Beach Jewelry Care

Summer is all about sunshine. After all, you deserve that peaceful relaxation only found when you spend a weekend or even a week at the beach.  Unfortunately, your jewelry is not quite as fond of the sun and the sand.

Between the wind, water and sand, there is a lot that can damage your jewelry.  Sun exposure can lead to discoloration over time and can also soften adhesives holding different pieces of your jewelry together. It can lead to general fading and loss of sparkle and shine after a while. Certain gemstones can either darken or fade if they are out in the sun for too long.

The most effective way to prevent damage to your jewelry at the beach is simple – Leave it at home. Instead, wear pieces that you less valuable. Better safe than sorry.

Despite all these concerns, you may still want to wear your jewelry to the beach.  Maybe you were just engaged.  Maybe it’s a beach proposal!  Or maybe you just love those diamond studs, and you did not buy them to hide away in your jewelry box.  After all, they shine best in the sun!  If so, just be cautious – Here are some tips to help protect it from damage.

Take It off Before Entering the Water

If you do decide to wear your jewelry to the beach, consider slipping it off and stowing it in a secure place before you head into the water. You might keep a sealing storage baggie in your beach bag and store your rings here before you start swimming. Feel free to wear them while you relax on the sand, but do not wear them in the water unless you are confident in how secure they are. Water makes it very easy for you to lose your jewelry. And while it is not a huge problem to lose an earring at home, or even in a parking lot, it is safe to assume that any piece of lost jewelry is lost for good.

WHY?  Salt!  Many precious metals, as well, do not react well to be exposed to salt. Salt creates a residue which remains on the jewelry’s surface even after you have left the beach. This residue then continues to eat away at the metal’s surface.  Salt can eat away at the fine polish that gives diamonds their beautiful shine and luster.

Go Easy on the Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential, but your diamonds are not at risk of sunburn. Take extra care when applying sunscreen not to rub it directly onto your jewelry.  Or simply remove the jewelry while applying the sunscreen and put it back on when you are done. That is the most effective way to keep your jewelry safe.

WHY?  The chemical makeup of many sunscreens can be damaging to your jewelry. In the same way that salt can tarnish your jewelry, so can the chemicals in sunscreen. While the greasy nature of many sunscreens sinks into your skin and is absorbed, it just sits on the surface of jewelry, eroding the surface and leading to tarnishing.

Try to Keep Sand off Your Jewelry

We know, sand has a way of getting everywhere. It gets in your bathing suit, in your beach bag and, inevitably, some of it will find its way underneath your rings and other jewelry as well. There isn’t a lot you can do about this but do your best to keep your jewelry clear of the sand.

If you plan on building a sandcastle, remove your rings first. If you want to sunbathe, put a towel between you and the sand. Little actions like that can sometimes make a world of difference between your jewelry being scratched up and coming away undamaged.

WHY?  Sand is a hard, abrasive material that can scrape ruthlessly away at many surfaces, including the metal and precious stones in your jewelry. This can lead to scratch marks, scrapes and other types of cosmetic damage.

After the Beach

Do A Basic Wipe-Down

Use a soft damp cloth or soft bristle toothbrush to gently wipe off any jewelry you wore at the beach. This will help ensure that any sunscreen, salt or sand residue is wiped off and won’t continue to corrode the jewelry and will help maintain the natural shine of the metal and stones.

Get Your Jewelry Cleaned Professionally

Jewelry should be cleaned professionally regularly, whether it has been to the beach or not. It is also a good idea to schedule a professional cleaning and checkup for the end of the summer season. Be sure that all stones are secure, clasps are tight, and that there are no scratches or other issues from that extra outdoor exposure that summer brings.  Susan will clean and inspect all jewelry and update your appraisals, as necessary.  Contact her anytime for these services.

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