As it gets hotter, more and more people flock to the pool for a cool-down. You can’t get much more relaxed than when you’re sipping a cool drink on a pool float with loved ones at your side. But just like any other activity, there are precautions to consider when swimming.
You already know about using sunscreen and staying hydrated. But something you may not have thought of is what might happen to your fine jewelry in the water.
The silver and gold found in jewelry isn’t as pure as that found in investment-grade bullion, but pieces of jewelry are still quite valuable—both in metal content and sentimental value. You wouldn’t want to lose or damage your jewelry while trying to partake in summer fun.
As you might know, jewelry will undergo damage over time from normal wear and tear, oxidation, and exposure to the elements. This damage often occurs slowly over the years. But water—and more importantly, the minerals and chemicals found in water—can quicken the pace of oxidation and other damages.
Washing your hands or showering with your jewelry generally won’t hurt it. The chemicals found in tap water aren’t harsh enough to cause reactions with the metals found in your jewelry. In fact, washing while wearing jewelry can even remove skin oils and dirt particles to restore shine. However, it’s not a good idea to submerge jewelry, like when taking a bath. This is especially true if your jewelry contains gems and/or crevices that water can become trapped in.
Swimming exposes jewelry to more chemicals like chlorine or salt, which can interact with jewelry in negative ways. Chlorine can cause color changes in silver, can dissolve some metals, and can damage gemstones. When it comes to hot tubs, the higher temperature can even speed up the chemical reactions that damage jewelry.
Swimming in saltwater isn’t quite as damaging as chlorinated pool water, but it can still be corrosive. Not to mention, losing a piece of jewelry in an ocean makes it much harder to recover than in a pool where it would be visible through the water. Additionally, hot springs are a major problem for jewelry due to the naturally occurring sulfur, which is used by jewelers to intentionally oxidize silver.
The best way to keep your jewelry safe is to not wear it while in or near bodies of water. This prevents the damages listed above, and also prevents the possibility of losing a piece of jewelry in the water. It’s best to leave your precious jewelry safely tucked away at home or in your hotel safe while you go enjoy a summer day out by the water.
What’s your favorite summertime activity? Commenting below will serve as your entry for our June giveaway. But remember to keep it classy; inappropriate comments will be deleted and disqualified. Submit your comment (one comment only please) by June 24, 2018. One winner will be randomly selected on June 25, 2018 to receive a 2018 2 oz Australian Silver Koala Mother and Baby from the Perth Mint’s new Next Generation series.
Good luck and enjoy the summer!