Brooches are divas. They are like movie stars that you cannot horde with the rest of the crowd. They demand differential treatment and if you want to keep them for long, you’ve got to treat them nicely, or should I say, extra nicely. If you have a handful of these precious pins and have been putting them in the same box with the rest of your jewelry, it’s time to pick each one of them out and store them the right way, and the right way is to stow them away from the rest of the items.
Brooches Need to Be Alone
The best way to store brooches is not to mix them with your other jewelry. They are tender and sensitive. So, the first rule of storing these decorative pins is a separate box, or at least a compartment. The outer enamel work and gems which give it the precious sparkle is quite like the enamel in our teeth. It is sensitive to anything even mildly acidic like coffee, vinaigrette and even oils. So, you can well imagine what a little brush of your gold necklace or your diamond ring can do to it. Vintage brooches scratch so easily that the only way to preserve them is to put them in a box individually. Boxes would be nice, but pouches are not so bad either. If you have neither, roll them up nicely in a soft piece of cloth.
Wipe Them Nice and Gentle
Brooches attract oil and dirt easily, and as discussed earlier, oils do no good to minerals. So, it is important that you wipe your brooches clean from time to time. Give them a warm foamy bath every now and then. In the end, hold them under running water to make sure all soap slur is washed away. Wipe them gently with a piece of soft clean cloth. A chamois cloth can rub out all the dirt easily. So try that, but be very gentle in handling them.
They Don’t Like Heat
Yes, brooches hate warm places. They are encrusted with a variety of minerals. What do you expect? So, wherever you store them, it shouldn’t be in a place where the sun can reach them directly. However, that does not mean you should stow them away in a dark, damp corner either. They don’t like moisture either. So, find a place that is not hot, nor dry. The inside of a vault sounds fitting to that description.
They Detest Ultrasonic Cleaning
Try not to send your brooches for an ultrasonic cleaning too often. That can totally ruin your precious pins forever. Because your diamonds and sapphires have survived them with shining results for you to awe on, doesn’t guarantee that it would be equally good to the pearls and other gems. Ultrasonic cleaning is plain bad news for gemmed jewelry. All that ammonia and abrasives are very harmful for gems in general.