The months of June, July and August signal it’s finally time to add shorts, t-shirts, tanks and flip-flops to the summer wardrobe and that it’s time to switch up the routine by getting outdoors. This could be in the form of a trip to the local swimming pool or lake, packing a picnic, taking a holiday at the beach, or using weekend time to cultivate the garden or flower bed. While all of these activities are signature elements of the summer season and good for the body and soul, they can cause unintentional damage to the metal and gemstones in your favorite fine and semi-precious jewelry.
Summer TLC for Jewelry Care
In addition to the importance of protecting your jewelry from grease and cleaning supplies, summer creates its own elements of wear and tear through the additions of sun exposure, salt water, chlorine, sand, dirt, sweat, sunscreen and lotion and bug spray.
Chlorine – The chemicals in a hot tub or pool are added to control unwanted bacteria and algae but in jewelry, chlorine creates a damaging reaction between the chemicals and the alloy metals. This results in damage and discoloration to the metal in platinum and gold jewelry. Chemicals in the chlorine also breakdown the shine and polish of gemstones.
Cold water temperatures – While the cool water of a lake, pond or ocean feels particularly refreshing on a hot day, the temperature can also create a side effect of slight shrinkage in the fingers, increasing the possibility of inadvertently losing a beloved piece of jewelry. When it doubt, leave it at home.
Sunscreen sprays and lotions – Adequate protection from the sun requires a combination of sunscreen lotions, sprays and gels. The simple act of application can leave tiny sunscreen deposits that build up in the links of a chain and the prongs of a ring, creating a sticky or greasy film on the stones and metal. Next time, apply then allow time to dry before adding jewelry.
Digging in the dirt and sand – Good times can be had while digging holes for new plants in the garden or creating a sandcastle at the beach, but the tiny rocks in dirt and sand are not kind to jewelry. The abrasive materials can leave behind scratches, particularly in softer metals.
Sun effects – Most of us know how the sun effects of our hair and skin after a day of fun in the sun. The skin and hair feels tight and dry after being stripped of its natural oils and moisture. A similar stripping effect occurs when it comes to the fading of the natural and plastic materials of costume jewelry.
Ensuring Proper Jewelry Care
For many of us, jewelry is a powerful symbol of some of our most precious moments. As a result, it’s important to protect your investment of money and memories by observing the right ways to clean and store jewelry pieces. Each stone and every metal has its own level of strength and requires individual care. This summer, create a new tradition by having your precious and semi-precious jewelry inspected by the jewelers at Noe’s Jewelry.