Caring for your jewelry over the summer months will increase it’s longevity and keep them looking great! To ensure that your favorite rings, necklaces, earrings, wedding bands and engagement rings shine beautifully in the summer sun; follow these tips.
Don’t forget to read part 2 of our summer time jewelry tips for even more tips and tricks to clean jewelry!
General Summertime Care
Have your jewelry checked for loose stones. Don’t put a damper on a wonderful summer evening by discovering your favorite ring lost a stone.
Don’t wear your jewelry to the beach! The beach is a hazardous place for precious metals, abrasive sand can scratch precious metal and colored gemstones, not to mention it’s very easy to lose your jewelry in all of that sand. There’s a reason beaches are hotspots for metal detectors, but thankfully groups like The Ring Finders exist to help if you lose something!
It’s also a bad idea to wear jewelry when gardening, dirt and small stones can scratch or gouge jewelry.
Sunblock may contribute to the erosion of some colored gemstones (especially pearls), and the sunblock builds up in crevices and prongs resulting in a dingy appearance. Wait 30 minutes after applying sunblock to put your jewelry on.
When you know you will be going swimming, leave the jewelry at home. Chlorine and salt water can tarnish or damage sterling silver and karat gold jewelry.
When removing your jewelry at night, remember to wipe your jewelry down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue from perspiration, cosmetics, insect repellant or lotions to reduce the potential for chemical erosion.
People believe a brief soak in vodka or gin will clean jewelry, but the best summertime jewelry care is to leave the spirits for cocktails, and follow our suggestions below.
It is vital to avoid damaging a pearl’s nacre through harsh chemicals or abrasives, pearl is among the softest gemstones in jewelry.
For thorough cleaning soak in warm water with a very mild detergent. Then pat the pearls dry after cleaning. If the pearls are strung make sure the string is completely dry before wearing the jewelry.
The use of ultra sonic jewelry cleaners, steam cleaners, or boiling water as a method of cleaning is not recommended for pearls and will result in damage to your jewelry.
Store pearls carefully, laying them down flat for storage to reduce the need to restring your pearls frequently.
Always store pearls in a cool place where they aren’t exposed to direct sunlight.
Have your pearls re-strung at least every other year, but restringing every year is recommended for pearls that are frequently worn.
Pearls are very soft, so do not store pearls with other, harder, stones.
Jewelry Set with Colored Gemstones
When attempting to clean colored gemstone jewelry the most important factor is proper identification of the gemstone. Each gemstone is different and what will safely clean one may damage another.
Sunlight exposure causes some gemstones to fade. Store jewelry in a place that limits exposure to direct sunlight.
Extreme temperature changes will fracture some varieties of gemstones, especially if they’ve previously had cracks filled or they have micro fractures, and high heat can also cause color changes. You should not attempt to clean jewelry with gemstones by “boiling” or “steaming” as you run the risk of damaging your gemstones.
Gemstones vary in hardness, so storing colored gemstone jewelry together can result in scratches to the softer stones. Keep your jewelry separated when in storage to avoid unnecessary wear.
If you aren’t positive of the identity of a gemstone or if the gemstone is cracked, fractured or has had cracks or fractures filled it is better to take the jewelry to a jeweler for identification and cleaning
Safe cleaning techniques for colored gemstones vary dramatically and we suggest visiting the Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Encyclopedia which is a great resource for more specific information on gemstones, and how to safely clean and care for them.
G&S Metals and Refiners hopes this helps our customers keep their jewelry safe, clean, and intact through these summer months! Remember to add your cleaning tips in the comments, and to check our blog next month when we’ll have even more jewelry cleaning tips!