Precious jewelry is meant to last a lifetime. However, without proper care it can become damaged or dirty. By following a few simple steps you can keep your jewelry intact and looking great. Proper storage is essential to the care of your items when not in use. Store jewelry in a clean, dry place such as fabric lined jewelry boxes, containers with dividers or velvet jewelry bags. You’ll want to make sure that silver is not exposed to air and light during storage as this can cause it to tarnish. Pearls are delicate as well and should also not be exposed during storage. For items such as these, hanging necklace trees would definitely not be a good idea.
A hanging organizer with small plastic pockets works great for storing and organizing earrings. Rather than place a set of earrings together where they might scratch each other or get tangled, place them side by side individually in the organizer to keep them safe and scratch free. The organizer can be hung on the back of a closet door or another obscure place to keep it out of the way and yet still within reach. Small plastic zip closure bags are another good option. This can work especially well when traveling as it eliminates bulk. A handy tip for storing necklaces in this fashion is to keep the clasp just outside the zip enclosure. This will help to keep the necklace easily accessible yet tangle free.
For pieces that you wear regularly, keep them together in an easy to get to place. You don’t want to be hunting through boxes for your everyday pieces. The other side of this coin is irreplaceable jewelry. This should be kept in a home safe or safe deposit box. Be careful not to leave rings on a sink top as they can easily be bumped and go down the drain. Rather, in a public place it is best to leave your rings on when washing your hands. At home, have a designated container in which to place your rings and set it apart from the sink a little ways. When using cleaning products or other caustic materials it is a good idea to take off your jewelry and place it in a safe area. Chemicals can harm fine jewelry and cause it to break down. Some gemstones are especially sensitive and can become brittle if abused.
The same principle applies to cosmetics. It is wise to wait and put on your jewelry until after you’ve applied all your cosmetics, hairspray, and other products that might potentially damage jewelry. When taking your jewelry off after wearing, wipe it with a soft cloth to get any sweat or other substances off before storing. This will help to keep the jewelry from becoming discolored or damaged. Every six to twelve months visit your jeweler for a jewelry checkup. The jeweler can check for any loose stones or mountings and repair them before a piece of your fine jewelry is lost. They can also professionally clean your jewelry.
Between jeweler visits, you can clean your jewelry at home using mild soap and water. This is a great cleaner to use for daily wear jewelry. Diamond jewelry can also be cleaned using a mixture of ammonia and warm water. Dip jewelry into the water and let it soak for a few moments. Using a soft brush, a soft bristled toothbrush is ideal; dislodge dirt and debris from under the setting. Don’t scrub vigorously as that might damage the jewelry. A gentle brushing should be all that is needed. For a quick clean of fingerprints and smudge marks on a diamond, simply spray a cloth with window cleaner and wipe the top of the diamond.
A soft lint free cloth is also an effective and inexpensive way to keep jewelry free of dust and debris. The cloth works especially well for gold, platinum and diamond jewelry. Ultrasonic cleaning machines and commercially designed jewelry cleaners are a couple of other options to keep jewelry clean. If unsure about how to clean your jewelry or what to use, simply ask your jeweler. With a little care and the proper storage your jewelry can provide you with a lifetime of beautiful, shiny jewelry.