Summer is approaching! Maybe you’ve made plans to hit the beach, go camping, or travel to a new country – but have you figured out how you will protect your jewelry this season? The key to beautiful, long-lasting jewelry is through proper care. Here are some tips to keep your jewelry safe (and sparkly!) this summer.
The Pool & Beach
Spending time by the water is fun and relaxing, but unfortunately, it’s not the safest place for your jewelry. It’s best to remove any valuable or sentimental jewelry before going to the pool or the beach. Did you know that the beach is one of the most common places where people lose their engagement rings?
Cold water is potentially hazardous for rings. Cold water itself won’t damage jewelry, but the cold will make your fingers shrink, making it possible for rings to slip off of your fingers. Avoid the chance of losing your ring in the pool or ocean by leaving it at home.
The elements at the beach can be rough on your favorite pieces. Sand is abrasive and can scratch precious metals over time. Additionally, salt water can damage and/or discolor precious metals. This is because some of the alloys in precious metals, like copper, corrode when coming into contact with salt water. Rose gold is especially susceptible to damage from salt water because of its high copper alloy levels. Keep in mind, some pools are saltwater pools – not all of them are chlorinated!
Chlorine is also capable of causing damage and discoloration to gold, silver, and even platinum. Chlorine can also erode the finish and polish of gemstones. Remove your jewelry before swimming or going in the hot tub.
While sunscreen is important for the health of your skin, keep it away from your jewelry. Sunscreen can build up a filmy layer on the surface of gemstones, making them less sparkly.
If your jewelry comes into contact with chlorine, salt water, or sunscreen, it is best to clean it as soon as possible to prevent any damage or dullness.
The Great Outdoors
Another culprit of dullness in jewelry is bug spray. Both sunscreen and bug spray can seep into the little crevices of your jewelry, making it difficult to clean later on.
If you’re gardening or doing yard work, it’s important to remove your jewelry. Dirt and rocks can cause damage to softer metals, like sterling silver. Dirt and rocks can also get under the prongs of your rings, which can make gemstones less secure.
Sweat can also discolor metals like sterling silver. It’s best to remove your jewelry than to risk damaging it.
It’s easy to misplace jewelry when you’re moving from place to place. A Jewelers Mutual survey found that 25% of the women surveyed had lost a piece of jewelry while on vacation. While traveling, make sure you wear your important jewelry or keep it in your carry on. Don’t put it in a checked bag – it can get lost or fall into the wrong hands. For extra security, consider investing in a portable safe to keep precious items in while you travel.
If you’re worried about loss or theft of important jewelry while traveling, like your engagement ring, consider getting a “backup” ring. This is an alternate ring that may not be as valuable—monetarily or emotionally—and can be worn more regularly without worry of it getting lost. Many department stores and boutiques sell costume jewelry that look very similar to real engagement rings.
It’s wise to consider getting jewelry insurance to protect your valuable and/or sentimental items. Jewelry insurance will cover loss, theft, and mysterious disappearance. Many people believe that their homeowner’s insurance will cover their jewelry, however, this is not the case. Homeowner’s insurance typically covers up to $1,000-$2,000 – so if your $6,000 ring gets stolen, they won’t reimburse you for its full value. And if your jewelry is stolen outside of your home, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it. You can learn more about the perks of jewelry insurance here.
The warm summer weather is the perfect time to explore and make new memories – and it’ll be more enjoyable now that you know how to protect your favorite jewelry.