6 TIPS to Make Your Jewelry Last Longer
Is taking care of jewelry a huge hassle? Here's 6 tips to make it easy.
If you’d asked me some time ago, I might have said yes! So often, we buy jewelry with good intentions…and then, it doesn’t quite work. We don’t wear our pieces enough, or we don’t really know the materials we’re buying. Before you know it, our favorite pieces start to tarnish and wear down.
But what if I told you that taking care of jewelry isn't as big of a hassle as you might think? I’ve been researching simple ways to protect your favorite pieces, so you can get more out of them.
Here are some of my top jewelry care tips:
Take some time out to clean
Okay, I know this sounds obvious - but the truth is, you don’t actually have to clean your pieces as often as you think. We usually don’t do these things because of perceived effort, but really, even once or twice a year is good! Here's an example of how to clean your silver jewelry at home.
How often should you clean your jewelry?
I clean my jewelry on average once a year. I wear gold-filled jewelry every day. I swim, sweat, shower, and sleep in my LEJ. In my experience, this works with the amount of effort I want to put in and the sparkle I want to see.
Jewelry loves the dark
One of the easiest ways to extend the lifespan of your jewelry lies in how you store it. While we might like to take out our shiny pieces, the best way to take care of them at home is to keep them in a dark, cool place.
I’ve written about this topic before, but too much exposure to light causes jewelry to tarnish. So instead of storing your jewelry out on your table, I suggest keeping it in a designated drawer instead.
Moisture can tarnish your metal
In addition to keeping your jewelry in a dark drawer I have two other tips.
1) Ziploc your jewelry in an airtight baggie. This prevents moisture from damaging your metal. Watch this Instagram reel to see this easy trick.
2) Put chalk near your metal jewelry. Yes chalk! Chalk acts as a barrier and soaks up that moisture. This helps prevent tarnishing. I suggest replacing the chalk once or twice a year.
This Instagram reel has more tips on how to keep your jewelry sparkling longer.
The simple rule is: If it hurts or itches, it’s not for you. It doesn’t make you cheap or high-maintenance. But it’s really about taking care of yourself and recognizing when something doesn’t work for you.
Taking care of jewelry = taking care of yourself
If you are having an allergic reaction, there's likely nickel or lead in it. Nickel is the number one jewelry allergy. How do you know what's in your jewelry? Read the description on the designer's website. Every Laura Elizabeth product page has a description of what metal is used and where the metal comes from. For example, the Emily cuff description below tells you everything you need to know for allergy as well where the cuff is made and how the cuff will fit.
- Cast of a dried out cholla cactus
- Length of cuff/bracelet is approximately 6.5 inches around the wrist
- Length of cuff/bracelet from wrist to elbow is just over 2.5 inches
- Cast in 100% recycled brass & 14 karat-gold/sterling silver plated
- Cuff sustainably and ethically made in downtown Los Angeles
- This cuff is more flexible and adjustable than other Laura Elizabeth cuffs
- There's no nickel, cadmium or lead in our jewelry - making it low toxic
So go through your jewelry box, and get rid of anything that doesn’t feel 100% right when you put it on. For example, I'm allergic to nickel. My ears itch and swell up. Not pleasant or attractive at all. All it means is that I know to avoid that metal when I’m looking for myself. Why keep this jewelry if I'm not wearing it, and it could tangle with other pieces I do enjoy?
Itchy Earring TIP
However, if I'm gifted jewelry that makes my ears itch I have two tips for you:
1) Coat clear nail polish over the earring post to act as a barrier between the metal and your ear.
2) Sometimes I coat Vaseline or Aquaphor on the earring post prior to putting in my ear. This can also act as a barrier.
Here's an Instagram reel showing you how I do this.
Think timeless, not trendy
I admit this one is hard. There are certain trends (remember the big chunky statement necklace trend) that are sooo hard to resist. But the key isn’t to avoid them altogether but to strike a balance.
Get a few trendy pieces, but make sure you have some classic designs too. You want pieces that you can wear every season, rather than just one. Taking care of your jewelry is also about recognizing your own habits and trying to avoid waste.
Think about your go-to colors for outfits and what matches best with them before you go out shopping for a new piece. Remember those old photos you look back on…it’s a lesson for us all; timeless is always safer!