Over the years, I've had many useful tips passed down to me by my grandmother and my mother on how to store jewelry. I will share these tips here, in the hopes that they will be as helpful to others as they are to me.
If you are a cluttered person, it may be helpful to buy a jewelry box, specifically to store all your pieces in one place and keep them from getting lost. In the case of very small pieces, like stud earrings, this can be vital, as even the small boxes the earrings came in are easy to lose. I recommend a box of wood on the outside and a soft cloth lining on the inside, to keep your jewelry polished, clean, dust-free, and to allow a small amount of moisture to permeate and keep your pearls and opals looking fresh.
Pearls and opals need a small amount of moisture to look nice. If they dry out too much, they can loose their lustre, and in extreme cases, they can even crack. If you live in a very dry climate or you're worried about the health of these precious gems, store them with a slightly dampened cotton ball, to ensure they won't dry out. You can also lightly rub your pearls with mineral oil before storing them, to mimic the body's natural oils and give them an added sheen of beauty.
Necklaces are best stored hanging on a small hook, so that their chains do not get tangled. Many jewelry boxes, especially the taller styles, contain this feature. If your necklace has a very heavy pendant, however, it may be best to carefully lay it in the box in a section by itself, because the pendant may stretch the chain out of shape if you leave it hanging. You could also take the pendant off the chain, if that is possible.
Rings should be stored with their gemstone or decorated portion facing upward, so you can see at a glance which ring is which. They can also be stored on a special ring holder, which comes in many different and creative styles: some look like miniature hands, some are crafted to look like a cat with a very long tail, and so on. It is basically a long, thin rod, on which you can slide and store as many rings as will fit. However, I would not recommend using a ring holder for very heavy, very delicate, or very valuable rings. They are sometimes easy to tip over, and I've lost a couple of rings this way- once a ring rolls under a piece of furniture, it's a hassle getting it back, especially if you didn't happen to notice where it rolled.
Finally, be sure to store your silver jewelry with a special cloth meant to absorb and neutralize the affects of oxygen, so that your silver doesn't tarnish. You can also store your silver in an air-tight container. Even with these protective measures, I still recommend you take out your silver every six months to polish and clean it- a thin layer of tarnish is easy to get rid of, but the thicker and blacker it is, the more permanent the stain.
I hope these tips were helpful! They should keep your jewelry shining and safe for generations.