The sun is shining. The kids are out of school. And you’re finally prepping and packing for that much-needed family vacation that’s been in the works for months now. Sounds a lot like summer, doesn’t it?
Summer is certainly a season of recharging, relaxation and refreshment for many of us. But when you’re navigating between travel and beach days, backyard barbeques and lawn care, taking care of your jewelry might not be the first thing on your mind.
Ironically, summertime just might be the most important time to be concerned for your jewelry collection. All that fun in the sun can potentially cause some “wear and tear” on rings, bracelets, necklaces, watches and earrings. Luckily, there are a few easy precautions you can take to ensure a long life for those sparkling treasures you value.
The Bradford Exchange has a long history of experience when it comes to fine jewelry. So, to get you ready for the summer months, we’ve put together a few tricks of the trade to help you take the stress out of the season, letting you focus on what’s important: FUN. Please enjoy our 5 Top Tips for Jewelry Care in the Summer Months.
Avoid Wearing Jewelry in the Water
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as taking a leisurely dip in cool water on a hot day. Unfortunately, many summertime swimming options could have an adverse effect on your jewelry.
Pools typically use harsh chemicals that could tarnish metals or eat away at your jewelry settings, causing stones to come loose. The ocean is not any better, as saltwater can have a similar effect.
Bodies of freshwater (like ponds or lakes) and showers will usually not harm your jewelry, but it’s always a safer bet to take the extra step and remove your valuables before exposure to any water.
Protect Jewelry from Sunscreen, Moisturizing Lotions, and Beach Oils
In order to have a carefree day at the beach, planning and precautions are necessary, wouldn’t you agree? That means the use of sunscreen, lotions and oils to bolster protection from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. These helpful products are great for people but not so great for jewelry.
When your jewelry is exposed to beach aids like sunscreen and lotion, it can create layers of buildup over time. This will seriously affect the luster and could damage the setting or cause the metals to slowly deteriorate. So, while it’s fun to show off your unique style in the surf and sand, consider leaving your jewelry at home.
Avoid Sleeping in Your Jewelry
One of the primary reasons we are enamored with jewelry is because of its unique and individual beauty, reinforced, of course, by its natural fragility. That delicate nature is part of what gives jewelry its value. And it’s exactly why it might be unwise to wear jewelry when we have our nightly visits to Mr. Sandman.
This is one fact that many people don’t realize. With any piece of jewelry, you will experience progressive deterioration from the general wear and tear of life. But the tossing and turning of the body, under covers, for 8 hours a night, can accelerate that deterioration exponentially.
This is especially true for jewelry that had tiny pieces or parts featured in the design. Nobody wants to wake up to discover there’s a precious gem or crystal missing from their bracelet or ring, but sleeping in jewelry can loosen the prongs that hold those treasures in place. So, with the exception of something like a basic wedding band, it’s smart to remove all jewelry before hitting the sack.
Store Jewelry Properly When Not in Use
It depends on where you live, but for many of us, summer often means lots of sun exposure. And yes, even the sun can take a toll on your jewelry collection. So, when you’re not out and about looking fabulous in your favorite designs, it’s good to figure out a jewelry storage solution.
As with our other tips, proper storage can also extend the life of your jewelry. If you’re not sure whether your current resting spot is sufficient, here are a few things to consider:
– make sure it’s a dry location
– separate jewelry to avoid scratches
– block out sunlight and humidity
– secure in a soft cloth for extra protection
– consider a compartmentalized jewelry box
– add extra security measures for high-value jewelry
Clean Jewelry Regularly
Cleaning helps jewelry look its best, but one should always be aware of the vulnerability. Every jewelry design is unique, with different metals, stones, and settings to consider. So, it’s important to be extremely patient and gentle when cleaning to avoid damaging your jewelry.
Soaking your jewelry in a mixture of mild liquid soap (or dish detergent) and warm water provides a safe and universal cleaning agent. And a soft bristled brush (like a toothbrush) can help you remove anything that doesn’t come off in a basic soak.
If you have any sterling silver jewelry, it’s important to note that the effects of summer can cause your jewelry to tarnish easily. But a silver polishing cloth can do wonders and keep everything looking shiny. Just remember to give each piece a quick wipe before and after putting it on.
We hope our tips were helpful and that you feel 100% ready for a sparkling summer of fun and fashion. If you happen to be looking for some new additions to your wardrobe, we have you covered with a wide selection of fine jewelry you won’t find anywhere else. Have a fabulous summer and happy shopping!
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