Building up a collection of brand new designer jewelry or family heirlooms calls for investing in quality storage equipment that matches the materials in your collection. Storing a set of fragile 100-year-old pearl earrings in the same way as you package your sports watch could leave your favorite items permanently damaged. Mix and match the right types of organizers and storage containers by considering the needs of the most delicate jewelry materials first.
Colored and Natural Stones
From the largest true diamonds to the smallest dyed amethysts, all types of gemstones deserve special handling. Most natural stones used in fine and costume jewelry, such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, are relatively brittle and grow easier to crack as they age. Treated and dyed stones are even softer and likely to scratch if left to rub against other pieces of jewelry in an open drawer.
Diamonds should be wrapped in a velvet bag or stored in their own smaller padded box since these stones are hard enough to scratch practically any other jewelry material. If you own a pendant or a set of dangling earrings with diamonds mounted into metal, you should store these pieces in padded containers so that the stones can't rub against the chain or posts.
Mother of Pearl and Pearls
Both ocean-related jewelry materials are softer than most metals and some stones. Whole natural pearls are particularly sensitive to scratching and denting when coming in contact with harder materials. On the flip side, storing pearls in an airtight container causes them to dry out and flake or crack instead. Look for ventilated boxes and bags to protect the surface of each pearl item without separating it from the ambient air moisture.
Items covered in thin layers of mother of pearl, such as watch faces or pendants, are usually fairly resilient but can still be scratched by metals and clasps. This material doesn't need to breathe like solid natural pearls, so feel free to store mother of pearl jewelry in plastic bags or tightly sealing wood boxes.
Finally, don't forget to keep your gold and fine silver chains, rings, and other jewelry away from corrosive materials. You'd be surprised at what can lead to tarnish, including clean cotton wool and colored tissue paper that isn't acid-free. Most basic jewelry drawer trays that are lined with felt or velvet include anti-tarnish treatments so you don't need to buy individual bags or boxes for every necklace and ring.
For more information, contact a jewelry expert in your area.