Your fine jewelry collection is a prized treasure that took time and care to build. There is no need to stress over whether or not it will still look as beautiful and brilliant as it did when you first made those valued purchases. With a few simple techniques and a bit of knowledge, you can keep your fine antique jewelry in top-rate condition.
Storage is often a simple thing that gets overlooked by antique jewelry owners. However, if your jewelry is stored in the correct manner, you will have less concern about how to keep your collection clean and undamaged.
Your chain necklaces and bracelets should be stored in a pouch or container that allows them to lay straight. This storage method will prevent tangling that can ultimately damage your jewelry. Acid-free tissue and pure cotton jewelry bags will protect other delicate pieces from scratches and abrasions. Any fragile pieces of jewelry should be stored separately in a jewelry box with multiple storage spaces.
Caring for Gemstones
Though diamonds are almost impossible to damage or crack due to their natural composition, they and other precious gemstones should not be kept in dry, hot environments that may cause fracturing. The method of storing gemstones in water or oil is also not recommended. Pure cotton bags are the best storage method for these types of items, or storing them each separately in their own compartments within a jewelry box.
Making sure that your pieces of fine jewelry are clean before storing them away is the most effective way to keep them in great condition. All jewelry items can pick up lotions, oils, and perfumes from the skin, so tucking these pieces away without cleaning them can cause erosion and damage to the metal.
Any organic gems, such as pearls and coral, should not be soaked in water or water/cleanser combinations. These organic items are porous and will absorb the water causing mold and other forms of damage. Use a soft moist jewelry cleaning cloth instead to wipe them clean before storing.
There are ultrasonic jewelry cleaners that are perfect for cleaning your metal jewelry sans the gemstones, but using a mild soap along with a soft bristle brush is the best way to clean your precious gemstones. The mild soap and soft bristle brush technique will prevent scratches and cracks from damaging and lessening the beauty and value of your antiques.
Remember that proper storage is the primary way to maintain the condition of your antique jewelry. If care is put into the storage methods, you will not end up with broken, cracked, dull, or eroded pieces in your collection.