Do you know the proper techniques for storing, cleaning, and using jewelry? The ownership process begins after receiving your latest piece from one of your favorite credit jewelers, from there you’ll have to make sure you maintain the shine to enjoy it for years to come. Jewelry upkeep may at first sound like a very involved process, with different types of jewelry needing other things, but it’s not as difficult as it may sound. So read on to learn some jewelry 101 as we walk you through some basic rules to keep your most precious gems shining like the day you first saw them.
The Basics of Storing Jewelry
To keep your jewelry from getting tarnished, scratched, and potentially stolen, you’ll need to store your jewelry correctly. The most important part of storing jewelry when it’s not used is to keep them clean, dry, and separated when possible. Here’s what to consider when storing your jewelry:
Separate by Type
Regardless if you visit credit jewelers to purchase fine, silver, or costume jewelry, you’ll want to keep them separate to avoid damage and reactions to different metal types. You’ll generally want to keep your fine jewelry in a specific location and make sure it does not come into contact with jewelry made from silver and keep that jewelry away from your daily use costume jewelry. Metals tend to react with each other and can cause premature wear and tarnishing, also note that you should never store tarnished jewelry with any other jewelry, clean it first.
We often store our jewelry closest to where we remove it, but let’s consider two very important things when doing so, safety and humidity. You’ll want to store jewelry in a place that’s only accessible to you, keeping fine jewelry out of plain view when you have visitors or potentially a burglar. Keeping it safe means keeping it out of the bathroom, and not because someone may get an idea to steal your precious gems, but because humidity can cause rapid tarnishing and deterioration of jewelry of all types. Keep all of your pieces in a room that is normally dry and maintain a fairly cool, stable temperature.
Use Boxes and Bags
While separating your jewelry you’ll want to make sure they are not in constant contact as the hardness of a gem like a diamond can scratch other jewelry. Felt-lined boxes are great for silver jewelry as they can help remove moisture, this can be carried over to pearls that require gentle storage. A box in general, whether felt lined or made of wood should be free of moisture and block harmful UV light that can permanently damage your precious goods. Soft cotton or felt bags can also be used for other fine jewelry, gold, in particular, does well when stored in bags and can keep bracelets and chains from getting tangled.
Display stands are great for costume jewelry that may require less frequent cleaning, they are often left in plain sight which means they’re not meant for your more expensive pieces.
How to Clean Jewelry
We love wearing jewelry but our body oil and sweat can turn our latest credit jeweler purchase dull and hazy. Luckily, the best way to keep your finest pieces clean is described here:
The best way to clean silver that is tarnished or to prevent it from getting tarnished is by using silver polish. Different brands have silver polish in paste form or in easy-to-use wipes, to use the paste simply dab it on a brush and work it over the jewelry you’re cleaning.
Gold jewelry is very easy to use, you’ll want to add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of warm water and use a small strainer to dunk your jewelry in. Let the jewelry sit for a few minutes and then dislodge the remaining grime and dirt with a soft toothbrush. Lay out your freshly cleaned gold pieces on an absorbent cloth to dry.
To clean pearls you’ll want to be very careful by using a mild shampoo and water mixture with a fine makeup brush, then rinse with a damp cloth and lay flat to not ruin the string that connects the strand.
To clean your precious gemstones, use the same method as cleaning gold but with carbonated water, this will help clean out the setting it’s in. Then you’ll want to rinse your jewelry through cold water with a strainer and polish dry with a microfiber cloth to bring back the bling.
Visit a Jeweler
Although you now know how to care for your jewelry, you may still need outside help from time to time. When handling your jewelry you’ll want to check for stones coming loose from settings or strands of pearls getting slack from years of use. Just like your car or a nice watch, you’ll need to take in your jewelry for a tune-up at a reputable jeweler. A jeweler will make sure your favorite pieces stay intact and looking their best, just like you do by using the proper care techniques listed above.