If you are a jewelry aficionado and you enjoy the added class and sophistication it gives your everyday outfits, then you might be in search of the perfect jewelry box for your needs. Luckily, there is a wide range of jewelry boxes available, suited for all preferences. Be it efficient storage, protection for your pieces that fall on the more expensive side or simply decorative, there are enough models to complement all tastes.
However, given the available variety, one could feel nauseated and intimidated when beginning their journey of finding the desired jewelry box. Here is a guide to help you in making an informed purchase.
But first, let’s see what all the fuss is about. Where did it all start?
A short history of jewelry boxes
Also called “jewelry caskets”, jewelry boxes date back as far as the Stone Age. Of course, throughout history, jewelry was itself considered a luxury, and thus jewelry boxes were needed only by the wealthy, who used them to keep important documents safe and protected, alongside jewelry. The original boxes were great pieces of furniture, usually not bigger than a small wooden chest. It was the industrial revolution that made them mainstream, as it finally became possible for them to be mass produced at relatively low prices and in smaller sizes, in factories. Still, many of the older jewelry boxes were kept and sometimes even restored, now being displayed in various museum and castles. Antique collectors can find old unique jewelry boxes that are being sold today.
Why you should own a jewelry box
It is possible that since you are reading this, you have probably made up your mind about investing in a jewelry box. But just in case you are having second thoughts, here are some obvious and some less obvious reasons as to why everyone with a jewelry collection should own a jewelry box.
First of all, one could look at jewelry boxes as a way of mixing business and pleasure: they get the job done, as they protect and store your pieces of jewelry, but they are also fun and aesthetically pleasing objects to own. You should be proud of having a nice jewelry box on display, because they are sure to add a whole new decorative dimension to your table or dresser. When traveling, a small jewelry box is the handiest way of making sure the pieces you have chosen to wear on your trip are safe and all in one place. The same box will ensure they don’t get damaged by potential bad handling at the airport. Moreover, you should not look at your jewelry box as something adjacent to your jewelry collection, but rather as a defining element of it. In the end, it is what gives you collection and actual look, feel and structure. One could even argue that a pile of jewelry is not an actual collection, in the absence of a place to display it and its finesse.
A good jewelry box is a universal solution to all those issues.
Jewelry boxes: the most common types
As said before, there are numerous types of jewelry boxes. In order to pick just the right needle in the haystack, ask yourself some preliminary questions. What do you want to use the box for? How big is your jewelry collection? What is the biggest issue you have with the current way in which you store your pieces? Do your necklaces get all tangled up? Are your earrings and rings scattered all over the place? How much space do you want it to occupy in your home?
You might have noticed that a lot of these questions are centered on the notion of size. That is because size is perhaps the aspect that makes the most difference between all these types of boxes. A small keepsake box is perfect for a collection of rings, keeping them together, but would be a complete disaster for a variety of necklaces, as they would become a tangled mess. For these, the best solution is either a jewelry armoire or a wall box.
Let’s take a detailed look at the most common types of jewelry boxes.
#1.The jewelry box
Even though this is an umbrella term for the whole variety of jewelry storage options, when talking about a specific type of box, the jewelry box usually means a case that is small enough to fit on a table or a dresser. They come in a wide variety of sizes, designs, colors and layouts. The majority of jewelry boxes have a hinged top.
Also, most of them include multiple trays, compartments and drawers, which help with the effective organization of the collection. This type of box is perfect for anyone who wants to store a small number pieces of and for anyone who has a large collection of one specific type of jewelry. If you fit into the second category, make sure you choose a design that is the best fit for your most abundant type of jewelry: if you have a large collection of rings, purchase a box with multiple slots for rings; if you have a lot of necklaces, then buy a jewelry box with many trays.
