Many of us have jewelry at home, but how many of us know how to store jewelry correctly to prevent tarnishing? It doesn’t matter whether it is a family heirloom worth a lot of money or something of little monetary value, but with priceless memories, storing jewelry correctly will protect it from tarnishing.
But owning jewelry is about wearing it and being able to look at it, not hiding it away, so a balance needs to be found between protection and accessibility.
Sort your jewelry by type
The first step is to keep different kinds of jewelry apart. This is also a great time to sort through your jewelry collection. You’ll probably find pieces you’d forgotten you had!
At this stage, separate the jewelry by types of metal, but also by pieces that you no longer wear or want. It’s very easy to keep a piece of jewelry, just in case you wear it one day, but be honest with yourself, and you’ll free up vital storage space for the pieces you really want to keep.
Different metals can react with each other, causing tarnishing, so separate your silver jewelry from the gold jewelry, etc. This also makes finding the piece you’d like to wear much easier. In short, organize your jewelry collection!
Clean your jewelry before storing
Before putting your jewelry pieces back into their storage boxes, make sure they are clean and dry. Cleaning of jewelry is a whole separate issue, as it depends on the metals and precious stones used. The following basic steps will help;
- Mix a small quantity of powdered clothes detergent and warm water
- Soak the items for around a minute in the solution
- Use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush to remove dirt
- Leave to air dry
- Use a polishing cloth for the final finish
This jewelry cleaning guide should give you some more ideas on how to make your silver and gold sparkle like new.
Once you have cleaned your jewelry, the critical point is to make sure the pieces are 100% dry. Even the slightest spot of damp will increase the speed at which the items tarnish.
What causes jewelry to tarnish
Damp and humidity are the enemies of your jewelry and the leading cause of tarnishing. Very few of us will have access to a climate-controlled storage room in or homes, but you could store rarely used and valuable items in a dedicated self-storage area with climate control.
At home, using your air-conditioning or dehumidifier can help, as well as storing your items with silica packets. Find a room in your home where temperature and humidity do not fluctuate much and store your jewelry in a dark cupboard or draw.
Ideas on how to store your jewelry
Prevention is better than cure, so now you have your jewelry sorted into different types and cleaned, it’s a good time to store them as best you can.
Piling them all back into a single jewelry box is going to take you back to square one. If possible, the best solution is a drawer with individual compartments. This prevents items made from different metals from coming in to contact, and it’s easy to find the item you are looking for because let’s face it, you bought the jewelry to wear.
To limit the amount the exposure to air, wrap larger items in a silver polishing cloth. Smaller items can be stored in felt-lined boxes.
Perfect storage for your jewelry
For the ultimate storage solution, you need a climate-controlled room, but for most, that’s an extravagance we cannot afford. As an alternative, self-storage units can provide very cost-effective climate-controlled storage, but the only downside to this is the access.
In summary, the best solution for storing jewelry is a climate-controlled room in your own home. Failing that, the next best is to store them in a cool dark place with limited humidity.
Make sure items of different metals are stored separately and ensure the jewelry is clean and dry.
Finally, silver jewelry will always tarnish over time and will need regular cleaning, but be careful not to clean too often as this will damage the item.