10 Jewelry Safety Tips to Avoid Damage to Your Jewelry
Jewelry hazards exist year-round. From falling down drainpipes to flinging off with a winter glove, there are opportunities for a lost ring at every turn.
As spring break is right around the corner, keeping your jewelry safe during warmer weather brings a host of unique challenges.
In honor of bracelets lost in the sand, gems fallen victim to a wicked game of beach volleyball or rings resting on the ocean floor, here are 10 jewelry safety tips to avoid damage to your jewelry.
When to Remove Your Jewelry
- Before swimming and strenuous activities. Salt water and chlorine can damage your jewelry. Add sweat to the list when it comes to sterling silver.
- Before applying sunscreen and bug spray. Lotion can get into the crevices of chains and prongs. Also, lotions and sprays create a film on your jewelry, making it dull and dingy.
- In direct sunlight. The sun can bleach certain materials, especially natural elements and some plastics.
- In cold water. Cool temperatures cause your fingers to shrink, creating room for your ring to slip off. And when in water, you may not even notice until it's too late. R.I.P. ocean-bottom-dwelling jewelry.
- Before going into a hot tub or swimming pool. Chlorine can damage and discolor metals (like gold and platinum) and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.
- Before playing in the sand (or gardening.) Dirt and small rocks are abrasive. If not cleaned right away, your jewelry can be permanently damaged. Beware the dangers of gardening gloves, too.
How to Care for Your Jewelry
- Clean your jewelry regularly. Your own sweat and body oils can dull the shine of your jewelry. DIY cleaning calls for warm soapy water and a toothbrush.
- Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place. Keep your pieces in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers to prevent pieces from scratching each other. Invest in a safe place to store your jewelry on-the-go, too.
- Watch for warning signs of vulnerabilities in your jewelry. From symptoms of a loose stone to bracelet, necklace and earring red flags, there are six major signals that your jewelry's about to break.
- Visit your jeweler to check for loose gem stones, prongs and clasps. It’s easy to lose a piece of jewelry or individual stones if you’re not giving your jewelry regular check-ups. Your jeweler will deep clean your pieces for a brilliant shine, too!
- Get your favorite jewelry insured. You’ll have the peace of mind that regardless of your surf and turf adventures, your jewelry is protected.
According to our research, many people feel they do not know how to properly care for their jewelry, so don't feel bad if you agree. Watch this video to learn the different warning signs of breakage for various jewelry items. When in doubt, take your jewelry to your jeweler to have it inspected.
The only way to guarantee not losing or damaging your jewelry is to simply take it off and leave it at home!
Do you not have your jewelry insured? No worries. Get a free quote in minutes without providing any personal information.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published May 23, 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.