26 February 2019 Hinesville, GA, USA

4 Ways to Keep Family Heirlooms Preserved

Jewelry is about more than looking good. Often, family members pass it down from generation to generation, so accessories can definitely have sentimental value.  It was important to my mother that she gift me with a dinner ring when I graduated college.  It was all she talked about during my final exams.  I also inherited a good bit of my grandmother’s jewelry after her death. Although I don’t wear these items everyday, it was crucial that I learned how to keep them safe. Not only do they remind me of people that I love, but they encourage me to want to continue the tradition one day. Unfortunately, it’s hard to maintain them when they are shoved in a box and stored out of sight so, instead of dragging them out and giving them a once over with a feather duster, I reply on these tips.

4 Ways to Keep Family Heirlooms Preserved, Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia

Below are the tips on how to preserve your heirlooms:

Put Them On Display

The worst thing you can do is stick them in a corner in the basement or attic as they’ll get dusty and collect mildew. Once the combination of moisture and air hits the jewelry’s surface, the material will start to erode. A smart move is to put them on display in your house so that they aren’t left to rot.  I actually like for all my pieces (costume and heirloom) to be where I can see them.  Sometimes I’ll splurge on fancy racks or simply pin my necklaces to the wall.  This reminds me that I have them and encourages me to wear them more.  You can use a silver tarnish cloth to protect them as well.   Don’t put them under glass or near a reflective surface. The rays from the sun will intensify and they can burn holes through the most sturdy of substances.

Buy A Humidifier

Jewelry needs storing in a cool, dry place where the humidity isn’t too high. Otherwise, they will erode. Finding a dry place is easy enough as every house has drafts, but the cool part is tricky. After all, it has to be the right level to ensure they don’t rust.  Luckily, we purchased a humidfier last year when the fireplace was making their air in our home too dry.  A humidifier is a perfect solution as it allows you to control the moisture in the air. By setting it to a fixed level, there is no need to worry about the composition of the atmosphere and, therefore, any damage to your items.

Don’t Wrap Them In Biodegradables

Everyone wants to save the planet but you also want to preserve your heirlooms. With that in mind, a smart move is to avoid biodegradable storage containers. /Over time, the damp and the air will wear away at cardboard or wood and leave your valuables exposed. The same goes for cloths too.  I usually wipe off any excess oils and slip my accessories into a plastic sandwich baggie and store them away if they are not in use or on display. A savvy move is to vacuum pack and place them in poly sheets. For the conservationists among the readership, you can replace the latter with acid-free boxes and tissue paper.
4 Ways to Keep Family Heirlooms Preserved, Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia

Never Use Chemicals

To a clean a dirty heirloom, you’ll be tempted to reach for the bleach as it gets rid of marks and stains. Unfortunately, it’s too strong and will eat away at the precious materials. If you do need to clean a piece of jewelry, make sure you use non-harmful chemicals. For example, toothpaste works great for polishing silver and gold. Also, evaluate whether it even needs a wipe down. Sometimes, the spots aren’t removable and they are just a result of natural disintegration. Don’t worry, though. According to experts, they don’t negatively impact the value and are simply a sign of age.

What special heirloom have you received that is special to you?  Tell me in the comments!

Until Next Time...
4 Ways to Keep Family Heirlooms Preserved, Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia

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