Whether it's on your neck or your nightstand, fine jewelry should be enjoyed and cherished. Your collection holds precious memories—from engagement rings to anniversary gifts and milestone birthdays, your jewelry has been alongside you for many significant moments in your life. Storing and displaying your pieces properly will ensure that they stay in beautiful condition and last a lifetime and beyond.
We've enlisted the expertise of Noel Fahden, VP of Merchandising at Chairish, the curated online marketplace for vintage and contemporary homewares, to share her best tips for storing and displaying your jewelry.
Why it's important to give your jewelry a beautiful home
There are countless benefits to storing and displaying your jewelry well, that will serve both you and your jewelry. Not only do you want your jewelry to retain value and its sparkle, but you also want it to bring you joy every time you look at it.
Beautifully organized: Find your favorite pieces easily
The most obvious merit of a well-kept jewelry collection is that you'll be able to select the pieces you want to wear more easily.
"If you aren't organized, it can be difficult to remember what you've got," says Fahden. "How many times have you reached into the back of the closet and found clothing you'd forgotten about? Jewelry is no different, even if the pieces are smaller."
Not only will you be better organized, but you'll avoid the distress of losing valuable pieces by making sure each trinket has a place to live. Fahden adds that you'll save time when formal occasions roll around and you're in a hurry to get ready.
"It's worth it to store your pieces properly so you can keep track of what you have for special occasions. Otherwise, you'll feel like doing inventory every time you need to grab a piece and go."
Flaunt your collection: Take joy from your jewelry
There's no reason why your collection should only be seen when you're wearing it. Displaying your pieces on a jewelry stand or in a dish can add a little extra sparkle to your space.
"Displaying jewelry is another way to show off artwork, really," says Fahden. "There's a reason people have worn jewelry for millennia — it's beautiful. Why leave it hidden in a drawer you rarely open?"
"Getting to see the pieces you love every day can brighten your mood and bring you joy. It can be fun to keep certain pieces out on display in a catchall or small tray, even if you're not wearing them, they can still help accessorize your space," she says.
Damage prevention: Care for your jewelry
Whether it's tarnishing, scratching, knotting, or bending, there's nothing more heartbreaking than discovering some of your treasured pieces of jewelry have been damaged through improper storage.
Storing your jewelry correctly can increase its longevity and ensure you can wear it for years to come. You may even want to pass it down to someone else who will take joy from wearing it. Read on for more tips on proper jewelry storage.
What to consider when storing and displaying jewelry
There's a whole world of jewelry display options out there, so narrowing down the right choices to compliment your collection can be tricky. It's also important to know which storage method is appropriate for which jewelry type — do you put your grandmother's pearl necklace in the same place as your silver chains? Here are some things to consider.
Keep like with like
"We recommend storing like with like, whenever possible," says Fahden. "Have a specific box or storage space for similar types of pieces to stay organized. Or, if you find yourself going to the same combinations again and again, keep those pieces together so you can find them more easily."
For you, this might look like a combination of storage solutions like a jewelry organizer in a drawer for statement pieces and a small tray on your dressing table for your wedding band, and a couple of basic earring options.
How often do you wear it?
Fahden emphasizes the importance of how often you wear a piece in deciding on how to display your collection. "Is it part of your day-to-day collection that you toss on to wear with everything, or is it an heirloom that you only bring out on special occasions? That will determine how accessible you need it to be, and probably how you plan on storing it," she says.
What type of jewelry is it?
It's vital to store precious metals, diamonds, and gemstones correctly to maintain their natural beauty. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow.
Whether it's yellow, white, or rose gold, these precious metals come in varying karats (from 9 to 24), affecting their softness and durability. Store gold jewelry in a cool dry place where there are no extreme temperature fluctuations or humidity. Keep fine chains and bracelets apart to avoid tangling and knots.
Silver jewelry does best when it's stored in a felt-lined jewelry box or roll. The felt not only helps to keep items separated, but also absorbs moisture that helps prevent excess tarnishing. Larger pieces may be sold in a felt pouch to help limit the damage that can occur when it is exposed to harder metals and stones in a jewelry dish or drawer.
Some gemstones are softer than others. For example, rubies and sapphires are relatively hard, ranking 9 on the Mohs Hardness scale, whereas opals are much softer at only 6. Where possible, store like with like and separate stones into compartments or pouches so they can't scratch each other. Protect your gems from moisture — this is especially important for opals, and avoid displaying these items in locations in your home that receive direct sunlight, as the UV rays can fade and damage your precious stones.
Diamonds are one of the hardest substances on earth but they are not indestructible. Fine jewelry, such as diamond engagement rings are relatively protected from damage, but it's still wise to store them carefully. When it's not on your finger, the best place for a diamond ring is in its box.
Stylish options for jewelry storage and display
When it comes to displaying your jewelry, the world is your oyster. Timeless classics such as jewelry boxes and stands are wonderful options for your collection, but they're not the only possibilities. These are some of our favorite picks for keeping your accessories in order.
Jewelry boxes and chests
As children, we all dreamt of the day we'd own a decorative jewelry box filled to the brim with our most prized possessions. Whether it's a vintage silver jewelry box lined with purple velvet or an ornate wood treasure chest, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different sorts to choose from.
