Around the House: Safely Storing Jewlery
By Yehudit Garmaise
“Of course the women in the midbar didn’t give their jewelry to help those who wanted to make a cheit ha egal,” pointed out the owner of a Boro Park jewelry store. “Most Jewish women love jewelry.”
While Boro Park women dress like queens, wearing and storing our treasures in a crowded, sometimes dangerous city comes with some risks.
Criminals on mopeds, for instance, have been grabbing the pearls right off of beautifully dressed heimish ladies who are walking down the street with their husbands.
The day after I got engaged, as I was riding the subway to work, my intuition told me to turn my ring around because I felt eyes on my new little sparkler.
Sure enough, approximately a decade later, a thief crawled into a window of our home to take every piece of jewelry I had ever received, plus a new laptop, which was even worse.
While Amazon and other sellers enjoy making money selling “necklace trees,” large fancy jewelry boxes, and mirrored “mini-jewelry cabinets,” savvy women need to use careful thought as to how to store and best protect precious pieces.
While walking around the city and taking public transportation, women should try to tuck under their clothing: necklaces and bracelets. While jewelry expresses our malchus, we might want to keep in mind to save our fanciest pieces for Shabbos and simchas.
At home, the first rule of storing jewelry is to put it back in the same place every time you take it off.
For instance, leaving rings by the kitchen sink to do dishes, or taking off a necklace or a bracelet in the living room to relax on Shabbos, will most likely eventually lead to forgetting where you stashed your gems.
To store our jewelry safely is to keep it out of view of anyone who might have “sticky fingers.”
The following ideas can help keep jewelry organized and safe:
1. Assess all of your jewelry. Consider whether you have any pieces you might want to give away, sell, or re-design, which many local jewelers can do to better match your current style and vibe. Maybe the charm hanging off that necklace would look better on a ring. Pare down your collection to keep only what you love.
2. With what you have remaining, choose one discreet jewelry box that closes and that you can stash in a drawer or somewhere safe in your closet. You want to keep all your pieces in one place and out of the view of prying eyes. Just like no one should leave cash lying around, expensive valuables should not be displayed.
3. Buy a glass or chic metal ring holder that appeals to you on which to place near your bed or dresser: the rings and other jewelry you usually wear every day. Rings must always go right back onto this ring holder when you take them off, so they don’t get lost. When workers or strangers are in your home, take the time to tuck away your ring holder into a little space in the same drawer every time, so your valuables remain out of sight, and you can easily find your rings the next day.
4. Make sure to close all necklaces and lay them next to each other with at least an inch in between to store them, in separated velvet rows, if possible, so chains don’t get tangled.
5. Cover jewelry with a velvet cloth or another cover if you have a drawer in your dresser dedicated to your valuables.
6. One lucky lady who receives both chocolates and jewelry from her husband saved a few emptied-out trays from the chocolate boxes to store in a drawer placing pairs of earrings, rings, and delicate bracelets in each of the small boxes that previously held truffles and treats. Mi Kamcha Yisroel.
7. Buy a small combination lock box to safely hide away in a closet or cabinet: anything extremely valuable that you don’t wear often.
8. When traveling, only bring the jewelry you wear on the plane, so nothing gets lost or stolen in transit. Invest in a very small jewelry roll or zipped case to store your pieces wherever you stay so you don’t lose track of your jewelry in your hotel, Airbnb, or guest room.