The most important, basic rule: Each item of jewelry should be isolated from others. If it is not possible to isolate each jewel (e.g., pendants hanging from a bracelet or necklace), then the items should be immobilized so that they do not rub past each other.
Properly storing jewelry does not need to be expensive. Some jewelry comes in boxes or pouches, which you can continue to use. You can find other reasonable solutions with a little creativity.
- Since the idea is to isolate each jewel from one another, an easy and effective solution is to wrap each piece in layers of acid-free tissue paper, untreated cotton, or raw silk. If you sew, you might try creating individual, acid-free bags for this purpose. If sewing isn't one of your talents, then each piece in cotton or raw silkgs which will work.
- Brooches, earrings and stickpins can be stuck onto a board or cushion. The board or cushion may then be placed into a soft, padded bag for storage.
- Neck chains may be stored on wooden or fabric-covered hooks, or draped across cushions and stored covered in a drawer. You can also use the long box or folder in which the neckchain or necklace was delivered by the jeweler. Bracelets and knotted (on string or silk thread) necklaces are best stored laid flat.
The disadvantage of storing in wraps or bags, is that the jewels are hidden from view. This isn't always a bad thing (some stones and materials can fade with prolonged exposure to light). But as your collection grows larger, it is more convenient to locate items by sight. Some people also take great pleasure in arranging their gems, and even a small, neatly arranged, jewelry collection can be an impressive sight.
There are several types of storage cases, which you can also purchase for your collection, or for an individual item.
The traditional jewelry box can be suitable for a collection. However, some jewelry boxes are collectable on their own, and not really designed to hold more than a very few pieces. When looking at a box for storage purposes, make sure that the materials used to construct and line the box are suitable for jewelry (see below). Examine the box for projecting screws, nails, locks or other objects which might scratch.
Count your pieces of jewelry, making sure that the box contains enough compartments to isolate the pieces from each other. If the box features a ring holder or insert, is it large enough to hold the number of rings you need to store? Some boxes also contain necklace hooks, pockets, earring holders, and other features, which you may find worthwhile.
A larger compartment can be useful for holding individually wrapped items that won't fit elsewhere.
You should probably also allow for extra compartments. Your collection may expand through future acquisitions, gifts, etc. And in the meantime, you will probably find uses for the additional space.
These are usually jewelry boxes contained in hard-sided cases. They often sport handles and a lock, though neither is usually necessary or effective. For a travel case, it is more important that the compartments have pads to keep the contents from shifting about as the case is jostled about. If the case does not come with fitted pads, then you can substitute rolled up cotton wool or fabric. And, since most people do not travel with extensive collections, these are usually best when smaller, and designed to fit into a handbag or carry-on luggage.
Alternative travel solutions are roll-ups. These are leather or cloth strips, which contain pouches for individual pieces. The strip is rolled and either snapped or tied to secure it closed. A variation would be the folding or hanging soft-sided organizers. Roll-ups should be made of material, which is heavy enough so that there is no chance that a piece would pierce a pouch and scratch other items being stored in adjacent pouches. For some jewelry, a hard-sided case usually offers more protection than a roll-up. However, the roll-up has the benefit of being easier to pack. With either type, space is limited and you need to determine the number and type of items you are going to carry.
These cases are used as presentation pieces to showcase a single jewel or matched set of jewelry. Jewelry caskets are often elaborate, sometimes outshining their contents. Caskets of high quality can be works of art on their own merits, and such pieces are found in many of the world's great museums and collections. The storage value can vary. Some owners remove the jewels for storage in other containers, and choose to display or discard the casket itself. Where there are fittings inside to securely hold the jewelry, the casket and jewel(s) may be moved into a safe, or inside a compartment in a larger box, for storage.
What is important is not to throw other items into a casket meant for a specific set of jewelry. Doing so risks damaging both the jewelry and the casket itself.
Ring, Bracelet and Necklace Boxes:
The original jewel boxes are fine for storing a single item. They can be bulky however, and an assemblage of many boxes can make it difficult to easily locate an item. If you have many pieces, your collection will take up far less space if you use a box designed to accommodate more pieces (e.g., for rings you might look for a multi-ring case, or a jewelry box which contains an insert for holding several rings).
Fine pearls are often delivered in a leather or cloth, envelope-type folder. As pearls are relatively soft and the strings can be fragile, it is a good idea to continue to use the original package for storing them. For further protection, the folder can be stored in larger jewelry boxes, or in a safe. These folders are available separately from jewelry supply sellers, as are padded silk bags designed for pearls.
For extensive collections, a jewel s