Jewelry Boxes / Cleaning Kits Luggage & Bags
Maximize the life and brilliance of your jewelry with proper care and storage techniques to combat exposure to everyday elements. A little TLC will keep your jewelry beautiful for many years.
Remove your jewelry at night and put it in a jewelry box with fabric-lined compartments or dividers that keep pieces from rubbing against one another. If you don’t have a jewelry box as such, wrap each piece carefully in tissue paper so that pieces don’t scratch one another or get tangled.
Also remove your jewelry before bathing and grooming. Put your jewelry on as a final touch after using cosmetics, hair products and lotions so that it doesn’t accumulate residue or film that is difficult to remove.
Remove rings when washing your hands to keep them dry. Moisture weakens springs and clasps and may loosen stones that are secured by glue, such as pearls and gemstones. Water can also cause spots on jewelry left to air dry.
Although most jewelry is quite durable, don’t wear your jewelry while doing heavy physical work around the house or in the garden. Stones may be chipped when knocked against other objects or each other.
Don’t expose your jewelry to chemicals, including bleach, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, hairsprays, etc.
Don’t expose your precious pieces to extremes in temperature and humidity.
Bring items to a qualified jeweler if you have a loose stone setting, stones moving or any other damage present. Also, have your jeweler check your items, especially rings, once a year in order to ensure prongs and mountings are secure.
Have your jewelry professionally cleaned every six months to one year.
You can check for loose stones between visits to your jeweler by tapping on the setting with your finger, near your ear.
Keep gemstone jewelry, pearls, gold and silver pieces all separated to prevent damage.
A diamond—the hardest gem known to humans—can scratch a pearl, so be careful to store your hard gems separately from your softer jewels. Keep them wrapped in velvet, tissue paper, silk or soft pouches. Additionally, be aware that one diamond can scratch another when thrown together in a jewelry box.
Water can be used to clean and rinse some jewelry, but is should be dried thoroughly afterward, especially before storing. Usually, though, a good rule of thumb is to keep your jewelry dry.
Cleaning Your Jewelry:
Jewelry is prone to getting dirty, dusty, smudged, dull, dingy and grimy from everyday wear. Lotions, soaps, cosmetics and even your natural skin oils and the air can oxidize or discolor mountings and create a film on gemstones or behind ring settings, thereby masking their brilliance. Simply clean your jewelry regularly and it will look as good as new. The frequency and method of cleaning you use depends on the jewelry piece and how often you wear it. Periodic professional cleaning is a good idea. In the interim, however, you can clean many of your jewelry pieces at home with a few simple, inexpensive methods.
Bath Method: Fill a small bowl with warm water and mild household liquid detergent, creating suds. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush, such as an old toothbrush or an eyebrow brush, creating a lather. Try to brush under the stones and in between prongs. Using a metal or plastic strainer, rinse off the pieces with warm water. Make sure the sink has a stopper in place. Pat the items dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Cold Soak Methods:
Method 1: Prepare a solution of four parts cold water and one part mild dishwashing detergent. Soak the jewelry for a few minutes, then lift it out and tap gently on all sides of the mounting with a soft brush. Rinse the items in the solution once more and then drain on tissue paper.
Method 2: Make a solution of equal parts cold water and household ammonia. Soak the pieces half an hour. Remove them from the solution and tap gently around the mounting with an old soft toothbrush. Then, rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain them on tissue paper.
Quick Dip Method: Use a brand-name jewelry cleaner made for the kinds of stones and metals in your jewelry. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not touch clean stones with your fingers. Please use commercial cleaners with caution; they may be no more effective than household cleaners, but may be more convenient for you. They are generally safe for diamonds, rubies and sapphires, but be sure not to soak these items for more than a few minutes. Commercial cleaners may be harmful to some gemstones; they are not recommended for opals, pearls, corals, lapis lazulis, turquoise and emeralds, as they may damage or reduce these stones’ luster.
Ultrasonic Method: Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are small, modern machines that quickly clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid. They usually have a metal cup filled with water and a cleaning agent. When the machine is on, high-frequency turbulence cleans the jewelry. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and warnings for using the machine. Also, consult a trusted professional jeweler to ensure an ultrasonic cleaner is appropriate for your pieces and to determine which one to use, as there are many different models available. Ultrasonic cleaners are typically only safe for diamonds, rubies and sapphires. They may cause damage to emeralds, opals, pearls and other colored gemstones.
Luggage Tips & Baggage Allowances
Having the correct luggage and understanding the general TSA traveling requirements can make or break your trip. Check out below for some tips and requirements that will help you decide the appropriate luggage for your travels:
Frame & Construction
Luggage frames are most commonly made of aluminum, wood and/or durable molded plastic compounds. You want a lightweight inner frame that will ensure strength. When it comes to zippers, look for ones that are reinforced with taped seams to help prevent fraying. Also, double stitching ensures a smooth closure every time. A common misconception is that thick leather is the only material that prevents belongings from getting ruined during travel. However, this can make the suitcase very heavy and hard to move. Nylon is a nice alternative, as it costs less to manufacture and is sturdy enough to effectively protect your possessions.
Most wheeled suitcases contain a telescopic pull handle, allowing you to adjust the height and conceal the handle when not in use. The handle should be sturdy and able to withstand pulling. Finding a suitcase with a locking handle will help keep it from bending due to weight pressure. Non-wheeled bags will most likely have hand and shoulder straps. Take note of the overall construction, as handles are typically connected with screws or rivets. Screws are much easier to replace if broken. You’ll also want to be comfortable with the bag, so make sure its handle has a soft/padded, sturdy grip.
If you don't want to carry your baggage, then rolling luggage is right for you. A common type is known as "spinner" luggage, which has four wheels instead of two. Having four wheels makes your suitcase more stable and easier to move through crowded areas. When looking for spinner luggage, wheels should be placed far apart and should attach deep into the bag's frame.
Keep in mind how often you travel and what type of traveling you do. If you are a weekly business traveler, it makes sense to invest in higher-end luggage versus someone who is an occasional vacation traveler.
When looking for luggage, try to find pieces that aren’t too heavy. Keep in mind your luggage will become heavier once you start packing.
Consider getting a color other than black. Black is the most common luggage color and is often hard to spot when claiming your bag. If you do end up with black, add a distinctive color ribbon or line of paint on the handle so your bag is easier to find.
Even if your luggage has wheels, still make sure that you are able to lift and transport your bag. Not only could over-packing damage your bag, but it could possibly result in extra handling charges.
Make sure your luggage contains updated contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail) so if it gets lost, the airlines can easily get a hold of you.
TSA Allowances for Carry-on Baggage:
One purse, briefcase, camera bag, diaper bag or laptop computer that can fit under the seat in front of you
One bag that measures 22" x 14" x 9" or smaller; May not exceed 45 linear inches in combined length, width and height
Please note TSA requirements are subject to change and should be verified upon arriving at the airport.