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Summer Fun and Your Fine Jewelry

19/06/2024 | Valerie Skinner

Fine jewelry may be a part of your everyday style, or there may be pieces you never take off, like a wedding ring.  And although you want to shine at the pool, beach or pickle ball court, can sand, chlorine, sports or sunscreen damage your fine jewelry?

Let’s take a dive to understand how these activities interact with your jewelry and what precautions you should consider:


Chlorine is commonly used in swimming pools to keep the water clean and safe for swimmers by killing bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. While essential for maintaining pool hygiene, chlorine can react with certain metals and materials found in jewelry.

Metals and Jewelry
The most common metals used in jewelry are gold, silver, and various alloys. Each metal reacts differently when exposed to chlorine:
Gold: Pure gold (24 karats) is resistant to chlorine and will not tarnish or corrode. However, lower karat gold (e.g., 14k or 18k) contains other metals like copper and silver, which can react with chlorine, causing discoloration and dullness over time.
Silver: Sterling silver is particularly vulnerable to chlorine exposure. It can tarnish quickly when exposed to chlorine, forming a dark layer on the surface called tarnish. This tarnish is typically removable with cleaning, but frequent exposure to chlorine can accelerate the process.
Other Metals: Metals like brass and bronze can also tarnish or corrode when exposed to chlorine, due to their composition of copper and other alloys.
Gemstones and Materials
In addition to metals, gemstones and other materials used in jewelry can react differently to chlorine:
Gemstones: Some gemstones are sensitive to chlorine, which can affect their color or cause them to become brittle or damaged over time. For example, pearls, opals, and turquoise are particularly vulnerable and should be kept away from chlorine.
Plated Jewelry: Jewelry that is gold or silver plated can wear off more quickly when exposed to chlorine, revealing the base metal underneath.


The Beach

Who doesn't love to wear a bit of gold with their tan. But wearing fine jewelry at the beach can be a bit tricky due to several reasons:

Damage Risk: Fine jewelry, especially pieces with delicate gemstones or intricate designs, can be easily damaged by sand, saltwater, and sunscreen. Abrasive materials like sand can scratch gemstones and metal surfaces

Loss Risk: The beach environment increases the likelihood of losing jewelry, especially rings, bracelets, and earrings that may come loose in the sand or water.

Safety Concerns: Depending on the type of jewelry, there could be safety concerns, such as necklaces getting caught on objects or earrings causing discomfort due to sand or water exposure.



While fine jewelry may be beautiful and meaningful, it's generally not advisable to wear it during sports due to the risks involved. It's better to prioritize comfort, safety, and performance during physical activities. Some things to consider:

Damage or Loss: Fine jewelry, especially pieces with delicate settings or intricate designs, can easily get damaged during physical activities. This includes scratching, bending, or even losing stones due to impact or friction.
Safety Concerns: Jewelry can pose safety risks during sports. Rings or bracelets can catch on equipment or clothing, potentially causing injury to yourself or others. For example, a ring can get caught on something and cause a finger injury during a game.
Distraction: Jewelry can be distracting during sports activities. It might shift or move unexpectedly, drawing your attention away from the game or exercise, which could affect your performance or concentration.
Comfort Issues: Certain types of jewelry may not be comfortable to wear during physical activities. Earrings or necklaces can become uncomfortable when you sweat, and bracelets can interfere with wrist movements.
Practical Alternatives: Athletes often opt for practical alternatives such as silicone rings or sports-specific jewelry that are designed to withstand physical activity without compromising safety or performance.


Precautions and Care Tips

The safest option is to remove your jewelry before enjoying a day at the beach, pool or court. But if not:  

Secure Fit: Ensure that jewelry fits securely and comfortably. Avoid loose-fitting rings or bracelets that could slip off.
Water Resistance: Choose jewelry made from materials that can withstand water exposure, such as solid gold or platinum (avoiding hollow pieces that may trap water), or jewelry specifically designed for water sports.
Sunscreen: Consider applying sunscreen before you put on your jewelry so you are not slathering lotion over metals and stones. 
Aftercare: After a day in the sun, rinse your jewelry thoroughly with clean water to remove any chlorine, perspiration or sunscreen esidue. Use a soft cloth to gently dry and polish your jewelry to maintain its shine.


A little care goes a long way in preserving your jewelry and keeping it sparkling for many summers to come!

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