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How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for years?

Trekkie

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My mother passed away on Wednesday and left all her jewellery to me. My grandmother urged me to take it home immediately so that it does not fall prey to my aunt's sticky fingers.

Most of it is yellow gold and there's hardly anything I could see myself ever wearing. I've decided to store it. But now I stupidly don't know how.

How do I pack it? Must it all be in individual boxes or can I double pack for the sake of saving space? Can I pack it all in a couple of large jewellery boxes? Would cotton wool hurt the softer stones such as the emeralds and the tanzanites? Is there something specific I should store them in? How do I store the pearls? Do I have to send all of this in to be cleaned or can I do it myself? How long can it be stored safely? Do I have to check on it from time to time or is it ok to just pack it away in boxes, take it to the bank and forget about it?

Do I need insurance? Individually nothing is particularly valuable, but the shear *quantity* of stuff gives me reason for pause.

I'm feeling very overwhelmed and would really appreciate any advice or suggestions.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Oh, Trekkie, I am terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your mother! I don't think I would pack it away for years, but for now, just wrap each piece individually in tissue paper or something, put it in a zip-lock bag, and take the valuable pieces to the safe deposit box.

Once you have given it some time, I would go through the pieces and separate out ones you might someday wear or reset or rhodium plate if you prefer white metals. If it is a piece you have no use for, then with gold at an all time high, I would go ahead and sell those pieces for the gold value. As a mother, that is what I would want my children to do..use the special pieces that they'd enjoy and turn the rest into funds that would benefit them.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
 

iLander

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Save them for your own children. My DD loves certain pieces from her grandmother that I would have tossed away, and I'm glad I didn't. You never know what the taste will be of future heirs. I'm sure many women in the 1960's inherited Art Deco or Art Nouveau jewelry that looked unfashionable and ready for the trash heap at the time. Then they came back in style in the 1980-90's. So, hold on to them.

If there are pearls, be sure they don't rub on anything else.
 

artdecogirl

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie, So very sorry for your loss. I think it may be too early to make any decisions right now, you are feeling overwhelmed so I would just address the small stuff like Ilander said, put the pearls in there own box or any other fragile stuff and then put it away for awhile until you have had a little time to deal with all you have gone through recently. Again I am very sorry for your families loss.
 

soocool

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss.

Before you store them, take individual photos of the pieces and list sz/length, gold content, etc under each photo.
 

rosetta

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

So sorry for your loss Trekkie.

I agree. Don't make any big decisions now. Put the softer stones and any pearls away separately and pack the rest together in soft cloth and put the boxes in a safe place.
 

luv2sparkle

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie, so sorry for the loss of your Mom. Prayers and hugs to you...

I wouldn't get rid of anything now either. Pieces come in and out of style. Some of my mom's pieces are wearable again. I would
wrap the metal pieces in anti-tarnish flannel, which I am sure can be bought online. Years ago I bought a couple yards from
Nancy's Notions. I would wrap the pearls in plain flannel like they make jewelry bags with. I would also take photos.
 

Jennifer W

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that you have plenty of support to get you through the difficult weeks ahead.
I'd get a couple of yards of soft, lint free cloth from a fabric stone and just wrap pieces carefully - or anti-tarnish cloth if you can find some quickly.

The main thing is to make sure that nothing is scratching or rubbing on anything else, and that nothing that could bend or break is under any weight. If you wrap each piece and lay them flat in a single layer in boxes, you can store them somewhere secure (bank sounds good) and go through them when you feel up to it later.

Thinking about you and your family.
 

Haven

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie, I am so sorry for your loss.

When my grandmother passed away she left some jewelry that wasn't explicitly given to any of us in her will. It fell to me to figure out what to do with it so I put it away carefully in little boxes with fabric in them and waited until I could deal with it without sobbing. (Actually, I left her favorite gold bracelet in her building's safe for over a year because I couldn't go back there for that long. That was okay, I needed to take my time and so do you.)

When I was ready to look at the jewelry again I sat down with my mom and we divided it up amongst the five granddaughters. My uncle wasn't ready to see any of it at that time, though, so we kept the things for his daughters until he could handle it.

You'll know when it's time to take everything out again, and until then, it will all be waiting for you.

My thoughts are with you and yours, Trekkie.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Sorry about the loss of your mom!

For mine, I wrapped the majority of my mom's jewelry in tissue and put in small jewery boxes. I guess it depends upon how big your safe deposit box is as to how you store it. We are going to have to upgrade our box (not b/c of jewelry but because of documents), so space then won't be an issue. Maybe you can wrap up the pieces in tissue and store them in a jewelry travel case of some sort?

Re: insurance...I guess it's personal preference, but you'll have to get an appraisal for each piece and that can quickly add up, so unless you plan to wear something or the value is high enough, I would think you could trust your bank's vault to keep everything safe and insurance an item if you begin wearing it.
 

Circe

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Oh, Trekkie, I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to concentrate on practical minutia when you're in emotional turmoil: I hope some of the suggestions here can be useful to you.

For packing jewelry, you want to avoid rubbing/friction in order to avoid scratches ... but if you're planning to just leave it in storage, I'd just make an itemized list to be sure nothing goes astray or is misplaced, put the jewels in separate plastic jewelers bags for each piece, numbered to match the list, and leave it until you're ready to deal with it. It's too soon to know if you'll want to wear, sell, or keep it. The only exception here would be pearls: they can lose their luster if they're left in a dry space for too long. Those I'd keep around and either wear periodically, or store in silk in an environment with some dampness (i.e., if you live in a place with Seattle's climate, less to be concerned with, but if you live in, like, Arizona, many people recommend occasionally putting a dampened cloth in the vicinity of the peals to allow for some moisture).
 

manderz

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine what you're going through :(

I would hold off on packing anything away, just take your time, and once you're ready, go through and catalog it, clean it all well, and then carefully pack anything you won't be wearing.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

So sorry for the loss of your mother. ((hugs))

I would buy individual little boxes those craft boxes that jewelry designs use would do and try to keep the pieces as organized as possible. I would also have some sort of insurance, just for peace of mind.
 

partgypsy

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Sorry for your loss. It does sound like you need a little time before deciding all of this. I do ditto the advice to inventory the pieces before storage, and to store seperately (little plastic bags are fine). In addition to pearls opals can also dry out from being placed in a security box, so again if it can be stored with a moist cotton ball as well that would be good. Anything that is silver it would be good to keep in a bag of jeweler's cloth so it won't get tarnished during storage.
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie

All the others have given you great advice about storage. I just wanted to send you a huge hug and to let you know that I am thinking of you. Everyone here, including me will be here for you.
I am so sorry for your loss. Susan xxx
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Thank you so much for all your good wishes and positive thoughts. The outpouring of love and advice from my PS friends has been extremely helpful in getting me through the last few days.

I don't quite know how I feel about the death of my mother as we were never very close. However, going through some of her photo albums I have come across quite a few that seem to indicate a happier time. I'm a big blubbering ball of mixed emotions right now but I am keeping busy with sorting out her affairs.

diamondseeker2006|1304339820|2909889 said:
Once you have given it some time, I would go through the pieces and separate out ones you might someday wear or reset or rhodium plate if you prefer white metals. If it is a piece you have no use for, then with gold at an all time high, I would go ahead and sell those pieces for the gold value. As a mother, that is what I would want my children to do..use the special pieces that they'd enjoy and turn the rest into funds that would benefit them.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Thank you so much Diamondseeker! I was wondering if I should, or even could do this. There are several single earrings that have lost their mates and no fewer than 6 gold wedding bands (rather perplexing, when one remembers that my mother never married!) so I am tentatively thinking of selling those and buying a nice watch with the proceeds. But right now these are still just thoughts.

iLander said:
Save them for your own children. ... So, hold on to them. ... If there are pearls, be sure they don't rub on anything else.
Thank you, iLander. I will definitely save it and give my baby brother the first choice, there's a very old fashioned setting featuring a solitaire of about 40 points (quite large by South African standards) that he might choose to reset as an engagement ring. I have packed the pearls in their little boxes. To my uneducated eyes they appear to be very good quality, but I don't know what type they are.

artdecogirl said:
Trekkie, So very sorry for your loss. I think it may be too early to make any decisions right now, you are feeling overwhelmed so I would just address the small stuff like Ilander said, put the pearls in there own box or any other fragile stuff and then put it away for awhile until you have had a little time to deal with all you have gone through recently. Again I am very sorry for your families loss.
Thank you very much, Artdecogirl. I have packed the pearls in their individual boxes. I hope that will be safe for them, long term.

soocool said:
Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss.

Before you store them, take individual photos of the pieces and list sz/length, gold content, etc under each photo.
Thank you, soocoool. I will definitely do this, and will be sure to post pictures on PS!

rosetta said:
So sorry for your loss Trekkie.

I agree. Don't make any big decisions now. Put the softer stones and any pearls away separately and pack the rest together in soft cloth and put the boxes in a safe place.
Thank you, Rosetta. I am going in to town tomorrow to check the size of our bank's safety deposit boxes. I hope they're big enough for everything.

luv2sparkle said:
Trekkie, so sorry for the loss of your Mom. Prayers and hugs to you...