"Jewelry boxes are of course a time-honored way of storing your possessions, and they can be just as beautiful as the pieces themselves," says Fahden. "We have hundreds of vintage jewelry boxes on Chairish, in addition to boxes with beautiful inlay, handmade wood elements, or more modern Lucite (so you can see exactly what you're keeping where)."
This storage option usually features drawers or tiers, with individual compartments for anything from statement necklaces to dainty chain bracelets.
There's nothing that adds a bit of glamour to your boudoir quite like a tray of sparkling jewelry set on a dresser. Whatever you want to call it, these jewelry displays come in plenty of different styles to match any esthetic.
Given it's unlikely that all of your pieces will fit on one tray, reserve space for a few items that you wear every day. Perhaps you have a favorite pair of diamond earrings or a ring that you often accessorize with — it's these essentials that should have a place on your jewelry dish.
Our secret tip for finding the perfect catchall for your pieces is to not limit yourself to the realm of jewelry. A tea saucer, large ceramic coaster or even crystal ashtray can look stunning.
For those that can't seem to keep necklaces and other chains from getting tangled, jewelry stands may be just the thing. On the more lavish end, marble bases and precious metal prongs feature, but this look can also be easily recreated with more affordable materials.
This display option can make any jewelry collection look upscale, and isn't exclusive to just necklace storage. For lovers of earrings, jewelry stands with small holes are an interesting way to show off your collection. If you've accumulated some tennis bracelets over the years, look for a stand with wider arms.
For those who aren't fond of keeping their jewelry out on display, in-drawer or closet jewelry organizers are an elegant option reminiscent of a boutique. These inserts are designed to keep your jewelry safe, separated, and tidy with many small compartments.
For those with a large collection of fine jewelry or family heirlooms that are looking to elevate their storage spaces, Fahden recommends looking into custom organization builds for your current furniture or a new piece.
"There are many fabulous closet and storage designers like clos-ette who can create elegant ways to display your jewelry," says Fahden. "Whether it's a full closet buildout or just a standalone chest or another piece of furniture, these types of experts are skilled at creating one-of-a-kind storage for different types of spaces (like this custom jewelry storage unit)."
Travel cases and jewelry rolls
Image Credit: Minichiello Jewellers
Deciding which jewelry to take when you're going on holiday can be a challenge. It can be tempting to just throw some things in a bag but this is a recipe for losing or damaging your jewelry.
From travel cases to jewelry rolls, there are many ways to keep your pieces secure, organized, and in good condition while you're away from home. Cases offer a hard shell that may help keep things from getting damaged on the road, while rolls are space-efficient and stylish.
The good news is that you don't have to be going on vacation to enjoy jewelry cases and rolls. If you have a smaller collection, a case may be just the thing you need to organize your pieces.
The dos and don'ts of keeping jewelry
Let's be honest, we've all made mistakes when it comes to jewelry storage. Thankfully, there are some simple ways you can make sure it doesn't happen again. Here are some of the main dos and don'ts of storing your jewelry collection.
Do pick storage or a display that suits your space
According to Fahden, the most important thing is making sure you pick the right type of storage for your space.
"You don't want to select something too grand for your space, or something too big. Make sure to match the rest of your decor so it's not ostentatious — your storage pieces should fit in with the rest of the home, not overtake it," she says.
Don't neglect your individuality
Respecting your personal style is also important when it comes to both choosing jewelry and deciding on how you'll store it.
"If you have containers or boxes you love, be sure to use those — incorporate pieces that feel like you. This isn't a jewelry store, and it's not "look but don't touch" — choose things that are personal and reflect your own style," Fahden says.
Do consider the elements
When it comes to keeping your jewelry untarnished and in good condition, it really pays to take note of your environment. Too much humidity in the air can tarnish your precious metals, so if you can't avoid it, consider a jewelry box your ally in protecting your jewelry's finish.
Don't display your jewelry in the sun
Even precious metals such as gold and silver can become dull when exposed to harsh sunlight. If you live in a particularly sunny area, be careful of placing your jewelry on display too close to a window. UV light has also been shown to deteriorate and distort color in certain gemstones, so it's probably best to store it in a cool, dry place.
Do avoid damage through crowding
When considering how to store or display your jewelry, consider which pieces of jewelry should be stored together, and which should be separated. Rings made with more delicate micro pavé stones, for example, may not fare so well when crowded in a pouch with statement earrings.
Don't hang pearls
While there's no doubt your pearls would look great hanging off a jewelry tree, it's recommended that you keep your genuine pearls flat. This is because they're very delicate and often strung on fine silk. As you walk past your stand, your Tahitian pearls may bump into one another and cause small chips and cracks.
Display your jewelry your way
Your jewelry collection is as unique as you are. For many people, their jewelry is like a collection of art—it is there to be displayed and enjoyed every day. While there are some best practices for keeping your cherished pieces beautifully maintained, you can get incredibly creative with how you showcase them in your home.
Think about your jewelry collection the way you might home furnishings. Explore how your display piece suits the rest of your decor, or how your storage box looks on your dresser. As long as you're careful not to damage your jewelry, allow yourself to explore a range of possibilities and have fun with it.
For more inspiration, visit Chairish for beautiful jewelry storage and display options.