While getting dressed this morning, I grabbed one of my favorite necklaces sitting in a stack of tangled jewelry next to the old jewelry box on my dresser. Tired from the previous night, I hadn’t bothered to actually place the necklace in the box. I yanked the pile of necklaces apart, and magically, they detangled. I looked for my wedding ring, and realized I must have taken it off the night before while doing the dinner dishes. But where had I put it? I couldn’t remember. It had to be in the kitchen somewhere. Or had I taken it off before giving my daughter a bath? And that’s when I realized I needed to take better care of my jewelry.
So... I spent the morning re-organizing and cleaning my jewels, after finally finding my wedding ring in the top drawer next to my bed. How did it get there?! I wondered. So, while I clearly don’t always follow my own advice, here are my suggestions for caring for your jewelry. And remember, do as I say, not as I do!
First, gather all the jewelry you have. If you are anything like me, check all drawers and boxes in your room, and throughout the house. (Although ashamed to admit it, I even found a few pieces at the bottom of my purse.) Then, sort the necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets, by putting everything in velvet-lined trays, jewelry boxes with compartments, and small zippered plastic bags. Some people even like to use ice cream trays. For necklaces, to prevent knots, leave the end of the necklace hanging out of the bag - that simple move will save you hours of precious time. See how it looks.
You can also store your jewelry in its original box, if you happen to still have it. If you don’t have enough boxes, I suggest you take a trip to Container Store or Target. They’re everywhere, and with reasonable prices, they have everything you could need.
Stay away from harsh cleaners. Surprisingly, even everyday substances like hairspray, lotions and perfumes can cause corrosion. . Heavy detergents and chemicals can change the color of jewelry and damage the stones. Most jewelry can be cleaned with warm water, mild soap and a soft brush. Mild soap like Ivory is the better choice for most metals. (insert picture of Ivory) Keep it pure, simple and clean. If it was good enough for your grandma, it’s good enough for you. For diamonds and 14 karat gold or finer, windex is a wonderful way to get that sparkle back. And I hope it goes without saying, don’t forget to stop the drain. I’ll never forget when my best friend nearly lost her diamond necklace down the hotel sink, the night before her wedding. Fortunately for her – and all of us - the plumber on duty was able to open the pipe to retrieve it.
Be sure to dry everything thoroughly. After cleaning, you can always use a polishing cloth to bring back the shine. And take extra care with your pearls and opals. Pearls are very sensitive, and can scratch easily and lose their luster. Opals change color in strong light (like the window sill about the kitchen sink), as the light can dry out the water in the opal. Opals need a good balance of humidity and shouldn't be in a very dry location. Once dried out, they will crack. A crack in an opal is there for good, so take good care of your opals!
If you follow my advice, I’m confident you can keep your jewelry sparkling for generations to come. For nothing is more precious than being able to hand down that jewelry to your daughter, which was handed down to you years before.
So remember, get organized and keep clean. Any questions? Feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, head over to Instagram and use the hashtag #KBD