Summer will soon be here and we all will be spending more time in the sun. The fun of summer can wreak havoc on your jewelry due to exposure to harsh elements and harmful conditions. Chemicals in sunscreen, sand and pool water can all affect your jewelry’s cleanliness and long-term durability.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an ocean beach bum, a fishing lake lover, or a swimming pool shark, water-based summer fun can expose your jewelry to harsh elements. The risk of loss of your jewelry can also place a damper on your fun.
Beaches, lakes and pools are notorious spots for jewelry loss. If you are at the pool and a piece of jewelry slips off you may be able to recover it. Hopefully you can find the item before it gets pulled into a drain but even if that happens be sure to talk with the pool manager. There may still be a way to find your jewelry but it may be damaged. If a piece of jewelry comes off in the ocean or lake it is not likely that you will be able to find it. Even in shallow waters the silt and sand at the bottom can quickly swallow up small items. Cold water is even more dangerous because your fingers can shrink enough that rings will slip off easily. The best, and really only, way to keep your jewelry safe from loss is to take it off and place it in a safe, dry place before you get close to the water.
Pools unfortunately need chlorine to keep the water safe to swim in. Chlorine is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to summer jewelry damage. The chlorine reacts with precious metals to create discoloration and significant damage. Gemstones (diamonds, opals, rubies…) will also be damaged by chlorine which can interact with and remove surface molecules resulting in a dull, dark appearance to the stone.
Beaches are no more friendly because saltwater and sand will also damage and discolor metals. Rose gold is highly susceptible to discoloration in saltwater due to the gold’s copper content which gives the gold the rose color tint. The sand of beaches is highly abrasive and can scratch precious metals. Sand can also lead to loosened stones when the sand particles become lodged into the setting. If this happens to you your jewelry will require repair at a jewelry store.
Bug sprays and sunscreens can buildup on jewelry and quickly make your sparkling jewelry dim and dull. Do your best to keep these types of products off your jewelry and rinse any product off jewelry as soon and as thoroughly as you can. By the end of the summer you may want to have jewelry pieces professionally cleaned to bring back their sparkle.
Travel wisely. Traveling definitely presents the risk of misplacing or losing jewelry. Carefully consider what pieces of jewelry you really want to have with on a trip. Minimize how much you need to bring along by choosing outfits that can all go with only 1 or 2 different items.
When packing try to carry your jewelry in your carry on. Placing different pieces in different carry-ons that your party will be carrying means that if one bag is lost not all of your jewelry is gone. Wrap each item separately so that pieces cannot damage each other. The harder, more durable stones like diamonds can scratch softer materials like pearls or opals.
Lastly, placing valuable jewelry in checked luggage is just a bad idea. Never do it. Unfortunately, even with all the computerization of baggage handling suitcases still do get lost, and some never make it back to their owners.
Once at your destination you will need to store your valuables in the room safe. Some hotels offer storage in a larger safe/vault on the premises. Never leave your jewelry sitting out where others might see it, from the hotel room door or through the window of a ground floor room. Don’t talk excessively about your beautiful, valuable jewelry when in public areas so that others won’t suddenly become interested in how could they get their hands on your jewelry.
If you travel with your jewelry often enough you may want the extra layer of protection of extra jewelry insurance. Insurance will never be able to protect the sentimental value but it can protect their monetary value and make it possible for you to replace the item. Talk with your favorite insurance broker. You will need to have your jewelry appraised so that the insurance can cover the true value of the items.
One of the best jewelry stores in Phoenix is E. D. Marshall’s in Scottsdale. We can assist with any cleaning and repair of your treasured jewelry pieces. We also do jewelry appraisals if you are getting extra jewelry insurance. Once we assist with your jewelry care needs hopefully you will look at the wonderful items we have for sale and add to your jewelry collection.