Sterling silver jewelry can dull or tarnish over time if not properly taken care of. You may know how to clean your jewelry, but what about the proper ways to store it?
You may be surprised to know that proper storage is key to maintaining all of your jewelry, especially sterling silver. For very little money and effort, you can protect your jewelry for years to come.
Want to find out how to store your sterling silver? Keep reading for important tips!
1. Separate Sterling Silver From Other Metals
If you have a collection of pieces of jewelry, you should organize it by metal. Your sterling silver should be stored apart from gold, platinum, pearls or diamonds.
If you have classic pieces of jewelry along with costume jewelry, these two types should be separated too. Costume jewelry refers to pieces that are generally made from less expensive materials, even plastic.
Most jewelry boxes have different compartments you can use to organize by material. You can also get a different dish if you or your partner wants somewhere to store your wedding rings.
2. Store at Consistent Temperature
High levels of heat and humidity can tarnish jewelry. If you live in a hot and humid environment you may have already noticed this. The best way to combat tarnish from temperature is to store your jewelry in a cool, dry place.
Sterling silver storage is the same. You can invest in a dehumidifier or put your sterling silver in an air-conditioned room. You can also buy silica packets or tarnish prevention bags which prevent moisture from tarnishing jewelry inside your jewelry box or another storage container.
3. Clean Jewelry Regularly
To prevent tarnish on sterling silver, you should clean your pieces regularly. Ideally, you would clean them each time you put them back in their storage container.
Invest in a good cleaning kit and protective coating and sealer to use on your jewelry. Jewelry should be cleaned gently with warm water and a brush. It can be labor intensive if you have several pieces of jewelry, so if you don't have the time, consider buying an ultrasonic jewelry cleaning kit that does it all for you.
4. Airtight Storage
Airtight storage means that elements like heat and humidity can't affect your sterling silver jewelry. Avoid using plastic containers or uncoated wooden jewelry boxes.
Instead, find an airtight storage container or an anti-tarnishing wooden box to protect your sterling silver and other jewelry. A good container for your jewelry is just as important as the care products your purchase.
Once you have airtight storage or an anti-tarnishing wooden box, you'll want to clean it. You can use the same products you use to clean your jewelry including cloths and solutions.
5. Wear Your Jewelry
Part of keeping your silver clean and untarnished is wearing it. Keeping it in storage for long periods of time allows hte material to get tarnished.
Once your sterling silver pieces are tarnished it can affect the other pieces in the same container too. To prevent the tarnishing effect on all your jewelry, rotate the pieces you wear or bring them out to clean them frequently.
6. Store Securely
You should take the time to insure your expensive or valuable pieces of jewelry. You never want anything bad to happen, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
If you are traveling with fine jewelry, it's even more important to have an insurance plan if something were to get stolen. You can also find a locked box for your jewelry if you travel often or worry about your expensive jewelry being stolen.
7. Use Natural Materials
Some cleaning solutions are not appropriate for sterling silver. If you use the wrong type of cleaning solution you could damage the piece instead of cleaning it.
Before using any type of cleaning product on your sterling silver, check the ingredients. All-natural ingredients tend to work best to protect and clean your sterling silver jewelery.
8. Keep it Organized
When your jewelry is organized well you're more likely to remember to clean it and wear it. When it's tucked away in a box at the back of your closet you won't see it regularly and could forget about the importance of separating and cleaning your jewelry.
There are several creative ways to store bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings. For your costume pieces or bobbles, feel free to store those out in the open using a pegboard, mounted tray, or ceramic bowls. You can use your jewelry as a decoration piece for on top of your dresser or vanity.
Organization will help you make the most out of each piece in your collection and keep it safe during storage by remembering to clean it and keep it apart from jewelry of another material.
9. For Damage You Can't Fix, Seek a Professional
With the right cleaning and care products, you should have no trouble preventing tarnish on your sterling silver. But if one of your pieces ins damaged and you cannot fix it, consider visiting a professional jeweler to get a second opinion.
They may have the equipment to address the issue. If not, they might be able to help you find a replacement piece. Professionals also offer cleaning services, but they tend to be more expensive than doing it yourself with an ultrasonic cleaner.
Sterling Silver Storage to Extend the Life of Your Jewelry
Taking the time to store your sterling silver according to the tips above can extend the life of your jewelry. So for those pieces that are valuable or sentimental to you, don't overlook your storage process.
Remember that separating jewelry by material and cleaning it after use is the easiest way to prevent tarnish. And that investing in good cleaning materials and technology will save you time and money in the long run.
And most of all, wear your jewelry! It's meant to be enjoyed and admired.
If you're interested in purchasing jewelry cleaning supplies or storage, take a look at our gallery of great products here.