Unexpected knots are one of the most frustrating -- and common -- problems that can happen to jewelry. Often occurring when necklaces have been stored improperly, thin, delicate chains are especially prone to tangling. But as irritating as it may seem, the untangling process is not an impossible one. Just take careful measures while extricating those knots to avoid any permanent damage to your most precious pieces.
Position the knot between your thumb and forefinger and gently rub back and forth. When the tangled area begins to loosen, pull the strands as far apart as possible. Identify the source of the knot and untwist the strands. If the knot is especially stubborn, try the method recommended by "Good Housekeeping" columnist Heloise: Carefully insert the end of a stick pin or safety pin into the knot. Once you have some space opened up, use your fingers to untangle the rest. If you wish, position the knot on something hard -- like a glass tabletop -- and add a few drops of baby oil or mineral oil before you put in the pin.
Prevent knots in the future by storing your necklaces and other bling in a jewelry box or case, or on a wire frame or jewelry tree. Slide thin chains through drinking straws and fasten them on the outside with a small elastic when traveling. The straw method helps prevent knots in packed necklaces.