After you buy jewelry from a local jewelry store – or after you just inherit it from someone else – you need to do what you can to make sure that it stays in great shape for years to come. This is something that many people do not think about until they realize that their jewelry like pearl earrings will lose its shine. This strikes them all at once, and it can be very disappointing because they no longer want to wear the pieces out in public.

To save yourself from this experience, there are a few things that you can do with your pearl necklace and everything else that you own:

1. Have them cleaned regularly by a professional.

Most jewelry stores will allow you to bring your jewelry in to have it cleaned by one of their professional workers. These people can polish rings, check settings to make sure they are not falling apart, remove scuff marks and do many other things to make the jewelry look as good as new once again. If you do this consistently, they can eliminate small amounts of damage or wear and tear so that the age never shows. If you put it off, though, the issues could get to the point where you need more than just a cleaning.

2. Keep them in an airtight box.

The box that you store your items in can make a huge difference in the way that they wear. For one thing, the box itself protects them from dust and grime and naturally build up in any home – especially one with a forced air heating system – even if the home is very clean. On top of that, the airtight box protects the jewelry from any moisture in the air, which can really break down the metals. This damage can be compounded if you live near the ocean because of all of the salt in the air. You have seen what it does to cars; you do not want that to happen to your jewelry.

3. Wear it in appropriate settings.

You hear people talk about damaging jewelry all of the time because they wear it when it is not needed. You might have someone tell you how they dropped a ring in the river while kayaking or how they lost a necklace while hiking in the mountains.