I wouldn't get rid of anything now either. Pieces come in and out of style. Some of my mom's pieces are wearable again. ... I would also take photos.
Thank you, luv2sparkle. I will definitely take photos and save it just in case yellow gold comes back into style again.

Jennifer W said:
The main thing is to make sure that nothing is scratching or rubbing on anything else, and that nothing that could bend or break is under any weight. If you wrap each piece and lay them flat in a single layer in boxes, you can store them somewhere secure (bank sounds good) and go through them when you feel up to it later.

Thinking about you and your family.
Thank you, Jennifer W. I will do this to minimise space.

Haven said:
Trekkie, I am so sorry for your loss.

When my grandmother passed away she left some jewelry that wasn't explicitly given to any of us in her will. It fell to me to figure out what to do with it so I put it away carefully in little boxes with fabric in them and waited until I could deal with it without sobbing. (Actually, I left her favorite gold bracelet in her building's safe for over a year because I couldn't go back there for that long. That was okay, I needed to take my time and so do you.) ... You'll know when it's time to take everything out again, and until then, it will all be waiting for you. ... My thoughts are with you and yours, Trekkie.
Thank you, Haven. I'm sorry for your loss, too. It is so weird touching my mother's jewellery. She was always so private and didn't like people touch her stuff, especially not her jewellery. It feels like such a violation even touching it.

MC said:
Sorry about the loss of your mom!

For mine, I wrapped the majority of my mom's jewelry in tissue and put in small jewery boxes. I guess it depends upon how big your safe deposit box is as to how you store it. We are going to have to upgrade our box (not b/c of jewelry but because of documents), so space then won't be an issue. Maybe you can wrap up the pieces in tissue and store them in a jewelry travel case of some sort?

Re: insurance...I guess it's personal preference, but you'll have to get an appraisal for each piece and that can quickly add up, so unless you plan to wear something or the value is high enough, I would think you could trust your bank's vault to keep everything safe and insurance an item if you begin wearing it.
Thank you, MC. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I think I will put it in the bank rather than worry about insurance.

Circe said:
Oh, Trekkie, I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to concentrate on practical minutia when you're in emotional turmoil: I hope some of the suggestions here can be useful to you.

For packing jewelry, you want to avoid rubbing/friction in order to avoid scratches ... but if you're planning to just leave it in storage, I'd just make an itemized list to be sure nothing goes astray or is misplaced, put the jewels in separate plastic jewelers bags for each piece, numbered to match the list, and leave it until you're ready to deal with it. It's too soon to know if you'll want to wear, sell, or keep it. The only exception here would be pearls: they can lose their luster if they're left in a dry space for too long. Those I'd keep around and either wear periodically, or store in silk in an environment with some dampness (i.e., if you live in a place with Seattle's climate, less to be concerned with, but if you live in, like, Arizona, many people recommend occasionally putting a dampened cloth in the vicinity of the peals to allow for some moisture).
Thank you, Circe. I will definitely make a list of everything. I live in South Africa, exactly halfway between the sea and the desert, so I think a moistened cloth would be a good idea.

manderz said:
Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine what you're going through :(

I would hold off on packing anything away, just take your time, and once you're ready, go through and catalog it, clean it all well, and then carefully pack anything you won't be wearing.
Thank you, Manderz. I will try to remember to take my time. Right now I just feel like I need to do keep my hands busy so that I don't stop to think too much.

Italiahaircolor said:
So sorry for the loss of your mother. ((hugs))

I would buy individual little boxes those craft boxes that jewelry designs use would do and try to keep the pieces as organized as possible. I would also have some sort of insurance, just for peace of mind.
Thank you, Italiahaircolour. Fortunately I still have all the original boxes as this is how my mother used to store her jewellery. I also have several valuation certificates so will file those away separately.

part gypsy said:
Sorry for your loss. It does sound like you need a little time before deciding all of this. I do ditto the advice to inventory the pieces before storage, and to store seperately (little plastic bags are fine). In addition to pearls opals can also dry out from being placed in a security box, so again if it can be stored with a moist cotton ball as well that would be good. Anything that is silver it would be good to keep in a bag of jeweler's cloth so it won't get tarnished during storage.
Thank you, part gypsy. There are some silver pieces. One in particular has a very interesting jeweller's mark that appears to be in an alphabet I don't recognise and at some point I will ask my PS friends to help me identify it. I am trying to find jewellers cloth here in South Africa but it is very difficult.

susimoo said:
Trekkie

All the others have given you great advice about storage. I just wanted to send you a huge hug and to let you know that I am thinking of you. Everyone here, including me will be here for you.
I am so sorry for your loss. Susan xxx
Thank you so much, Susan. The virtual hug was greatly appreciated!
 

yennyfire

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you'll have your Mom's jewlery to remember her by (even if you do chose to store it for now).
 

