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Summer -vs- Jewelry

Summer is a fun-filled time of year; the days are longer, the nights can be cool and how many trips to the shore or the nearby pool? What most people don’t consider when at the beach or about to take a dip is if they’re wearing their jewelry. Our jewelry is a part of us. Our wedding bands never leave our fingers. That clasp on a favorite necklace is just too difficult to open, so it stays on. Pieces we hold dear to our heart are not coming off, ever. When it comes to certain jewelry items though, cool water temperatures and some chemicals can put our favorite pieces at risk for loss and damage.

Just like our rings fit more loose in the winter, cold water can make our fingers and toes less swollen. The amount of time it takes for a brief splash in cold water to secretly slip a ring off is astonishing, especially if that ring is already too big. If you’re swimming in ocean water, the chances of finding that item amongst the sandy water are extremely low.

Before the next bit of information, we think it’s best to break down what gold is. Gold, with its dense yellow color, is a very soft and malleable, yet durable, naturally occurring metal. One karat is 1/24 part pure gold, hence why pure gold is 24 karat. Most of the gold we wear today is mixed with an alloy for durability, to make it stronger. 10 karat gold is 10/24 parts, which is almost 42% gold alloyed with copper, nickel and/or another element. 14 karat gold is 14/24 parts, which is just over 50% gold. Although these alloys help strengthen gold, they are susceptible to damage from our swimming pools. Chlorine is used in pools to kill bacteria. Although chlorine does nothing to pure gold, it eats away at the alloys in lesser karats. The chlorine weakens the spots that take on the most stress, causing it to crack, literally. Household cleaning supplies that contain bleach have the same effect. If a ring cracks on the part that touches your finger (the shank), you may or may not lose it. Prongs are the pieces of gold that hold in diamonds, birthstones, pearls, etc. If one of more of these prongs crack, you could lose your precious gems.

Depending on the type of jewelry material and the length of time the item was submerged, the damage may be irreparable and can go unnoticed. To help make summer as enjoyable as possible, know your plans before thinking about what jewelry to wear. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 856-931-7922, email at or you can submit a question at the bottom of our home page.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer!