Memorial Weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer-the season to go bold with your jewelry or go home. But before you jump in the pool, slather on the sunscreen or head to the beach, it never hurts to know where dangers can lurk. If you’re not careful, summer can take a toll on your jewelry. In honor of all the rings resting on the ocean floor, the bracelets ruined from gardening and the gems fallen victim to a wicked game of beach volleyball, here are 10 tips to keep your jewelry shining all summer.
1. Visit your jeweler to check for loose gem stones, prongs and clasps. It’s easy to lose a piece of jewelry or individual stones if you’re not giving your jewelry regular check-ups.
2. Remove your jewelry before swimming and strenuous activities. Salt water and chlorine can be damaging especially for sterling silver jewelry. And sweat can make sterling silver jewelry tarnish quickly.
3. Remove your jewelry before applying sun block and bug spray. Substances like lotion can get stuck into the crevices of chains and prongs which make it hard to remove later. Plus these products cause a film to form on your jewelry, making it appear dull and dingy.
4. Stay out of the sun. The sun can bleach certain materials, especially natural elements and some plastics.
5. Don’t wear rings in cold water. The cold temperature of the water in pools, oceans, lakes and rivers causes your finger size to shrink temporarily. When this happens, rings can easily slip off the finger without your being aware of it, until it’s too late.
6. Remove all jewelry before going into a hot tub or swimming pool. The chlorine can damage and discolor metals such as gold and platinum and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.
7. De-bling before gardening. Dirt and small rocks are abrasive to jewelry. If it’s not cleaned right away, your jewelry can be permanently damaged. Beware the dangers of gardening gloves too.
8. Clean your jewelry regularly. Your own sweat and body oils can dull the shine of your jewelry. DIY cleaning calls for warm soapy water and a toothbrush. After the season, visit your jeweler and have your jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected.
9. Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place. Keep your pieces in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers to prevent pieces from scratching each other.
10. Get your favorite jewelry insured! You’ll have the peace of mind that regardless of your surf and turf adventures, your jewelry is protected.
The only way to guarantee not losing or damaging your jewelry this summer is to simply take it off and leave it at home!