Here are a few tips from me to you - simple, common sense, and easy to follow:
- When storing jewelry keep each piece separate. Gold, silver, and other metal can scratch each other, and stones and enamel can chip when they hit one another. Take special care of softer stones, such as opals, emeralds, and aquamarines; same applies to pearls. Keep everything in its box, ideally custom fitted original packaging.
- Many gems should not be exposed to chemicals - let your perfume and hair spray dry completely before you put on your jewelry, especially pearls. Don't wear jewelry and watches to the beach or pool, and while doing housework.
- I always recommend keeping silver jewelry in tightly fastened plastic bags (such as Ziploc) to prevent tarnishing when not in frequent use. Anti-tarnish strips can be added to the bags. If your silver jewelry still blackens, bring it to a friendly jeweler to have it cleaned.
- Some stones are fragile - dropping a jewelry piece onto a hard surface may damage them. Always put down your jewelry gently.
- Ultrasonic cleaning machines are great for some pieces of jewelry, but may damage others - so only hard stones should go into the ultrasonic bath (such as diamonds), but softer stones may get damaged (pearls, turquoise, amber); gold and platinum will come out gleaming, however the process will not remove tarnish from silver or copper.
- Some things are common sense - don't yank on chain necklaces, don't step on or drive over jewelry, don't give your earrings to a toddler to play with - yes, it all happened...
As with everything that you care about, and is meant to last you for a long time - treat it with care. And do let me know if you have any comments or questions!