Let’s not mince words. Summer is not your jewelry’s friend. Just about everywhere you turn, some summer element is trying to damage, break, or steal your jewelry. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorites…but you should seriously consider these important tips to keep your jewelry safe and looking great.
Chlorine and Saltwater
If you’re going swimming, take your jewelry off. Both chlorine in swimming pools and saltwater in the ocean are harsh and can damage or discolor metals. They will slowly erode the finish and dull the polish of gemstones. Remember that heat will make your fingers swell, but shrink when you jump in the cold water. This combination is a sure-fire way to have rings slip off and get lost. Your best bet, take your jewelry off before swimming.
Certain gems, including amethyst and kunzite, are sensitive to UV rays from the sun. Too much exposure can change the color irreversibly.
Sunscreens, Suntan Lotions or Oils, and Bug Spray
These products are known to leave a greasy film on jewelry and cloud gems. Sunscreen, in particular, contains strong chemicals and is hard on the surface of precious metals. To keep your jewelry in its best shape, take it off before applying summer lotions.
Sand and Dirt
If you’re gardening or playing in the sand, you’ll want to remove your rings. When microscopic sand and debris get lodged in your rings or jewelry, they can scratch metals and softer gemstones. Leave your rings at home before digging in the dirt or building sand castles!
Outdoor Parties and Sports
It’s not just the outside elements that are a risk to your jewelry. When you get hot and sweaty, your own biochemistry from your body will be getting into your rings, necklaces, and bracelets. It’s certainly best to leave your jewelry at home if you are going for a run or playing sports…but summer is hot and (whether you want to admit it or not) you’re probably going to sweat. At the end of the day be sure to clean your jewels with mild soap, fresh water, and a soft cloth to keep them clean.
Wipe it After Wearing It
At the end of a summer day, no matter what you were doing outside, it’s always a good idea to wipe your jewelry clean. Even if you stored them safely before you took a dip in the ocean, it’s likely that salt and sand on your skin will make its way into tiny crevasses in your jewelry. Wipe each piece with a soft, damp cloth to remove residue.
When you take your jewelry off, be sure you put it in a fabric-lined jewelry case or in a box with dividers. This will help prevent your pieces from banging up against each other and scratching.
At the end of the summer season, make an appointment with a reputable jeweler. He or she will be able to give your items a professional cleaning to maintain the luster and sparkle of your precious jewelry.