Why do jewelers put chalk in a jewelry box?

Everyone who has seen how jewelers store their jewelry has clearly noticed that their jewelry boxes look at least very unusual and very strange.

First of all, their huge variety and many strange objects are kept together with gold, silver or platinum.

So, for example, in boxes for some jewelry you can see small linen bags with certain contents. In others, there are strange sponges soaked in water , and in others there are even pieces of ordinary chalk , laid out in some special way.

If you ask the master of jewelry, what are all these items in boxes designed to store jewelry. You can hear a well-founded, albeit very non-obvious answer.

Variety of jewelry boxes. Variety of jewelry boxes.

Sponges soaked in water , jewelers put only to jewelry with natural opal. This mineral is extremely demanding on the presence of moisture. Therefore, if it is not wiped with a cloth moistened with water or stored in a “dry” place without moisture, the gem in the jewelry will quickly deteriorate and it will be impossible to restore it.

Turquoise pieces, on the other hand, are kept away from moisture, so they are never kept with opals.

opals opals

Linen pouches, found in jewelry boxes of experienced craftsmen, as well as moistened sponges, are necessary for the preservation of certain types of jewelry. They store jewelry with natural and even cultured pearls.

Pouch for storing jewelry. Pouch for storing jewelry.

This stone requires special care and compliance with certain storage conditions. If it is placed in an environment with excess moisture, it will quickly lose its hardness and scratch easily. If it is placed in a too dry environment without proper air circulation, then its mother-of-pearl layer will “dry out” and begin to crumble even from small pressures.

Therefore, this gem is best stored in separate linen bags or pockets made of other similar material.

With regards to the pieces of chalk in the boxes. Their use by jewelers deserves a separate, more careful consideration. Chalk is not only stored with jewelry, but sometimes even applied to individual items before being placed in a storage box.

It’s all about its unique properties, one of which is the ability to qualitatively absorb hydrogen sulfide present in the air. And as we know, hydrogen sulfide is one of the main reasons why silver tarnishes.
A few pieces of chalk in a box with jewelry made from this precious metal help to keep them in a favorable condition for much longer and avoid premature “blackening” of the metal .

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