There are some jewelry boxes that are smaller in size, usually don’t have more than one compartment and catch the eye especially for their decorative qualities. These are called keepsake boxes and they are used to store small items that people attribute sentimental value to. With their highly decorative look, their purpose is to be placed in plain sight. So, if you need to store some pieces that are on the more expensive side, avoid putting them inside these small boxes.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have jewelry chests, which are very large in size, as the name would imply. Their top compartment generally comes with a hinged lid, which can even have a mirror. Just like most jewelry boxes, they include some trays and compartments. If you have chosen to decorate your home in an antique way and you also own a large jewelry collection (or aspiring to have one), then these jewelry chests would be a great option for you.
Resembling a regular chest of drawers on the outside, these are true pieces of furniture, and thus they work best for large, extensive collections. Some smaller armoires can be placed on top of other pieces of furniture, in order to make the bottom drawers more easily reachable, while others sit directly on the floor. Some armoires can be over 3 feet.
A regular jewelry armoire contains multiple drawers that are usually padded as to not damage the jewelry. On most of them, the drawers vary in size or height. On the sides of the armoire, there are usually narrow compartments that contain hooks which are best for hanging necklaces, bracelets and chains, ensuring they remain untangled.
For the most part, their great size allows them to have a large mirror, usually inside lid of the top compartment. Some models can have their mirror on the outside, either on the door or on one of the side compartments.
#3.Wall jewelry boxes
Wall jewelry boxes hang on walls, the same way medicine cabinets do, as their name would suggest. They vary greatly in shape, size, design and layout. However, most of them include compartments for all types of jewelry: slots for rings, shelves for bracelets and watches and many hooks for necklaces and earrings. Many of them can be slimmer than a jewelry armoire. On these, the large mirror is almost always on the door and at eye level, which is perfect for people who like to try on multiple accessories before deciding on the right one.
Who should choose a wall jewelry box? Everyone with a medium collection of jewelry could consider buying one of these boxes. Definitely bigger than a jewelry box and slightly slimmer than an armoire, it should be perfect for people with medium-sized collections, especially those who do not like hoarding their older pieces and enjoy renewing their collections.
People with a passion for necklaces are sure to be delighted with the number of hooks these tend to have! Your bracelets will be laid out nicely, which will make them easily reachable and your necklaces and chains will stay tangle-free. With their sleek look, these would fit nicely in spaces that are decorated in a modern fashion. Also, if you have a lot of furniture that sits on the floor and you don’t want to clutter your space with one more piece, a wall jewelry box would be a great solution to your problem.
Even though these can be considered obsolete by some nowadays, travel cases are a great way to carry your jewelry around while traveling. Many different sizes are available on the market, depending on the amount of jewelry you intend to pack. Some big travel cases include a smaller, detachable case, allowing you to store a limited number of pieces at a time, if need be.
The majority of travel cases include hooks for chains and necklaces, smaller pouches for rings and earrings, as well as some bigger compartments for watches. If having a mirror on hand when you are putting on accessories is important for you, you will be pleased to hear some travel case models include mirrors, usually on the inside of the lid. Make sure the travel case you have your eyes on is made of a durable material, not only to make the best out of your money, but to also ensure that your jewelry is protected against any potential rough handling.
If having a mirror on hand when you are putting on accessories is important for you, you will be pleased to hear some travel case models include mirrors, usually on the inside of the lid. Make sure the travel case you have your eyes on is made of a durable material, not only to make the best out of your money, but to also ensure that your jewelry is protected against any potential rough handling.
These are a truly charming classic. Musical boxes are quite small in size and are used mostly for their decorative qualities or for storing some unique or special items. About the size of a keepsake box, maybe a bit larger, their layout is somewhat more complex, most of them including various padded compartments for rings, watches and earrings.
Some of them include trays, which are perfect for bracelets and necklaces. They are usually made of cardboard or pressboard. Some collectible musical boxes, and thus the more expensive ones, are made of porcelain or wood. Since the porcelain ones are fragile due to the nature of their material, it is especially recommended that they be treated with care and not overfilled with jewelry. Some musical boxes do contain mirrors.
