Ah summer. That moment in time when you can spend more time outside, enjoying hiking, swimming, gardening, and other outdoor activities. We hope you’ll be wearing your jewelry to sparkle in the added light, but, perhaps save most of it for luncheons, dinners, and parties after you’re active. Here’s why.
In essence, jewelry doesn’t play well when you’re swimming, gardening, or doing other strenuous sports. Sand is abrasive and can scratch stones and metals. Chlorine, salt water, and sweat aren’t good for precious metals and gems either. If you’re a gardener, dirt can wedge itself under gem settings. And some gems and sterling silver jewelry may also be adversely affected by swings in temperature, exposure to strong sun, and very cold water.
In addition, the chemicals in sunscreen and bug repellent can dull the polish of many metals and gems (though not diamonds). Lotions and sprays can also get into crevices and make jewelry seem dirty. Because we want you to be safe in the sun, and protect yourself from harmful bugs, we think these lotions and sprays are more important than wearing jewelry during your outdoor activities.
Be especially careful with pavé jewelry – where many smaller diamonds are set with tiny beads that allow you to see more of a diamond’s brilliance. These settings are lovely, but, due to the added exposure of the gems, you need to be especially vigilant in avoiding sharp or abrupt contact with hard surfaces, in addition to all the warnings above. That’s especially true for pavé in rings and bracelets. Save pavé jewelry for less strenuous moments – and remove them also during cooking, cleaning, or gardening.
If you have worn your jewelry during activities, be sure to give it a cleaning afterwards. If it’s been lightly worn, just wipe it with a clean, soft, non-scratchy, and lint free damp cloth to remove any dirt or cosmetics. For jewelry containing more delicate gems, such as opals, pearls, emeralds, and tanzanite – stop there.
To do a more thorough clean on diamond jewelry or pavé, place gently in a clean plastic cup, add warm water and mild dish detergent, and let soak overnight. The next day, using a very soft old toothbrush, lightly brush the piece, then rinse (over the cup, to ensure that if a gem is loose, you won’t lose it). If you do see a gem has come loose, put it in a plastic baggie and bring it in – we’ll reset it.
Speaking of bringing your jewelry in, you should plan regular trips to us, so our jeweler can inspect your fine jewelry to make sure all the gems are secure and not damaged. After checking that everything is secure, he can clean it professionally so it sparkles anew. Now get out there and enjoy your summer!