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How to Avoid Stored Jewelry from Tarnishing
Whether your jewelry is fine or costume or a combination of both, one problem that is probably a constant source of irritation is tarnishing. It applies if you are wearing your jewelry or if it is being stored. Let’s say, for example, that you are looking for gold earrings, but once you find them, you discover that they are tarnished. Who usually has time to polish them before they are needed for an event? The answer is how to keep your stored jewelry from tarnishing, which is the focus of this article.
Separate Your Jewelry By Metal
Not all metals are created equal. Unfortunately, for most people, jewelry usually ends up in a mixed heap, which doesn’t help when it comes to preventing tarnish. It’s for this reason that you should begin to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing by separating the types of jewelry that you have into three piles: silver jewelry, fine jewelry, and costume jewelry. Your fine jewelry should always be kept separate from other types because it comes into contact with others makes the metals react to each other, resulting in tarnish.
Keep Your Jewelry Clean and Dry
Simply stated, tarnish is what happens when metals come into contact with air, moisture, oils, and acids. As a result, the more you prevent your jewelry from coming into contact with these elements, the greater the chances that your jewelry will not tarnish, or at least that tarnish will be minimal. Contrary to popular opinion, even the highest quality of gold can tarnish, so it should be protected in the same manner as other fine metals. For this reason, you should always keep your jewelry clean and dry when storing it.
It is also important to remember that storing tarnished jewelry will cause it to degrade over time. Further, when you store more than one piece of tarnished jewelry together, it will cause tarnish to become worse over time. If your jewelry does tarnish, make sure you clean it before you store it away. This will not only make it ready for the next time you want to wear it, but it will make it last longer.
On the subject of fine jewelry, any pieces that you have that include diamonds should be cleaned. This is easy to do by soaking them for 15 minutes in a mixture of one cup of warm water and ¼ cup of ammonia. After they are finished soaking, use a soft toothbrush to loosen dirt and pat dry. There are many different types of diamond cleaners on the market, which are excellent at rendering the highest degree of sparkle in your diamonds. Whether you select a soak or a machine cleaner, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, which should be understood thoroughly before using it. When in doubt, contact a jeweler for advice.
Other natural stones can be very sensitive to strong cleaners, so it is important to understand how to clean these gems. Sometimes it is best taking them to a jeweler to clean, but in most cases, you can use water and a soft toothbrush to clean them and wipe away residue.
If you want to clean pearls, you must do so very carefully. This is done best by using a solution of lukewarm water and mild dish soap. Use a soft cleaning cloth to dip in the mixture and wipe the pearls clean. Do not submerge your pearls in water since it will weaken the silk thread that holds the strand together.
Keep your jewelry clean by using the following methodology:
- Use a few drops of a mixture of lukewarm water and mild dishwashing detergent to clean your jewelry.
- Soak your jewelry in this mixture for a few minutes.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away dirt and debris.
- Pat your jewelry dry with a soft lint-free cloth.
- Remove the tarnish from your jewelry with a soft silver-polishing cloth.
Keep Your Jewelry in a Place With a Consistent Temperature and Low Humidity
If you live in an area where the humidity is high, you have probably noticed that your jewelry tarnishes faster than in areas where it is lower. That’s because high humidity is a major factor in how fast jewelry tarnishes. For this reason, when you store your jewelry, you should do so in an air-conditioned area or have a dehumidifier. You can also purchase silica packets that you can use in your jewelry box to absorb any excess moisture. You can also get these from show boxes and other sources that use them in their merchandise.
Also, try to store your jewelry somewhere that there is a consistent temperature. The more consistent the temperature of a room is, the better it is for your jewelry. Don’t, for example, keep your jewelry close to an open window or near a heater. You should also seriously consider buying jewelry boxes that will allow you to keep your jewelry in a dark and cool place. A rack that is inside of a closet door is also a good place to keep your jewelry. Commercial jewelry bags that you can buy online or at retail establishments are also a good investment.
Storing Your Delicate Jewelry
If you have what could be considered fine jewelry, try to keep it in a dry, dark location. Silver jewelry should always be stored in a box that is lined with felt, which absorbs moisture. Also, remember that tarnish isn’t the only danger to your fine jewelry. There is also the threat of theft, the result of a burglary. For this reason, you should keep your jewelry in a place that is less susceptible to burglary. For this reason, also, you should maintain an inventory as well as good pictures of your fine jewelry for insurance purposes.
Don’t overpolish fine jewelry because this can also damage it. Also, keep it from direct sunlight. UV rays can damage some stones. If you have certain jewelry such as a wedding ring that you like to wear every day, keep it out on a nightstand or dresser so that you can find it easily. Keeping the jewelry you like to wear every day in the same place will help you remember where it is and prevent you from misplacing it.
More ideas for storing you are fine jewelry include:
- Store fine jewelry so that it does not touch each other. Diamonds, one of the hardest substances known to man, can easily scratch other pieces, so keep these pieces separate.
- Keep your pearls inside of a felt bag inside of a wooden box. Don’t store pearls inside plastic of any sort since it will interact and cause them to deteriorate.
- If possible, store you are fine jewelry inside of a safe or another secure container.
Jewelry Displays are Great for Everyday Costume Jewelry
If you have certain jewelry that you enjoy wearing every day, especially if it is costume jewelry and there is less of a threat of theft, you can keep it out in the open in a jewelry display that you enjoy looking at. This way, you are also more inclined to wear it more often too. This also makes it easier to find when you are in a hurry to leave for work or another event.
Costume jewelry is unique because you wear. This is a prime reason why it tarnishes and degrades so quickly: you wear it more often. Fortunately, with a little extra care, there should be no reason why your costume jewelry won’t last you as long as your fine jewelry.
If you wear costume jewelry, the chances are good that you not only enjoy wearing them, but you also own pieces that you particularly like and enjoy wearing. Maybe it’s a colorful broach, endless earrings, a statement necklace, or a large turquoise ring. Regardless of what it is, you should always keep everything where it is safe and can be found quickly. One timeless trick to keep costume jewelry looking its best is to coat it with clear nail polish. You can also use clear nail polish on the inside of rings that are not silver or gold. This will keep your finger from turning green.
More ideas for storing your costume jewelry include:
- Using twist ties will keep your necklaces from getting tangled.
- Make a jewelry holder from an old picture frame.
- Make a necklace storage rack from an old rake.
- Store your earrings in empty egg cartons.
You probably take great pride in your jewelry so keep it in good condition. Keep it clean and free of tarnish and other problems that make it old before its time. When you do this, you will have it and keep it looking good for a long time. Not only that, but it will stay attractive and useful for a long time to come. Following these recommendations for your stored jewelry will provide a lifetime of pleasure from your stored jewelry.
Featured Image by Luiz Jorge from Miranda Neto- Luiz Jorge Artist on Pixabay