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Heirloom Jewelry: How to Pass Down Your Pieces for Generations to Come

Written by Anna Currell
June 14, 2023

Heirloom jewelry typically holds special meaning and carries deep family memories. These pieces are often passed down through generations, tracing history and traditions across the branches of the family tree. It's important to take good care of heirloom pieces to ensure they remain beautiful and retain their value as the years pass. Here are some tips on how to take care of your heirloom jewelry so you can pass it down to future generations.

Store Your Heirloom Jewelry Properly

Proper storage is crucial for preserving your heirloom jewelry. Keep your jewelry away from direct sunlight and heat, as they can cause damage to both gemstones and metals. A jewelry box with separate compartments or individual soft cloth pouches can help keep your heirloom pieces protected and prevent scratches. When traveling, keep your heirloom jewelry in a protective case to avoid any damage.

Clean Your Heirloom Jewelry Regularly

To keep your heirloom jewelry looking its best, it's important to clean it regularly. However, not all jewelry should be cleaned in the same way; for example, there are many kinds of materials that require delicate handling or that you should never put in an ultrasonic cleaner. Consult a professional jeweler for guidance about how to best clean and care for your specific heirloom pieces. 

Generally, you can use a soft cloth, mild dish soap, and warm water to clean most jewelry. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly (instead of soaking) and dry it completely before storing it to avoid any tarnishing. To tackle tough grime or care for more delicate pieces, be sure to see a trusted jeweler for professional cleaning services. 


Care for Your Heirloom Jewelry Well

In addition to regular cleaning, there are other steps you can take to care for your heirloom jewelry. Avoid wearing it while doing physical activities, like working out or gardening, since the likelihood of contact (not to mention sweat and dirt) poses a risk to fine metals and gems. Remove your jewelry before showering or swimming, since exposure to water and chemicals can also cause damage. You should also put your jewelry on after applying makeup or perfume to avoid any buildup or damage from chemical ingredients. Finally, have your heirloom jewelry inspected and maintained regularly by a professional jeweler to keep it in top condition and catch any issues before they become serious.

Appraise and Insure Your Heirloom Jewelry

Knowing the financial value of your heirloom jewelry is important. Have your jewelry appraised by a professional appraiser who can estimate its current value. This can be useful for insurance purposes, as you may need to increase your coverage to fully protect your valuable heirlooms. Having your jewelry appraised can also provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your financially and sentimentally valuable possessions are properly protected and accounted for. It can be reassuring to know that your jewelry is covered by insurance and that you’re not leaving anything to chance.


Personalize Your Heirloom Jewelry

Make your heirloom jewelry even more special and meaningful by personalizing it. There are all kinds of ways to do this — you can have a ring or a pendant engraved with a name or special message, for example. Another option is to add birthstones to a piece of heirloom jewelry, such as a bracelet or necklace, to represent your children, siblings, or other family members. Finally, consider creating a custom piece of jewelry that incorporates elements from several distinct heirloom pieces, creating a unique and personal piece that represents your family's history and traditions while also matching your modern style.



Heirloom jewelry is a precious and meaningful part of family history. By taking good care of your family’s special pieces, you can ensure that they remain beautiful, special, and valuable for generations to come. By following these tips, you can pass down these beloved pieces to your loved ones with confidence and pride. 

Are you looking for a way to make your heirloom jewelry even more significant? The expert jewelers at Quick Jewelry Repairs can help you add a special engraving to your treasured piece. Whether it's a name, date, or meaningful message, an engraving can add a personal touch to your jewelry that your family will cherish for generations to come.

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