When the lid opens, they play music, usually a lullaby or a well-known piece of classical music. For added charm, most of them include a ballerina or some other figurine that spins to the rhythm of the music.
Musical boxes are excellent gifts, especially for children. In fact, they would be fit for a child’s jewelry collection, which doesn’t have that many pieces. They are certainly not something you would buy as the main storage place of your collection, but rather as a special part of it, where you store the pieces that have sentimental value or you find to be special.
As the name suggests, ring boxes are boxes that are especially designed to store and protect rings. We can find a great variety of sizes with this type of box as well, ranging from some that can only hold one ring to those with several rows of slots that can store over 20 rings.
For these bigger ones, their design is usually slim and narrow, but longer. Inside, they have a row or multiple parallel rows, with slots to keep the rings upright. These rows and slots are usually lined with velvet or other soft fabrics, which serve a double purpose: on the one hand, they protect the rings from scratches and damage due to shocks or mishandling, and on the other hand, they polish each ring individually when inserting them into the slot and when extracting them to be worn.
Of course, this is a perfect option for people who have extensive ring collections and want to ensure good protection and maintenance to their pieces.
Watch boxes are something you would find in a man’s wardrobe, as watches are one of few ways men can accessorize their outfits. Watch boxes vary in size: some can only hold a couple watches, while others have dozens of slots, on multiple levels. They are typically made of wood or leather to give them a manlier look, while the inside is covered in smooth materials, such as silk or leather, since their purpose is to protect from scratches and cracks. Most watch boxes have durable glass lids, so the watches can be kept safe, as well as on display.
Some of the fancier watch boxes include trays, which can be used to store individual watch bands or even cufflinks.
Watch boxes are a must-have for every man who likes collecting and wearing watches, as they are a very easy way to keep your collection organized and in good condition. Of course, they make great gifts as well.
#8.Wooden carved boxes
These usually resemble bedroom dressers and chests, but in miniature form. Their inside is kept quite simple, with one or two compartments at most. In this sense, they are reminiscent of keepsake boxes. The majority of them have a hinged top, while others have a detachable lid. Some models have a tray underneath the main compartment.
For the most part, the inside just consists of the polished wood, with no fabric. Even though they might appear to be very cumbersome, most of them are actually quite light, as they are made with lightweight wood. Concerning their designs, they range from very intricate and detailed to simple and classic.
Just like a musical box, these can be used for storing a few special items that hold sentimental value. They are not the best fit as the main storage option, since they will not be able to hold that many pieces. However, they are excellent for decorating and giving a vintage feel to any dresser.
Valet boxes are basically jewelry boxes for men. However, since a wide variety of jewelry that men can wear doesn’t exist, the use of valet boxes has been extended to storing, alongside watches, cufflinks and rings, even keys, writing instruments, memory cards, USB drives and even loose change.
Basically, everything that can be easily misplaced. Most valet boxes have many compartments, which help to better organize the various things one might choose to store inside them. Some of them come with trays and mirrors on the inside of the lid, which tends to be hinged. To make them look manlier, they are usually covered in black or brown leather.
Jewelry rolls are pouches of fabric or leather that lay flat when you open them. Depending on their size, they can have quite a lot of various types of pockets in which to store your jewelry. To hold everything tight and secure, you roll the pouch into a cylinder and you secure it with a band or some other closing system that comes with the roll.
These are a very practical and definitely less cumbersome way to pack jewelry on travels, compared to travel cases. The fact that they are made of fabric makes them more pliable, compact and lighter, so you can easily sneak them in any free space you have left in your luggage. Jewelry rolls are a great solution for everyone who tends to pack more than they should for their trips, but still want to be able to carry a decent amount of jewelry.
With this much variety, it can all feel like a bit too much. However, variety shouldn’t turn us away when looking for a jewelry box: it means we have all the more chances of finding one that fits our needs just right. Your jewelry box can be more than just a place to store and protect your jewelry items: it can be a subtle way of self-expression.