Jewelry is a special investment. It’s not only a gift we can wear over and over again, but it also represents meaning beyond its aesthetic. A necklace you got on vacation captures a memory; a friendship bracelet symbolizes a bond; an engagement ring signifies a commitment. Our jewelry speaks to us, and when we find a piece we love - we want to do everything we can to keep it safe and in high-quality condition.
As jewelry lovers at Stefanie Wolf Designs, we wanted to share jewelry safety tips, storage, hacks, and cleaning tools that we’ve gathered over the years. From where to store your jewelry to ways to keep it protected when you’re out and about, keep reading for simple and practical ways to care for your jewelry.
8 Practical Safety Tips for Jewelry Care
1. Keep your jewelry dry to avoid tarnishing
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth reminding! Water damage is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to tarnished jewelry. We recommend taking your jewelry off before showering, taking a bath, or going swimming. Even after washing your hands, don’t forget to dry your bracelets and/or rings.
Also, when you’re not wearing your jewelry - store your jewelry in a dry, room-temperate environment to elongate the quality of your jewelry for as long as possible. For example, don’t store it in a bathroom, stuffy attic, or drafty closet.
2. Keep space between your fine jewelry
There’s a reason why jewelry stores don’t overlap their rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. Diamonds can scratch other stones, gold is a soft metal (so it can get scratched easily) and silver can also get knicks and scuffs relatively easily.
Spacing out your jewelry will help you avoid any scuffs and tarnishes. Plus, it will make it easier for you to see your collection.
3. Insure fine jewelry for best protection
It’s a good idea to get jewelry insurance for your fine jewelry. We know it’s devastating to even imagine losing your pieces or getting them stolen - but it’s smart to prepare for the worst.
You’ll want to take photos of your fine jewelry and keep an inventory of the pieces to put yourself in the best position with your insurance company.
4. Avoid putting jewelry in a place with sunlight
Over time, UV light can cause damage to your jewelry. Dark places - like this best-selling jewelry travel case, pouches, and drawers - put your light-sensitive pieces in the best position for longevity.
5. Take jewelry off when applying lotions, sunscreen, etc.
Lotions can clog the little crevices in your jewelry - such as clasps and prongs. While it may not cause damage right away, it can tarnish them over time if too much lotion gets gunked.
6. Designate a spot for jewelry storage
- Sterling Silver/Gold: Soft bags, tissue paper, and cloth pouches are good options for silver and gold jewelry. To delay tarnish on sterling silver jewelry, store it in an airtight ziplock bag. Oxidation (tarhish) speeds up with high humidity, so this tip is extra helpful to slow and prevent tarnish in humid climates.
- Diamonds: A fabric-lined jewelry box or case is the best place for diamonds. You want to keep them physically separated from other pieces of jewelry.
- Pearls: Don’t store pearls in plastic, which is known to damage the surface. A soft cloth pouch or box is a better option.
- Costume Jewelry: This kind of jewelry is typically safe to keep on display on a jewelry stand or hook.
Pro tip: Unless you have a nailed-down safe for your jewelry, consider storing your jewelry in an inconspicuous place that’s NOT visible in your master bedroom closet. This is for safety reasons - as it’s known to be one of the first places a robber or burglar will look.
7. Don’t over-polish your jewelry
We know the intention is in the right place - but you generally only need to polish your jewelry once or twice a year. More than that can actually cause more harm than good.
8. Clean with high-quality microfiber cloths
Microfiber cloths are effective cleaning tools for a range of jewelry types, including sterling silver, gold, and pearls. This is because the fabric is soft enough to not scratch the surface while also having the capacity to efficiently remove dust, dirt, body oils, and perfume.
Gold and silver polishing cloths do wonders to bring your gold and silver jewelry back to its original shine. We like this Sunshine Polishing CLoth.
Safety Tips When Traveling With Jewelry
When you’re getting ready to take a trip, don’t overlook your jewelry during the packing process. From traveling with a jewelry case to taking pictures of your pieces in advance - here are some tips to keep your jewelry safe on-the-go:
- DO: Take a picture of all the jewelry you’re bringing - including the pieces you plan on wearing.
- DON’T: The TSA recommends NOT putting jewelry in your checked baggage. Instead, keep your jewelry in your carry-on luggage.
- DO: Use a jewelry travel case - whether it’s a jewelry travel case or zippered pouch.
- DO: Wear versatile jewelry! The more versatile your jewelry is, the fewer pieces you’ll have to bring. Think: 2 necklaces that can easily pair with 5-10 outfits - such as our Trilogy Necklace that can be worn 7 ways!
- MAYBE: Whether or not you want to travel with your most meaningful jewelry is up to you. Depending on where you’re going, you may want to leave your most valuable or sentimental jewelry behind for peace of mind. But that’s your decision!
Overall, we recommend bringing pieces that are versatile and make a statement. One of the reasons our jewelry at Stefanie Wolf Designs is so popular for travelers is that our pieces are extremely versatile for day or night and they make a statement without being too pricey.
Bonus: Tips to Clean Silver & Gold Jewelry
While you’re here, these are some simple steps to clean your silver and gold jewelry.
- Tips to clean gold jewelry: A simple way to clean gold jewelry is to put it in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of washing liquid for 10 minutes. Then, gently scrub it with a small bristle - such as an old toothbrush - and rinse it with water. Finally, dry it with a quality cleaning cloth - and you’re good to go!
- Tips to clean silver jewelry: Soak your silver jewelry in warm water with washing liquid. Let it soak for five minutes or so. Then, use a small bristle to gently scrub away dirt and rinse it with lukewarm water. Dry it with a cloth - ideally a silver polishing cloth - and you’re all set.