Safely Store Your Fine Jewelry

Added a little bit of sparkle to your wardrobe over the holidays? Let's make sure something as avoidable as improper storage doesn’t get in the way of keeping your new additions looking their best. Storing your fine jewelry correctly is key for maintaining its beauty and shine for decades to come.  

Why Does Proper Storage Matter?

Chiffon Jewelry Box With Silver Trim


Some of the reasons proper storage is important include safety, longevity, and value retention. Not to mention it’s a whole lot easier to find individual pieces if they’re stored in an organized fashion.  

It Provides Safety

It safeguards your cherished ornaments from any potential harm. Delicate jewelry pieces like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings are prone to getting tangled up or scratched if not stored appropriately.  

Additionally, jewelry crafted from precious metals or gemstones is susceptible to tarnishing or discoloration from exposure to air, moisture, or harsh chemicals. The more you can protect your precious pieces, the longer they will shine. We’ll get into that more a little later on.  

It Helps with Longevity and Value Retention

Fine jewelry is a financial investment. In addition to maintaining the physical splendor of your jewelry, adopting good storage practices helps to retain its worth. If and when the time comes to sell or hand down your jewelry, those pieces in exceptional condition are significantly more appealing and valuable to prospective buyers or inheritors. 

Precious Gems

The different types of gemstones each have their own “personality”, and that includes different tolerances for different environments (such as humidity levels and temperature) as well as degree of susceptibility to scuffing and scratching. As such, the way you store them matters if you want them to last.  

Ippolita Polished Rock Candy Mini Oval Slice Chain Bracelet in Sterling Silver


Gemstones come in a variety of hardness levels, which is rated based on the Mohs scale. Certain stones and substances are much more delicate and prone to damage (we’re looking at you, opals and pearls), and some have a reputation for being able to cut glass (ahem, diamonds). Environmental factors are also something to consider. Pearls, for example, are particularly prone to damage from temperature changes and humidity.  

Mikimoto Morning Dew Akoya Cultured Pearl Diamond Earrings in 18k White Gold


Ideally, each piece be stored in its own separate compartment, box, or bag to ensure minimal friction and possible damage from other pieces. It should also be stored under the appropriate environmental conditions. Always, always keep the harder stones separate from the softer ones, and for any stones that are particularly delicate, wrap them in jeweler’s tissue paper. 

For more detailed information on how to clean each specific type of gemstone, check out this primer from the International Gem Society.  

Beaded Jewelry

The beauty of beaded jewelry lies in the variety of materials used to create each unique piece. From glass to gemstones or metal to wood, each material offers its own set of characteristics and properties. While that adds to its allure, it also adds to challenges you could face when it comes to proper storage. Understanding the differences in materials and how to effectively clean and store them will help you keep your favorite beaded accessories looking their best for decades to come. 

Gemstone Beads

Gemstone beads are a luxurious option that require extra care when cleaning due to their delicate nature. It is recommended to use a gentle handwashing method with mild soap and lukewarm water. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners that can damage these precious stones.  

Goshwara 18k Yellow Gold Tanzanite and Emerald Tumble Necklace


Glass Beads

Glass beads are a popular choice due to their versatility and vibrant colors. However, they require gentle cleaning methods to avoid scratching the surface. The best way to clean them is with a soft cloth or mild detergent diluted in water. 

Spiritual Beads Alternating Bracelet in Sterling Silver with Tigers Eye and Black Onyx


Metal Beads

Metal beads, including sterling silver, gold-plated, or brass, are also commonly found in beaded jewelry. A specialized jewelry cleaning solution or mild soap and warm water can be used to clean them. Gently scrubbing with a soft brush or toothbrush before rinsing thoroughly and drying with a clean cloth is the best way to maintain the luster of metal beads.  

Hamilton Sterling Silver 10mm Ball Studs


Precious Metals

Each metal, like each gemstone and bead, has a different tolerance for pressure, environmental exposure, and storage conditions. For example, platinum is one of the softest metals, meaning it is most likely to suffer from scratches and nicks if not stored correctly. Sterling has a propensity for tarnishing and is best stored in anti-tarnish bags. For this and other reasons, all metals should be stored separately from each other. 

Classic 14k Yellow Gold Bangle Bracelet


Check here for more detailed information on how to properly clean and store precious metal. 

Storage Options

There are plenty of great options available for properly storing your jewelry. Which option(s) you choose will depend on several factors: how accessible you want your jewelry to be, how you’d like to organize it, how much you have, the types of gems and metals, the kinds of jewelry (necklaces, rings, earrings, etc.), how much space you have, and how secure you want it to be. 

Storage options include: 

Boxes, cases, armoires, and chests afford the most protection from the elements. Display stands may be great for keeping your everyday jewelry easily accessible, but they can be problematic for substances such as silver and softer gems and minerals that might be damaged by direct UV lighting, oxidation, and temperature fluctuations.  

If in doubt, avoid using display stands and holders for anything but your most frequently worn jewelry. Keep the rest of your fine jewelry safely stored away from direct sunlight and other potentially damaging environmental factors.  

Wolf Design Meridian Watch Box


Wolf Designs Sophia Jade Travel Zip Case


Final Tips

How you store your jewelry will certainly impact how much ‘life’ you get out of it. But how you treat your jewelry when it isn’t in storage also matters. So, before you store, consider the following:  

  • 1. Take It Off Before You Sweat: Take off your jewelry before participating in any activities that could expose it to moisture, humidity, or excessive sweating. Sweat contains chemicals that can speed up the process of tarnish formation on metal components and can also damage organic materials like pearls. 
  • 2. Apply Before You Accessorize: Apply makeup and lotion BEFORE you put on your jewelry, not after. And make sure you let everything dry before adding your accessories. You don’t want anything getting into the nooks and crannies of your favorite and most treasured pieces.  
  • 3. Clean It Before You Store It: It’s best to not store your fine jewelry without cleaning it first. Residue and grime from body oils, perfumes, lotions, dirt, dust, etc., left to sit on a piece of jewelry can cause damage over time. Use the appropriate cleaning solution (if any solution at all) to remove all possible grime and grit before storing your pieces. Make sure each piece is completely dry before putting it away.   
  • 4. Inspect Before and After: Always make sure to inspect your jewelry for loose, broken, or chipped bits before you clean it, and then inspect it again after you’ve cleaned it to ensure nothing is missing or worse off. Having photographs of your jewelry when it’s new or like-new is a great way to keep track of any potential damage.  

Need a piece of jewelry cleaned or repaired? Reach out to our experts!

By meticulously organizing and regularly maintaining your fine jewelry (as well as making a sound investment in choosing and using high-quality storage), you can ensure its everlasting radiance and quality for future generations. 

Check out our many beautiful fine jewelry storage solutions!