It’s summertime, and the season isn’t easy on your favorite jewelry. The summer activities we crave can have a disastrous effect on metals and stones. If you’re heading out for a day poolside or at the beach, you may want to leave your finer jewelry at home. Follow these tips to help protect your precious treasures and avoid summer jewelry damage.
Here Comes the Sun
Summer sunshine feels fantastic, but it can cause certain gemstones and colored glass to fade. Transparent gemstones are more likely to fade than those that are opaque. Gemstones and crystals that are extremely sensitive to to sunlight include aquamarine, fluorite, sodalite and topaz. Sun-sensitive gems may fade and loose color, or change their color completely.
It’s a good idea to remove your jewelry before applying sunscreen (the same goes for insect repellents). These products can leave a film that will build up and dull your jewelry, and may harm certain metals. Even natural products contain oils that are best kept away from many stones, such as pearls.
Water, Water Everywhere
Don’t let your favorite jewelry come in contact with chlorinated or salt water. Chlorine in swimming pools can erode and discolor metals and may dull the finish on gemstones. Salt is damagine to metals and many gemstones—even diamonds can become damaged from exposure to salt water.
While it’s far from being as salty as the sea, perspiration can damage your jewelry, especially sterling silver. If you plan to work up a sweat, remove your better jewelry first.
Who doesn’t love digging their toes in the sand? Just keep it away from your jewelry—sand is abrasive! Avoid wearing rings and bracelets while gardening, as well. These can be damaged by rocks and rough particles in dirt.
So what to wear this summer? Stick with less expensive jewelry, keeping in mind it may be just as susceptible to damage as your more expensive pieces. Consider jewelry made from less sensitive materials, like stainless steel and glass. Be sure to gently and thoroughly clean jewelry that’s been exposed to the elements.
Enjoy your summer!