9 Essential Jewelry Care Tips for the Summer

Summer's the perfect time to show off your fine and designer jewelry, whether it’s gold or silver, or it's adorned with precious stones. However, the season's sun, sea, and sand can take a toll on your cherished pieces. To help keep your jewelry looking its best all summer long, follow these nine jewelry care tips.

#1 Protect Your Jewelry from Sunlight

Just like the sun can damage our skin, it can also affect the beauty of your jewelry. When you expose your jewelry to the sun’s rays for long periods of time, it can lead to a loss of vibrancy in gemstones, especially opals. And for some metals, the sunlight could potentially alter their color. . Pure gold does not oxidize, but the metals added to create alloys can react with the environment. To preserve the color and condition of your jewelry, keep your jewelry away from prolonged direct sunlight as much as you can.

#2 Keep Your Jewelry Away from Water

Water can be an adversary to the longevity and beauty of your jewelry, especially during the summer. The chlorine in swimming pools and the salt content in ocean water can deteriorate and discolor some metals and gemstones, including pearls and opals. So, make sure to take off your jewelry before diving into a pool or wading into the sea. Similarly, it’s advisable to remove your jewelry before showering.

#3 Mind the Heat

Heat is a subtle yet potent factor that can compromise the integrity of your jewelry. Certain gemstones and metals are sensitive to temperature changes. You'll find that some materials fade and discolor when kept close to extreme heat sources.

#4 Limit Contact with Lotions and Sprays

Sunscreen, perfumes, and lotions contain substances that can accumulate on your jewelry over time. This buildup can leave your pieces looking dull and can make the cleaning process even more challenging than usual. 

Mineral-based sunscreen contains zinc oxide, which is a mild abrasive that can wear away jewelry. If you apply sunscreen using your hands and then forget to rinse it off, you may notice that your gold ring will leave a dark circle around your finger; the black residue is actually not a metal allergy but the gold being worn off your ring and onto your finger. It's okay to forget to wash sunscreen off your hands every once in a while, but you don't want to make this a habit!

To keep your jewelry shining, apply your lotions, perfumes, or sunscreen before putting on your jewelry. And then wash your hands before putting on your rings, securing your earring backs, and closing necklace clasps.

If you have a bit of time, you can also wait until your lotions and perfumes are fully absorbed or dried on your skin before wearing your jewelry. This simple step helps to minimize the contact between your jewelry and the chemicals.

#5 Regular Cleaning

Over time, everyday elements like dust, sweat, and natural oils from your skin can gather on your jewelry. This can result in a loss of sparkle and give your pieces a lackluster appearance. To preserve the radiance of your jewelry, clean it regularly.

The easiest way to do this is by wiping your jewelry with a soft cloth and using mild soapy water for cleaning. This method is gentle yet effective in keeping your jewelry bright and shiny.

#6 Proper Storage is Key

  • Cool, Dark Places: Always store your jewelry in a cool and dark environment. Excessive heat and light can degrade the quality of your precious pieces over time.
  • Soft-Lined Jewelry Box: Use a jewelry box with a soft lining to protect your items from light exposure and physical damage. This will help maintain their original luster and beauty.
  • Individual Storage: To prevent scratches and tangles, store each piece of jewelry separately. Soft pouches or a box with multiple compartments are perfect for this purpose.
  • Clasp Chains: For necklaces and chains, ensure the clasps are fastened before storing to avoid any knots or tangles.

#7 Check for Loose Stones and Damage

The hustle and bustle of summer activities can inadvertently put your jewelry at risk. The vigorous movements loosen your gemstones or compromise the settings. Remember to examine your jewelry for any potential issues, paying special attention to the prongs, clasps, and other delicate areas.

If you do discover any irregularities, take your jewelry to a professional jeweler as soon as possible. Delaying could lead to further damage or even the loss of a gemstone. And that's always a disappointing situation!

#8 Invest in a Good Travel Case

When you’re on the move, your jewelry is more vulnerable to risks like misplacement, theft, or accidental damage. A travel jewelry case is an excellent investment to keep your pieces neatly organized and secure, especially during your summer getaways. These cases often have compartments for different types of jewelry, ensuring that each item is snug and protected.

#9 Know Your Metals and Stones

Different metals and stones require different levels of care. So, it’s not just about keeping your jewelry clean and safe; it’s about knowing what it’s made of. Being informed is the first step to ensuring your jewelry stays in perfect condition.

Now, how do you learn to care for your specific jewelry? Most jewelry designers dedicate time to educating jewelry lovers like you about the materials and gemstones they use. And Hilary Finck is one of them!

For a deeper insight into the materials that I am passionate about, make sure to explore my other blog posts. There, you’ll find a wealth of information that will help you appreciate the unique qualities of each piece and unique jewelry care tips for each type of gem.