When it comes to your jewelry, you want to make sure you take the proper steps to preserve it. Whether it’s family heirlooms or new acquisitions, a few simple tips can help you keep them in good condition for years or even centuries. Before you put away your jewelry, read on for some helpful tips!
What did you know about jewelry tarnish?
Most of us are unaware that our jewelry could tarnish over time. This natural process can affect virtually any type of metal jewelry. It occurs when the metal is exposed to certain elements present in the air, such as humidity and oxygen, and results in a visible accumulation of corrosion on the surface of the jewel. While tarnish may not seem like a major problem at first glance, it actually has several negative effects. Not only does it make your jewelry less aesthetically appealing, but it can also lead to permanent damage if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several strategies to prevent or slow tarnishing. Stay tuned for the best ways to keep your jewelry as shiny as day one.
Storing your jewelry in special bags or boxes is one of the first practices to consider.
Stainless steel :
- Store your parts away from heat and humidity, as high temperatures can weaken the metal over time.
- Avoid leaving your jewelry exposed to the outside elements. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or rainwater may cause rust or tarnish.
- Use specialized accessories such as jewelry cases or liners to protect your pieces from scratches and nicks.
- Store your jewelry in a solid wood box, both indoors and outdoors. Wood is one of the best preservatives and protectors of materials of all kinds, especially stainless steel.
- Store your silver jewelry in a cool, dry place.
- Ideally, you should store your silver jewelery in an airtight box in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer. This will prevent them from being exposed to air or sunlight and help preserve their shine.
- It is important to regularly polish your silver pieces with special silver cleaning cloths or products to prevent tarnish from building up on the surface of your jewelry.
- Please store your silver jewelry in a jewelry box made of leather on the outside and silky velvet on the inside.
Yellow, pink or white gold:
- Store gold coins in individual protective cases or boxes.
- If you have a large jewelry box, you should wrap each gold piece in tissue paper or velvet pouches.
- You can also use cotton if you have a lot of gold jewelry to keep in one box.
- The jewelry box should specially be made of solid wood from the outside and velvet from the inside.
- Make sure the jewelry is completely dry before storing. Exposure to moisture can cause rust or other damage to the plating, which can reduce the life of your jewelry.
- Avoid putting your parts in direct contact with other metal objects. This can lead to tiny scratches on the surface of the coating, which can degrade over time and allow oxidation and other issues to develop more easily.
- Use a multi-compartment jewelry box if you have a large amount of gold-plated jewelry. Thus, you will have more space to classify your jewelry according to their categories.
- Gold plated earrings should be stored upright.
- Choose a leather or solid wood jewelry box. Avoid plastic jewelry boxes.
Copper or brass:
- Carefully store your jewelry when not wearing it. This type of material does not like humidity.
- Ideally, wrap each piece in tissue paper, then place it in a soft fabric pouch.
- Choose a solid wood jewelry box both inside and outside to protect them from any environmental risk.
Cleaning and maintenance of jewelry: A second approach to keeping your jewelry for a long time.
Copper and brass:
Soak them briefly in a mixture of 4 parts vinegar and 1 part salt. You can also moisten a sponge with lemon juice or vinegar. Then, sprinkle the salt and rub the jewelry. Then rinse with water and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
Gold plated or silver plated:
Polish them with a dry cloth every few weeks. If your jewelry is too tarnished to clean, you can have it replated or buy a plating kit and do it yourself at home.
Mix a few drops of mild, non-toxic dish soap and two cups of warm water. Soak the jewelry for 15-30 minutes. Then, gently scrub with a soft-bristled toothbrush (the softer the better) to remove dirt from the nooks and crannies. Rinse each piece under warm running water. Dry it lightly with a soft cloth and allow it to air dry completely on a towel before storing.
Do not use household cleaners for silverware! Soak the jewelry in a mixture of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water for 15 to 30 minutes. Otherwise, apply the cleaning mixture to a cloth and rub. Then rinse each piece under warm running water. Dry it lightly with a soft cloth and allow it to air dry completely on a towel before wearing.
Form a paste using one tablespoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of white vinegar. With a cotton swab or a toothbrush, start rubbing the jewelry gently and rinse it with warm water. Let it air dry and then buff it.