowl, a soft toothbrush, and mild dishwashing detergent. You can use the toothbrush to very delicately brush away dirt and debris, taking note of loose gemstones. If you find any, don’t wear the piece again until you’ve had it professionally repaired. Finally, gently pat the jewelry dry before you store it.
You can use effective silver polish to clean your silver jewelry or make your own at-home version with tinfoil, baking soda, salt, and water. Line a pan with aluminum foil and put the jewelry on top. Next, sprinkle some baking soda and salt on top of the jewelry, around 1 tablespoon per cup of water. Then, pour boiling water on the pan until the items are saturated and let them sit in the solution for a few minutes. Remove the jewelry and pat it dry with a lint-free cloth. Be sure not to expose your karat gold jewelry to this solution.
How to Store Your Jewelry
Once your jewelry is clean and dry, it’s ready to be stored.
Separate by Type
It’s always a good idea to separate and store jewelry by type, so the different metals don’t tarnish when they interact. To avoid confusion, Fine jewelry should never be stored in the same vicinity as your costume, silver, or gold-filled jewelry, so placing these in a jewelry box with drawers or dividers is a good way to prevent this.
Gold is relatively malleable and can be scratched and damaged by harder gemstones. To avoid this from happening, keep your gold jewelry pieces stored individually in soft cloth bags or even wrapped in tissue paper in a box.
Store your silver in a jewelry box lined with cotton or felt. The fabric helps absorb any excess moisture and prevents your jewelry from discoloring. You can also store your pieces loosely wrapped in a pouch to limit air exposure for an extra layer of protection.
Regardless of how it’s stored, silver jewelry should be cleaned twice annually but be careful not to overpolish, which causes damage.
Even though diamonds are known to be the hardest substance, they can still be scratched by another diamond and can scratch softer metals. For this reason, diamond pieces should be stored away from your other jewelry in something like a dry box that protects them from humidity.
Due to their gentle composition, pearls should be stored somewhere away from other hard jewelry items that might scratch their surface. Pearls interact with plastic and are prone to oxidation. They contain trace amounts of water, so you shouldn’t store them in an airtight environment that will make them brittle and damage their luster. Pearls should instead be stored in a soft cloth pouch or lined jewelry box.
Store in a Cool, Dry Space
High humidity and fluctuating temperatures like the kind we get here in North Central Florida can degrade jewelry. Consider adding a dehumidifier or air conditioner in the room where your jewelry is stored or adding silica packets in your jewelry boxes to absorb extra moisture. Your jewelry should be stored in a place that’s not too cold or hot either, but rather at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
However, some jewelry types, like opals, need some moisture to prevent cracking. The professionals at Brittany’s can advise you on the best options for storing these.
Beautiful Jewelry Is In Store for You at Brittany’s
Taking preventative measures and storing it correctly helps your jewelry stay in pristine shape. Of course, the best thing you can do is put your trust in a reputable jeweler who can best teach you how to care for your pieces while also offering high-quality professional cleaning and inspection and repair and remounting services.
When it comes to keeping your jewelry the way you want it, trust the experienced, knowledgeable team at Brittany’s Fine Jewelry. Stop in our showroom today to see our collection of breathtaking pieces.