Let It Shine: Maintenance Ideas for Fine Jewelry Collections

Regarding diamonds, Marilyn Monroe famously sang that “square-cut or pear-shaped these rocks don’t lose their shape.” Although this is technically true, the same can’t be said about the appearance or condition of their precious metal settings. According to a recent survey, over 36 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 own fine jewelry. Meanwhile, more than 43 percent of U.S. adults aged 30 to 49 years old have jewelry as well.

But what are the most popular types of jewelry? And how can you ensure your prized collection or pieces stay attractive and precious throughout the years?

The Most Popular Types of Jewelry

In an article published by Glamour, experts pointed out that popular jewelry varies in each region of the United States. In the Midwest, simple yet sophisticated jewelry like statement bracelets and watches are in vogue. Residents of the Pacific Northwest like showcasing their luxurious pieces subtly, usually through delicate necklaces and thin bracelets.

A survey of over 3,700 women, on the other hand, showed that 87 percent of women wear earrings regularly. In terms of jewelry that makes it to their regular rotation, earrings are followed by necklaces, rings, and bracelets.

Given how many men and women own jewelry, you must know how to maintain them.

Jewelry Maintenance

You need to take care of your jewelry so that they don’t depreciate should you try to pawn or resell them. Although photo editing services for jewelry can make your pieces look amazing on your website or online store, that may not be enough. Professional jewelry cleaners can work miracles on battered and stained pieces, but they can only do so much. The following are seven easy methods for maintaining the price and dignity of your jewelry collection.

  • Store jewelry separately.

Gems and metals may seem impervious to damage, but they can be easily scratched if you store them together. Soft jewels such as pearls are particularly prone to damage from the sharp edges or prongs of other jewelry. The best place to keep your earrings and rings is in their original containers. Or you can store them in soft felt or velvet bags before keeping them in different boxes.

  • Last on, first off.

Precious metals can be particularly sensitive to chemical damage. These chemicals don’t even have to be very strong to create a patina or scuff the sheen of your jewelry. Perfumes, colognes, and hair treatments can all stain your jewels. That’s why you should always put jewelry on last when preparing for a night out and remove them as soon as you get home to limit their exposure to chemicals.

  • Clasp necklaces.

woman wearing a necklace

Necklaces are very to tangling when left unattended. You can prevent your necklaces from suffering the same fate by closing the claps before hanging them from a necklace tree or an appropriate peg for safekeeping. Otherwise, you could end up with the delicate links of your necklaces getting deformed, and you’ll have to take it to a jeweler to untangle them properly.

  • Beware of gravity.

This tip refers specifically to pearl necklaces, which can stretch if you hang them vertically. Stretched pearl necklaces don’t only look messy, but they expose the pearl’s delicate insides to moisture. Lay your pearl necklaces flat, with their clasps closed, to avoid stretching their strings.

  • Avoid direct sunlight.

There’s a reason your jewelry belongs in a nice dark safe, aside form obvious security issues. The delicate hues of your gemstones are huge contributors to their value, and leaving your jewelry exposed to sunlight can slowly but surely alter them. Some gems can get bleached by the sun, reducing the intensity and vibrancy of their colors, reducing their value in the process. Keep your gems away from direct sunlight to protect their luster.

  • Do not use toothpaste.

When you’re trawling through the Internet for jewelry maintenance tips, some hacks will tell you that toothpaste is a fantastic patina remover for silver jewelry. Although it does contain chemicals that can help remove stains, it’s too abrasive. Using it can scrub away the shine of your jewels and, worse, leave hard-to-remove stains.

  • They are not for bathing.

You should always remove your jewelry before even entering the bathroom for two reasons. First, if you remove your jewelry by the sink or leave them on the tub’s rim, you risk them falling into the drain. Second, many personal hygiene products can lead to stains and discoloration. For example, thick lotions can coagulate in the nooks and crannies of your jewelry, and soap can blotch precious metals. Leave your jewelry in the bedroom, and never bring them into the bathroom.

We may all lose our charms in the end, but your jewelry can stay beautiful and valuable over the years if only you take excellent care of them. Follow the pointers above, and you and your jewelry can keep on shining.