I have experimented with different ways to store my jewelry with differing results. With my family and friends knowing I am in the jewelry business, jewelry boxes are among some of the most common gifts I receive. I think it's important to honor your individual tastes and habits when it comes to storing your jewelry, but it's also important to be knowledgeable about some things that can damage your jewelry over time. I've compiled a list of some of the most important things to... remember when you're storing your precious heirlooms.
01 of 07
Avoid Extreme Temperatures & Humidity
Don't store your jewelry in a drafty cold closet or a hot and stuffy attic. Store your jewelry at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Pick a location that maintains a consistent low humidity to help prevent premature tarnishing and discoloration. Different types of jewelry are most susceptible to damage from temperature and humidity than others. Opals and cameos require more moisture in the air to help prevent cracking and crazing.
02 of 07
Choose a Jewelry Box With a Soft Lining
There are a lot of hard plastic and wooden jewelry organizers out there, but for fine jewelry, I would recommend finding something that has a soft fabric lining. This way if you drop your jewelry in quickly at the end of the day, you won't risk damaging your gemstones or metal.
Make sure the jewelry box you choose has enough spots to store all of your jewelry without being clumped together. Clumps of jewelry are such a nightmare to sort through. Is your jewelry touching each other? Get a... bigger jewelry box, or step up to a full sized jewelry armoire.
03 of 07
Store Clean Jewelry in a Clean Location
This tip is for all jewelry but especially for costume, silver, and gold-filled jewelry. The last thing you want to do is store a green corroded piece of copper jewelry you got at a garage sale with your grandmother's prized locket. Not only could this musty, corroded smell transfer to your other jewelry, I am convinced it will make your other jewelry tarnish faster, and even become corroded itself.
Even if your jewelry is clean, if you throw it in a dirty, dusty metal box, chances are your... jewelry is going to pick up the smells and dinginess of its surroundings. Vacuum out your jewelry box, and be sure the environment is clean, dry, and smelling fresh.
Fear not, you don't need to rush out to your jeweler to get your jewelry clean. Learn how to clean all different types of jewelry with household items here.
04 of 07
Use Hooks to Hang Necklaces
Most jewelry armoires have doors on either side that have hooks for hanging necklaces on. It is important that you keep your necklaces hung vertically to help prevent kinking and knotting. If you don't have a jewelry armoire, try a DIY solution. Take an old frame and add a cork board. Use push-pins for the "hooks" to hang your necklaces and tennis bracelets on. If you decide to use a jewelry stand, be sure the stand is tall enough so your necklaces don't touch the ground.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Store Your Diamonds and Gemstones ALONE
Diamonds rank 10 on the Mohs scale making it the hardest gemstone on the market. What that means is that diamonds are capable of scratching any material that ranks lower on the Mohs scale. Now, maybe you don't necessarily have to store your diamonds in a cubby all by themselves, but you should make sure your diamonds aren't rubbing up against any other jewelry.
The same concept applies to other gemstones. You want to make sure your sapphires, that rank 9 on the Mohs scale, are stored... away from both diamonds and any other material that ranks below it. Simply put: your gemstone jewelry should not be stacked in big piles in a drawer, but rather neatly and securely placed in a tray or other separator like an individual zip lock bag.
06 of 07
Store Silver Jewelry in Cotton or Felt Compartments
The most important consideration when trying to prevent silver jewelry from tarnishing is keeping the jewelry dry and away from other tarnishing jewelry. Silver jewelry isn't terribly expensive, so sometimes being resourceful is your best option here. The most cost effective way I do this is by ripping up an old clean cotton t-shirt. Loosely wrap your cleaned, silver jewelry so that there is some air flow but the jewelry is protected. Store this jewelry neatly in a drawer with a couple of... those silica packets you get when you buy a pair of shoes. If you are feeling crafty, you can use felt or cotton and sew little pouches so you can quickly open them up to see what is inside.
07 of 07
Store Fine Jewelry in a Safe Location
Sometimes it is hard to store your jewelry to prevent damage and also prevent theft. On the one hand, you want to store your jewelry in an appropriate, dry, organized place, but on the other, you want it hidden in a secure safe. Choose your most valuable items and organize those on velvet lined drawers (sold separately) within a locked, inconspicuous location. For all your valuable jewelry, make sure it is insured with jewelry insurance.