Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy that beautiful summer weather! Summer can do wonders for your social life and your mood (especially when on a summer vacation!). But there’s one thing summer’s a bit rough on: your jewelry. 

Unfortunately, the many exciting activities of the summer months can expose your jewelry to harsh elements or unsafe conditions. Things like pool water, sand, and sunscreen can all put your jewelry’s cleanliness and durability at risk. Then, summer travel plans can come with certain risks for your jewelry. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your jewelry this summer. Read on to see our top tips on keeping your jewelry safe and sparkling during the summer season! 

Tips on Caring for Your Jewelry in the Great Outdoors

Summer comes with beautiful weather. But that beautiful weather tends to draw us out into the great outdoors, exposing our jewelry to harsh elements or risk of loss. Read our tips below to learn how you can protect your jewelry when you’re out enjoying summer’s lovely weather.  

Pool, Lake, and Beach Jewelry Care

If you’re going to be out by the water, it’s generally a good idea to leave your jewelry at home. This is because it’s very easy for your jewelry to get lost, damaged, or dirty when you’re at a beach, pool, or lake. 

First, let’s talk about the risk of loss. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to lose your jewelry when you’re out by the water. If your jewelry slips off in a pool, you may be able to recover it— if it doesn’t get pulled into a drain. But if your jewelry slips off in the ocean or a lake, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to recover it from the depths of the ocean or the bottom of a deep, murky lake. It’s especially easy to lose rings in the water, due to cold water. Cold water can make your fingers shrink, which can cause your rings to slip off. 

Next, let’s talk about damage. At the pool, there’s chlorine, which can cause damage or discoloration to precious metals. Chlorine can also remove the finish and polish from precious gemstones like diamonds. Then, at the beach, you have two elements that can cause damage: salt water and sand. Like chlorine, salt water can damage or discolor precious metals. Rose gold is particularly susceptible to discoloration in salt water, as it contains copper. Sand, present at the beach and some lakes, can also damage your jewelry. Sand is highly abrasive and can scratch precious metals. It can also become lodged in your jewelry’s settings, which can potentially loosen them. 

Lastly, there’s the issue of build up, which can cause your jewelry to become dull and dim over time. Sunscreen is a common cause of build up on jewelry during the summer. However, murky lake water can also lead to build up that makes your jewelry look dull or dim. 

For all these reasons, we recommend removing your jewelry before heading to the water in the summer. 

General Outdoor Jewelry Care 

When out in the great outdoors in the summer, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen and bug spray. However, both sunscreen and bug spray can cause irritating build up on your jewelry, which can make it look dull and dim. It is possible to clean this build up off, either with an at home cleaning or a professional cleaning. But if you’d like to avoid having to clean your jewelry often in the summer, take it off when you know you’ll be wearing sunscreen or bug spray. (Or at least take it off when you apply sunscreen or bug spray to minimize build up.)

Then, many outdoor activities can be hazardous for your jewelry. Things like gardening, yard work, and sports can put your jewelry at risk of getting scratched, bumped, or dented. While scratches are more of a cosmetic issue, bumps and dents can cause structural problems for your jewelry. Bumps and dents can potentially loosen your jewelry’s settings, putting you at risk of losing stones. To protect your jewelry from cosmetic and structural problems, be sure to take it off before playing sports or doing things like gardening or yard work. 

Summer Jewelry Travel Tips 

Traveling is a lot of fun! But it can also be risky for your jewelry. Browse our tips below to find out how you can protect your jewelry while traveling this summer. 

Pack Jewelry Individually 

When you’re packing your jewelry, you may be tempted to just throw all your jewelry into one bag. However, this can damage your diamond jewelry and other harder gemstones. Sapphires and rubies, can easily scratch softer materials like gold, pearls, or opals. For example, if you’re packing a diamond pendant necklace and pearl earrings, your diamond can easily scratch up your pearls, since diamonds are very hard and pearls are quite soft. To avoid this, try storing each piece of fine jewelry in a box or a soft cloth. Or, if you’re in a pinch, you can try wrapping your jewelry in a few pieces of tissue. 

Never Put Precious Jewelry in a Checked Bag 

Another thing you should consider when traveling in the summer (or any time of year, really) is what you put in your checked bag. If a piece of jewelry is valuable to you, whether monetarily or sentimentally, we would strongly advise against putting it in a checked bag. This is because checked bags can get lost. And while lost bags are sometimes recovered, other times they are gone for good. So, always play it safe keep valuable pieces in your purse or carry on bag, or just wear them. 

Consider Whether or Not You Want to Bring Valuable Jewelry

If a piece of jewelry is very valuable to you, you may want to reconsider bringing it on a trip. Traveling is fun but it comes with some risks. There’s always the possibility that your jewelry will get stolen or that it may fall off in some foreign location, never to be seen again. If you have a piece of jewelry that feels irreplaceable, like an heirloom piece or your engagement ring, you may want to keep it safely stored at home. 

This issue can be a bit tricky when it comes to engagement rings and wedding rings. You may want to enjoy wearing your bridal jewelry on a trip, but also want to keep it safe. If this issue is plaguing you, we have a tip: wear a dupe ring. You can get an imitation version of your engagement ring or wedding band made by a jeweler, using less precious materials. Or, you can also consider getting a less expensive diamond solitaire ring to wear when you travel. This way, you’ll still be wearing a ring in all your vacation pictures— but your real bridal jewelry will be safe and sound in your home city. 

Safety Tips for Traveling With Fine Jewelry

If you decide to take your fine jewelry on a trip, there are some things you should do to protect it. For one thing, never leave fine jewelry out in the open in a hotel room. When you’re out and about, you should always either wear your jewelry or keep it locked in a secure safe or safety deposit box. If you know your hotel won’t have a safe, you could also consider bringing a portable safe. 

Then, there’s always the option of jewelry insurance. Jewelry insurance can’t protect the sentimental value of jewelry, but it can protect its monetary value. If you’re traveling with valuable jewelry, it’s always a good idea to purchase jewelry insurance that covers loss, theft, and mysterious disappearance. If you want to get jewelry insurance to get extra peace of mind while traveling, be sure to check the fine print before you purchase. Jewelry insurance coverage varies wildly, so make sure the insurance you get will protect you no matter where you travel to.