The first day of summer was June 20th! So, you’re probably in full swing with summer activities. Since we've all been cooped up for a while, you’re likely excited to make trips to the local beaches that are open, splashing in the pool, and taking family vacations where possible…you’re doing ALL the summer things! Well, a lot of these things can be harmful to your fine jewelry, so it’s important that are you fully prepared with tips and tricks to take care of your jewelry (like this stunning Hearts On Fire Lariat necklace) this summer.

Pack for travel. When packing for a vacation or just a weekend getaway, be mindful of how you stow away your fine jewelry. Diamonds can easily scratch pearls and other gemstones, so it’s important to separate each piece appropriately. Pack away your gems in lined travel-sized jewelry boxes or soft cloth pouches so that they look stunning when you arrive to your destination. To keep chains from getting tangled en route to your destination, a clever hack is to thread each chain through a straw and wrap them in tissue for extra protection. To keep your fine jewelry sparkly on the go, we recommend a travel-sized ultrasonic jewelry cleaner (like this one that can be purchased on Amazon).

Say no to sandcastles. We understand wanting to flaunt your gems in the sunshine and at the beach, but that might not be the best decision in the long run. Sand can be very abrasive to fine jewelry, acting like coarse sandpaper on gemstones and metals. So, when selecting your jewelry, make sure to evaluate your plans for the day. If the plans are to hit the beach or be around sand at all, we would recommend that you opt for keeping your jewelry safely stowed away.

Swim sans sparklers. Beaches and pools can be easy places to misplace your jewelry. Especially considering that your hands can become cold in cool water which may cause rings (like our beautiful J&S Collection Opal Ring) to easily slide off your fingers and go missing. Not to mention, chlorine and chemicals in swimming pools and salt water in the ocean can also be harmful to your sparklers. Protect your skin and jewelry. We absolutely advocate for using sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays. However, gemstones can lose their brilliance when coated in sunscreen and sunscreen can cause some materials to be bleached. So, be sure to set aside your jewelry while applying sunscreen. It’s also important to keep colored gemstones away from the sun as strong sun rays and heat can lead to the gemstone’s colors to fade over time.

Use caution. Make sure to never leave fine jewelry unattended at the pool or beach or anywhere else. When you are selecting hotel accommodations, seek out rooms with safes where your jewelry can be properly secured when not in your possession (such as when you go to the beach or pool, if you choose to follow the advice in this post).

Sanitize. With all of the hand sanitizing happening right now, it's important to know how this will affect your fine jewelry. For the most part, applying hand sanitizer while wearing your rings is safe for hard stones and precious metals. This includes jewelry with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and gold, silver, platinum and titanium. However, you have to be very careful with stones that are considered 'soft' such as opals or pearls because they can be damaged by the alcohol in the hand sanitizer. We advise you to remove your rings with soft stones before applying hand sanitizer. Also, make sure that you check to see if your hand sanitizer has chlorine in it. If so, try to stay away from it because chlorine can tarnish and cause corrosion in gold and silver jewelry.

All in all, use caution when caring for your jewelry this summer. Have a fabulous, sparkly summer! And be sure to visit a James & Sons store in Chicago, Orland Park or Schererville for all of your jewelry needs!