Our fine jewelry, and even our fashion jewelry, are often some of our most prized possessions. Passed down through generations or given to us by our spouse, preserving and caring for your jewelry is an important part of actually owning it.
So maybe you just got engaged, and are wondering "how am I going to keep the shine and sparkle in this beautiful ring?" Or maybe you are doing a little spring cleaning and have come across an old heirloom spoon ring your mother gave you 15+ years ago, telling yourself "I wish I would have taken better care of this." Either way, we are here to help guide you take some simple, and very beneficial steps to caring for your jewelry!
Most of us are not aware of how to take care of fine jewelry, nor do we realize what all is harmful to our jewelry. Having the appropriate jewelry box and cases are very important to preserving jewelry (high quality or fashion). Below we have listed out, with detail, the appropriate steps to taking care of your jewelry. We hope you enjoy!
1 – Choose a jewelry box with a soft lining and one that can keep pieces separate
Start by selecting a jewelry box that provides the best protection for your jewelry, like a storage option with a solid exterior, as it provides added protection. Don't forget the purpose of all those dividers are to prevent scratches on settings, kinks in chains, tarnishing of silver and damaged gemstones. A place to hang necklaces is ideal for storing and can prevent a jumbled mess. If at any point your jewelry begins to touch each other, opt for a bigger box or a free-standing jewelry armoire. Another added benefit to proper jewelry storage is prevention of stolen jewelry by thieves.
2 – Store jewelry types separately
All jewelry is unique and deserves special attention - after all, they are wearable works of art, aren't they? With fine jewelry, like diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones, each has its own specifications when it comes to storage. As do gold, platinum and sterling silver metals. Diamonds by nature are the hardest gemstone. For this very reason it is best to keep diamond jewelry stored separately in soft cloth pouches. Pearls are fragile and soft. Meaning they must have an extra soft interior space for storing. As a general rule of thumb, colored gemstones should be cleaned with a damp cloth after wearing and before storing away. This helps with the preservation of the stones. Gold jewelry can be easily damaged by scratches from hard gemstones (i.e. diamonds). Keep gold jewelry stored separately in soft cloth bags or in their original boxes. Though platinum jewelry is exceptionally strong, this does not mean they do not receive special attention when it comes to storing. Platinum can still be scratched, so these items should also be stored separately. Silver jewelry has a tendency to oxidize over time. Therefore, silver jewelry should always be kept completely dry, inside tarnish-proof cloths and away from any exposure to air.
3 – Provide the best environment
Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity, and direct sunlight. It is best to store jewelry in cool, clean and dry places. Excessive heat and direct sunlight, overtime, can cause some metals and gemstones to change colors. Humidity can also have adverse effects on jewelry. It can cause clasp weakening and can harm certain gemstones. Avoiding hair sprays, makeup, lotions, powders, soaps, etc. are necessary precautions to take with providing the best environment possible for jewelry.
4 – Keep jewelry stored away while cleaning inside with chemicals, outside in the yard and while swimming
The chemicals in household products, such as bleach, and the chemicals in pools/hot tubs, such as chlorine, can have harmful effects on metals and gemstones. It is best to not ware any jewelry at all while coming into contact with such chemicals. Keeping your jewelry stored safely inside is also a best practice while doing yard work. Too many times people have lost a gemstone or diamond because of loose prongs. Which brings us into our next suggestion...
5 – Have jewelry checked regularly and cleaned regularly by your local jeweler
On top of storing jewelry correctly and safely, this has to be one of the most important preventable actions you could take. Each time you bring your jewelry into W. P. Shelton Jewelers, we check for any loose gemstones, diamonds and prongs, while also giving it a good cleaning. We suggest setting up an appointment once a year to have the rhodium plating recoated on your white gold rings. This makes it look as if your jewelry is new again. If it has been a while since you brought your jewelry in...now is the time for some "spring cleaning!"
Our store is open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be sure to check the times on our website, as they change during some seasons of the year.