How to Preserve Your Fine Jewelry

Preserving the look, materials and value of your fine jewelry requires quite a lot of care.

You’ll need regular maintenance, inspections from a trusted jeweler… but one of the key things that can really make a difference in your jewelry care is one that you may be overlooking: how you store your jewelry. The way you store the pieces in your collection can have a great impact on the life and condition of a piece. For best results, here are our recommendations.

1. Watch the temperature. 

You wouldn’t store an expensive electronic or piece of art in a place that’s subjected to extreme temperatures, so why would you do that to your fine jewelry?

Pay attention to the temperature and conditions when picking a spot to store your jewelry, even if you’re using a jewelry box. Stay away from areas that are subjected to extreme hot or cold, as well as areas that receive a lot of direct sunlight, or areas that you know are frequently humid or muggy. Temperature and humidity can both negatively affect your jewelry in big ways, and some stones and materials are more susceptible than others.

2. Only store clean jewelry.

Don’t think that you can just pop off that watch or ring, toss it into your jewelry box and then let it sit for a few months, until you decide to wear it again. Doing so can leave your jewelry susceptible to damage, as sweat, grime and bacteria from your body can remain on your jewelry long after you take it off. (And while none of us want to think that we sweated all over our favorite pearl necklace, if you wore it to that July garden party, chances are likely that you did.) To best avoid this, always wipe your jewelry clean before storing it, even if it’s just short-term. If you plan on storing your jewelry long-term, have it professionally cleaned in advance.

3. Don’t jumble your jewelry together.

While it may seem fashionable or it might fit a certain aesthetic to mix all your jewelry together in one box or spread it all out on a large mirrored tray on your dresser, you could be damaging your jewelry by mixing it up in such a way. You’ve likely already dealt with the frustration of tangled chains, but beyond this, all that jumbling means that stones and metals are constantly scratching against one another — meaning you’re leaving scratches on your prized pieces.

You want to especially be careful not to store all of your precious stones near one another. Store your gemstones by hardness, paying attention to how one gemstone might damage another (for example, as the hardest gemstone, diamonds are likely to scratch just about any other gemstone they come in contact with).

In general, try to store like gemstones and like metals together.

4. Choose a soft-lined storage option, with lots of slots and storage compartments.

Along these lines, if you want to best avoid scratches and dings, choose a soft-lined storage option, like a jewelry box. You want to look for an option with lots of various slots and storage compartments (as well as hooks for hanging necklaces and bracelets), so you can store your piece separately, where they won’t be rubbing up against one another as you remove and replace them. If possible, look for a box that’s also airtight and, just like you want to keep your jewelry clean before storing it, keep your storage area clean as well. You can use a small hand vacuum to clean out soft-lined jewelry boxes.

5. Try to vary the pieces you wear.

It’s just common sense. The more you wear a piece of jewelry, the more likely it is to be damaged. While some pieces of jewelry are pretty much expected every day (like your wedding ring or engagement ring), others don’t necessarily need to be worn every single day and you can extend the life of your jewelry and ensure that it stays in its best condition, longer, with fewer needs for maintenance, by giving your jewelry a break between wears.

If you do have a signature piece, consider swapping that signature piece out for a signature style. So, instead of always wearing one favorite pendant necklace, consider purchasing several pendant necklaces that you can rotate.

6. Continue your care while you’re wearing your jewelry.

But all of this care goes to waste if you’re not taking the proper precautions while you’re actually wearing your jewelry. Avoid wearing your jewelry in any situation where it might be damaged, such as while gardening or working around the house, while cooking or enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or water sports. You likewise do not want to wear your jewelry while sleeping. Additionally, only add jewelry to your outfit last, after you’ve already used all of your cosmetics, including makeup, lotion, perfume or cologne and hair products, which can all damage and dirty your jewelry. 

7. Store your jewelry in a way that prevents or hinders theft.

For your most precious and valuable jewelry pieces, you want to protect them from not only wear, tear and damage, but also theft. While insuring your jewelry can help in the event that a theft occurs, it’s likely preferable that the theft never occurs in the first place. You can do your part to prevent such an event by storing your jewelry in an inconspicuous place that’s not a jewelry box that’s sitting out on your dresser, in plain sight. For pieces that you rarely wear, consider storing them in an immobile safe (or a safe that’s bolted to the floor) or even in a safe deposit box. 

When you’re on the go and outside your home, still consider the way you store your jewelry, while at the gym for example, and how you can best keep your jewelry safe from theft. If you’ll be going somewhere where you’ll need to remove your jewelry anyway, whether it be the gym, the hiking trail, the pool or anywhere else, just leave your jewelry at home versus removing it and then leaving it in a bag, locker or car. 

8. Keep your jewelry up to date on its regular cleanings and maintenance.

It’s important to keep up to date on your jewelry’s maintenance, cleanings and inspections. This not only will help you keep your jewelry in tip-top shape, but it also assists in keeping your insurance and warranties up to date, as some providers do not continue offering insurance and warranties for the full value of a piece, unless the proper upkeep is continued. It’s generally recommended that you have your pieces cleaned and inspected at least once per year. 

This is something that the team at Yamron can assist with. Talk with one of our luxury jewelry experts to learn more about preserving your jewelry collection, by giving us a call or send us an email at contact@yamron.com. If you’re in Naples, stop by our showroom to speak with one of our team members in person.

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