Storing you turquoise jewelry

Storing rings is pretty easy but the bracelets and bigger pieces take up much more space. How are you storing all of turquoise pieces so they don’t tarnish? I have bigger pieces in ziplock bags but I am trying to think of other options. I have collected Jadeite and nephrite for many years and that and nacre can get dry, so I keep glasses of water near my collection. Hopefully that isn’t a danger to the turquoise but I have no idea.

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I admit I’m not really very picky, and my stuff is fine. I keep much of it in a small fireproof safe with the cuffs still pretty much in the boxes they came in. Sometimes I have several cuffs in one box. Then my overflow is in a drawer, and they’re either in boxes or I have a cloth laid over the top of them. Nothing seems to get tarnished, and I can get to everything easily. I can’t completely speak to the glasses of water, but I wouldn’t think that would be a big deal. I run a humidifier in my room, and it doesn’t seem to hurt the turquoise at all.

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Thanks Ziacat, that’s good to know. A fire proof safe is a great idea. I’ll have to get me one of those :grinning:

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Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I need a second :laughing:

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https://forum.turquoisepeople.com/t/wooden-tool-box-repurposed-as-a-jewelry-box/8772

a few ideas in that thread

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I remember that thread, it was a good one. Plus we got to ogle people’s gorgeous stuff…

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Thanks so much Steve :smiley:

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Be very careful about using ziplock bags to store natural turquoise. Learned the hard way on an overseas sales trip way back in the 80s that storing natural turquoise in ziplock bags can lead to natural stones discoloring and turning green within just a few days. Ended up with a case full of Zuni jewelry mostly set with sleeping beauty that stones had turned various shades of green.Was redeemed from a case full of mostly unsaleable jewelry when a couple of pieces I had set on a window sill turned back to their original color. What I discovered quite by accident was that a few hours of direct sunlight can reverse this effect, so ended up setting everything out in direct sunlight for several hours, and saved an entire case full of jewelry and my overseas sales trip. Went back to 1 lb. paper brown grocery type bags, and never stored turquoise jewelry in ziplock bags again!

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Most is in a floor-standing cabinet. I have my bracelets in small velvet drawstring bags, which protects against tarnish but has the downside of me not being able to see what’s in which bag! Earrings and necklaces are all stored in jewelry boxes that I mark for the maker. Overflow on the dresser, including an open ring tray (a vintage ceramic thunderbird). I make it sound organized but it really isn’t. :smile:

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Wow, Thanks so much. I took all of my stuff out of plastic bags as soon as I read this. You are a wealth of knowledge mmrogers :grin:

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The velvet bags are a great idea too. I’d love to have a nice display but buffing tarnish would kill my fingers. Maybe a table top display case. Hmmm… Thanks so much chicfarmer :smile:

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I admit I like a fair amount of patina on my pieces; not sure if that’s what you mean when you say tarnish. I’ve been known to set some out for awhile just so they would be less shiny. I had a buckle fixed a number of years ago that they polished, because I forgot to say don’t polish.

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@Ziacat When I say tarnish I mean oxidization and patina. A storage system like velvet bags allows me to control how much oxidization the piece gets, according to both my preference and the tradition of the maker–what the maker intended. Some pieces are best either lightly patinated or not at all. I have quite a few things that want to be bright or at most a bit off bright, either because they have blackening for contrast or because the stampwork is the visual story. Also, when I have a piece with exceptional turquoise, I tend not to allow the silver to get too black, and my environment really oxidizes things quickly. So, I can put something in mid-patina and there it stays, or put it in bright and it stays that way. In short, it’s not one uniform aesthetic for various things.

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I have a lady I purchase a lot of vintage silver from and I have to constantly tell not to wipe it with these chemical cloths she has. I tell her that all the time and she still sneaks and does it. It drives me nuts. She got it on the turquoise once and ruined it. I like a nice patina too but totally black silver turns my skin green. I’m allergic to it. But shiny is a no no for me too.

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@chicfarmer, that makes sense. I have occasionally touched up lightly some pieces, especially my Hopi ones. @CyanideRose18, I figured you meant actual patina, not tarnish (maybe I’m not actually using the words exactly correctly but I think you know what I mean) but wasn’t sure. Many of my pieces are not from artists that I know anything about, I’ve bought so much pawn through the years that I really don’t know what the artist would have expected, but I know what I like. And actually most of my pieces stay fairly shiny, probably because I wear them so much. I don’t think I’ve ever had had anything get black from tarnish. I do have some copper pieces that I continually have to wipe with one of my anti-tarnish towels, or whatever they’re called.

Oh my gosh, my voice texting spelled Hopi as hopey! It clearly doesn’t speak Native American :grin:

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Thinking about it, one of my favorite pawn cuffs is made by Charlie John, and when I looked him up a couple years ago, I was able to find a video on how he makes jewelry. He made the comment that he spends about a third of the time it takes to make the piece getting the silver to have the look that he wants. So I do keep an eye on that one, because I know how much work he put in that. But I wear it so much it stays polished.

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Plain white cotton flannel or tee shirts will keep your pieces from scratching each other, allow them to breath. No plastic bags and no treated silver cloth. Plain white all cotton wash cloths are good, too.

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I use a firearms case for my cuffs…it has foam layers that hold them in place. So far seems like a good system and not much of a tarnish problem. Other stuff is in various boxes and trays. I wipe and clean as needed but not with anything more than polishing cloths.

Some of my open boxes have the anti tarnish strips. Anyone hear of any issues with those? I don`t lay them near stones, or touching the silver, but in close proximity. They seem to help slow the tarnish a bit but not greatly so.

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Being the digital age, take photos of the bracelets, combine them all on 8x11 sheet or photo paper (or bring them to the store with instant prints), print sheets, cut them out and tape them in place next to the bracelet - easy to find and to put back when you’re done!

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@TryingToLearn That sounds so logical, thanks. My technique: peek, decide yes or no, keep peeking, yes, wear. Then absolutely forget where it sorts back. Repeat. But no kidding, I do like the idea of photo’ing and stashing the sheets with the bracelets. Just for reminder.

The other complication is I also keep about 5 cuffs out on my dresser in their velvet bags, the ones I default to most often. I’d make a poor Virgo.

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