There are plenty of ways to store jewelry, but did you know that some of them are harmful? The best way to store jewelry depends on a few factors like the materials used, the type of jewelry, and how much the jewelry is worth.
In some cases, how you store jewelry is a personal choice. Do you prefer to see your jewelry on display or have it out of sight? Do you take your jewelry off in your bathroom or the bedroom? Regardless of your preferences, there are some tips you should consider to protect your jewelry.
When in doubt, keep your jewelry clean and dry. If you would like more guidance, follow these steps to ensure you don’t inadvertently ruin your jewelry or cause premature damage.
Separate jewelry by metal.
First, do an inventory of your jewelry. Make a few piles that separate fine jewelry, costume jewelry, and silver jewelry. You should keep costume jewelry away from silver and fine jewelry, and you should keep silver jewelry away from fine jewelry. This separation helps prevent the metals from tarnishing when they interact with one another.
If you have trouble telling the difference between costume jewelry and fine jewelry, read this guide for more insight.
Make sure jewelry is clean and dry.
Before any jewelry is stored, make sure that it is clean and dry. Moisture can cause the metal to tarnish or degrade much quicker. For instance, if you wore a silver necklace in a rainstorm, be sure to dry it off before putting it back.
We recommend removing tarnish from jewelry that will be in storage for more than a week. Storing dirty jewelry for a prolonged period (no matter what type of jewelry) can cause issues with premature and excessive tarnishing. Also, storing tarnished jewelry with untarnished jewelry can cause both pieces to tarnish faster.
Most jewelry can be cleaned using the following method:
- Mix a few drops of mild dish detergent and lukewarm water.
- Saturate the jewelry briefly in the solution.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to buff away and dirt and debris.
- Pat jewelry dry with a lint-free cloth.
- Remove tarnish with a silver polishing cloth.
Read this: Be extra careful cleaning this fine jewelry.
Lower humidity levels and maintain a consistent temperature.
High humidity is the main culprit that speeds up the tarnishing process on jewelry. If you live in a humid climate, you might notice that your jewelry tarnishes faster in the summer months. Consider running an air conditioner or dehumidifier in the room that your jewelry is stored. You could also buy silica packets for your jewelry box to absorb excess moisture.
Next, find a spot in your home with a consistent temperature. For example, don’t put your jewelry rack right above a heat vent. The more consistent the temperature, the better. Consider keeping jewelry boxes inside an interior closet that is consistently dark and cool. You could also hang a jewelry rack on the inside of a closet door.
Store delicate jewelry in a dark, dry location.
Silver jewelry does best when it’s stored in a jewelry box lined with felt. The felt helps absorb excess moisture and prevent premature tarnishing. For some large pieces, it might be best to keep them stored separately inside a felt pouch or wrapped in a silver polishing cloth to limit exposure to the air. In this case, you’ll have to remember what you have and make a conscious choice to wear it. Even with proper storage, silver jewelry will require regular polishing at least twice a year to remove tarnish. Don’t overpolish silver jewelry because this can also cause damage.
Fine jewelry should be kept in a secure location so that it’s less susceptible to burglary. It’s also essential to store fine jewelry away from direct sunlight because some stones can become damaged by prolonged exposure to UV light. Not all fine jewelry needs to be put away. Have a place on your dresser or nightstand where you can keep jewelry you wear every day like your engagement ring or diamond studs. Get in the habit to always put your jewelry away in the same spot so that it’s less likely to get lost.
Fine jewelry storage tips:
- Store fine jewelry in a way that the pieces do not touch each other. Diamonds are capable of scratching other stones and metals.
- Keep pearls inside a wooden box that has a felt lining. Never store pearls inside a plastic bag or box because plastic can interact with the pearls and cause them to deteriorate.
- Keep fine jewelry inside a safe or another inconspicuous place.
Store baubles you often wear in plain sight.
Costume jewelry is generally safe to keep out in the open, so you can store these pieces on a jewelry display stand. Some experts recommend keeping this jewelry in plain sight, so you don’t forget what you have, and you’re more inclined to wear it all. It’s unlikely you’ll want to dig through a jewelry box in the morning when you’re getting ready for work.
However, if you want to store costume jewelry for a more extended period, apply the same rules as you would fine jewelry. If possible, keep this jewelry from touching inside the jewelry box and make sure to maintain low humidity and consistent temperature.
Costume jewelry storage ideas:
- Keep necklaces from getting tangled using twist ties.
- Make a jewelry holder from an old frame.
- Use an old metal rake to store necklaces.
- Organize earrings in egg cartons.
Jewelry tip: If you are sick of costume jewelry tarnishing, opt for costume jewelry that is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a metal that never tarnishes. The only way this jewelry would tarnish is if the rhodium plating wore off.
Insure fine jewelry before storing it.
No one wants to think about bad things happening, but fine jewelry is commonly stolen and should be protected when you have an extensive collection.
Take photos of your fine jewelry and create an inventory so that your collection can be insured. Jewelry insurance can be obtained separately or through homeowners and renters insurance.
Consult your insurance company before you store the jewelry in an offsite location like in a storage unit.
- Keep jewelry dry. Moisture is the main factor that speeds up the tarnishing process.
- Store different types of jewelry separately. Make sure the jewelry is not touching inside the jewelry box.
- Lower the relative humidity of a room if you keep your jewelry out in the open and notice that it tarnishes quickly.
We hope this jewelry storage guide offered some insight and helped you understand why some jewelry tarnishes faster than others. We hope these tips will help your jewelry stay sparking for years to come.