AprilBaby

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

No advice on the jewelry but a BIG hug for the loss of your dear mother. I am so sorry.
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Thank you Yennyfire and AprilBaby. Right now I'm actually wearing a necklace and a bracelet that belonged to my mother and every time I look at them I think of her. I'm very glad to have them.
 

Amys Bling

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Sooooo sorry for your loss. I agree with the others. Don't toss anything yet, you may regret that decision.
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie

Just checking in on you. I lost my dad recently, so I know the crazy roller coaster of emotions you must be on right now. I am thinking of you and your mum. Take good care of yourself. You have a lot of people here who care about you and want to help you through this. especially me.

Susan xxx
 

JulieN

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

I don't know if a bank vault would be humidity controlled, but I've always kept my pearls in the bathroom (humid.)

Sorry for your loss.
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Thank you very much, Amys Bling, Susimoo and JulieN. The funeral was on Saturday and I think we're over the worst of it now. I still don't quite know how I feel because my mother and I were never very close. She was not very maternal (possibly a result of her mental illness, schizophrenia) so I spent years living with "friends" and being shunted from my maternal grandmother to my father and his wife and then back again. When I was old enough I went off to boarding school. I also spent some time in foster care. Quite a f*cked up childhood.

As soon as the sun comes out I will take pictures of the pretties. Not quite sure where to post them seeing as they're not really suitable for the SMTB forum. A lot of it comes from maul stores, there are some pearls, some coloured stones and quite a bit of silver. Oh, well. Let's worry about the sun coming out first!
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Oh Trekkie
I have been thinking about you. I really hope you are ok. It has obviously been a rough week.
Start a thread on SMTB or wherever you feel it is appropriate. I for one would love to see the pretties and to hear of any fond memories you may have about them.
Look after yourself!!!
:wavey:
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Thank you, Susan. I really appreciate the positive thoughts.

How are things on your side after the loss of your dad?
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

It's ok. Getting better with each week.

It has been a tough few months, as I am moving to Australia in 5 weeks time, so the thought of leaving my mum so soon after my Dad's passing is very difficult. I am still , despite all of this, excited about what life will hold for us on the other side if the world. Perhaps best of all, I CANNOT wait to see my husband who went in January to start his new job.

I hope you are taking good care of yourself. Despite a difficult relationship, for whatever reason, it was still your mum and I am sure you loved her, in your own way. I will keep you in my thoughts!!


Thank you for thinking of me. :wavey:
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Thank you, Susan. It helps to hear that it does get easier. Especially hearing it from someone who actually knows what I am going through. At the moment I'm distracting myself with admin such as sorting out her house, furniture, insurance, bills etc but I know I'm only really doing that to distract myself from actually feeling. I hope it will get better in time.

I am sure you will love Australia. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing holiday there two years ago and I simply can't wait to go back. Moving is very stressful, especially under these circumstances, but I'm sure Australia will more than make up for it!
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

I did the distraction thing too. Had to do all the paperwork for Mum.

Truth be told, it sneaks up on you when you least expect it.
My most public meltdown was at a petrol station, of all places!!
Last time I had filled up the car, was the day my dad died. He was in the front seat beside me, whilst Sara, my daughter and my mum were in the back. It was about 4 hours before he died, in his chair, at home.

Several weeks later, I found myself back at the same petrol station, at the same pump and I just broke down. Could not control myself.

Anyway, I came home and recounted the story to my mum, who had the most hysterical reaction, quite unlike her. She said people probably thought I was crying because it costs so much to fill up the jeep, nearly £100!!! She said my dad would have found it funny too. (admittedly we do have quite a strange sense of humour!!)

So, my only advice is go with the flow. Feel how you feel. Don't fight it. If you are sad today, you probably won't be so sad tomorrow. I am here to listen and happy to share my thoughts with you!! :wavey:
 

Trekkie

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Your petrol station story made me laugh out loud! Your family does have an interesting sense of humour! But then, my dad is English and I spent quite a bit of time over there, so my sense of humour is also quite left of centre. :)

Thanks so much helping me get through this.
 

susimoo

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Re: How do I store jewellery that will be packed away for ye

Trekkie, my dear, you are helping me too! It is reassuring(to me) to be able to talk to someone who is going through this at the same time.
Give me a shout anytime. :wavey:
 
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