Photo: Universal Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Great jewelry elevates — whether you’re layering gold chains with a white T-shirt or statement hoops with a sundress. Because it does so much for our wardrobe, our fine jewelry and baubles alike deserve to be protected. For one, proper storage keeps jewelry nice longer. Plus, an organized jewelry collection is a well-worn collection: You can grab and go, instead of untangling necklaces or searching for a matching earring.
To find just the right jewelry storage, first take stock of your collection. Fine jewelry with semiprecious stones or precious metals scratch easily and should be stored in a box with soft lining and minimal exposure to sunlight. Costume jewelry can lean more heavily on preference because it doesn’t damage as easily. Use small catchall trays as resting places for rings and any jewelry you take on and off frequently. A necklace organizer prevents necklaces and bracelets from tangling. Clear organizers let you see your collection easily. “Similar to exercise, storage is really about compliance,” explains Ope Omojola, founder of Octave Jewelry. “If there’s a really amazing piece of storage that is perfect and works really well in the abstract, but you’re never going to use it or you hate how it looks, then it’s not for you.”
We spoke to nine jewelers, designers, and stylists about the ways they keep their jewelry safe — from organizers that keep even large collections tucked away to dishes that turn jewels into objets d’art.
Juliana Ramirez, brand manager at Lizzie Fortunato, recommends this traditional-looking jewelry box from Pottery Barn. “My days of awkwardly sifting through a ton of clunky dust bags are officially over,” she says. The clear top and four velvet-lined drawers made finding and caring for her pieces that much easier, she said. Ramirez also notes the box is sturdy, durable, and spacious enough to hold her growing collection.
Jessica Tse of NOTTE stores her heirloom pieces in this sturdy, unassuming marble box. It blocks sunlight and has a “nice velvet lining that has some plushness to it,” making it excellent for storing precious pieces. And it also “doubles as home décor [since] it looks like a beautiful marble block on my table” explains Tse, who displays hers in her living room.
Acrylic boxes allow you to see most of your jewelry well. Three of our nine experts use Muji acrylic cases and partition inserts to organize their jewelry. While the Muji cases are sold out online, this acrylic Weiai one is similar. The velvet inserts fit perfectly into the trays, which can be rearranged. Tina Xu of I’MMANY likes the acrylic construction because it doesn’t get damaged by moisture, even though it’s stored in her bathroom. She adds that she prefers keeping pieces in a soft fabric that’s “really kind to gold, silver jewelry, or jewelry made from natural stones.”
Jewelry designer Melinda Maria uses these at her office and at home for her personal collection in what she describes as the “perfect shade of pink,” but they’re also available in gray and white. “You can easily see what you have in front of you for the day by simply unstacking the trays,” Maria explains. They also come with a detached clear lid for protection. “When you’re running out the door, the last thing you want to do is try to find a piece of jewelry.”
These Container Store trays are also stackable, but are designed to organize your drawers. Omojola uses hers in a desk drawer where she adjusts the expandable tray to fit in place. “I’m a really visual thinker and I have to see everything laid out,” she explains. Instead of housing her jewelry in multiple drawers or compartments, she’d rather have “as much of [her] jewelry as possible visible so that when I’m getting dressed and picking out jewelry, it’s right there.”
For a large, but tucked-away, organizer, designer Christina Tung of SVNR recommends this velvet-lined, lockable Songmics cabinet. It has ring and earring slots, necklace hooks, overhead LED lights, and even shelves and drawers that could hold more than just jewelry. Compared to the ceramic dishes Tsu used before, it’s the most “functional, practical option that feels really organized,” she says. She also uses it to rein in her jewelry collection. “That’s my new rule for things — if it doesn’t fit in the organization system that I put together, then I know I have too much.”
Even if you do have an organizer for longer-term storage, small catchalls are resting places for jewelry throughout the day as you wash your hands, apply skin care, wash dishes, and sleep. Leslie Sigurdson, head of brand collaborations at GLDN Jewelry, recommends one just big enough for a few pieces of jewelry, like this one from Rachel Saunders. Hers has become “a permanent nightstand fixture.”
Leather is a softer material and neutral look. Designer Jean Prounis of Prounis Jewelry has “these go-to areas in [her] house that [her] jewelry can live” and keeps an unbranded leather catchall in her living room that matches her décor. It’s similar to this Mark & Graham one recommended by Maria, who keeps hers by her bedside. “I take off my earrings before I fall asleep and just throw them in there,” she says.
This Minelife necklace holder doesn’t provide any protection for jewelry, but it provides more accessibility to everyday pieces. Maria keeps one in her walk-in closet because her necklaces change so often. This is a convenient way to switch out necklaces and bracelets and prevent tangling.
While traveling, experts recommend a jewelry case with a hard shell and some sort of soft lining to avoid pieces from getting crushed and scratched. Maria travels with this structured Mark & Graham case with plenty of compartments. While it was gifted to her, she says it’s “really good quality for the price point,” at just under $100. Since she prefers to keep jewelry close to her while traveling, she appreciates that this case is “compact enough to throw in your carry-on.”
Photo: TANVI MADKAIKER
For those who travel with less jewelry, Sigurdson recommends this “chic” pouch from Samara. “It’s so cute and small and the fact that they call it a pouch is so darling to me,” Sigurdson says.
And if you want something even smaller still … “Even the smallest jewelry case you can find is still too big for me,” Xu says, which is why she opts for Muji plastic pots. Those are sold out online, but these from Satinior are similar. Xu uses a piece of cotton in each to absorb excess moisture and protect pieces. She especially likes their versatility: “Being able to choose what type and size of the containers for different schedules and lengths of stays is really convenient.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.