If you’re heading to the coast and not sure what baubles and trinkets you should be thinking about wearing or packing, I’ve got some tips for wearing jewelry to the beach. It’s probably something you actually don’t give much thought to, but I learned some surprising information that I’d like to share with you. I hope you find these tips for wearing jewelry to the beach interesting and useful. (p.s. this focuses on metal and precious jewelry rather than fashion pieces).
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Wear or Not Wear?
Absolutely! From accessorizing your fabulous new bikini and highlighting your tan to beach weddings, cocktails on the sand or just because you love it, I don’t believe there is any reason why you shouldn’t! The rest of my tips for wearing jewelry to the beach will help you decide what’s good and what’s not so hot.
I mentioned in the intro that there’s things we probably never consider when thinking about our beach jewelry – how about this one? In some places, the sea doesn’t reach lovely warm temperatures but we still venture in. Please note that cold water can make our body parts “shrink “ – including our hands. Loose fitting rings are therefore best avoided. You don’t want to add your precious engagement/wedding ring or family heirloom to Davy Jones’ Locker.
It’s ok to be concerned about the impact of sand on jewelry. Sand is silica and it is very abrasive. The effect it has on jewelry is totally dependent on the materials the jewelry is made from. Solid precious metals – gold, silver, platinum, tungsten, titanium etc, will be unaffected. Plated items (rhodium, gold, silver, vermeil etc) can certainly suffer sand abrasion. When it comes to stones and gems, the harder the stone, the less likelihood of scratching – most at risk are softer quartz minerals such as citrine and amethyst.
You don’t just have to think about the temperature and sand. Another of the tips for wearing jewelry at the beach covers the issue of salt. Salt is of course, present not only in the sea but in the air also. Salt can have a long-term effect on some materials – particularly ferrous metals (iron and steel). It is also harmful to copper, which also applies to rose-gold due to its copper content. Other soft absorbent materials used in jewelry making such as wood, coral and turquoise will absorb salt which will over time, cause them to rot.
Lotions and Potions
So we’ve looked at the impact of nature on jewelry but what about other commonplace items like suntan lotion, creams and even sweat? All of those items contain chemicals so chemical reactions with jewelry materials can occur – but in a minor way. The chemicals have to be safe otherwise we wouldn’t be putting them on our bodies and they have a minimal effect on metal. Some might affect non-metal jewelry – mainly in the way of discoloration, but it’s impossible to provide examples because the potential is minimal and options so vast. However, lotions and creams can certainly do harm to strung jewelry so this is best avoided.
So What’s Best?
The best materials for jewelry for the beach are the durable ones. Anything in the precious metal and gemstone line is fine (except plated as mentioned). If you want to wear your diamond ring or sapphire pendant to the beach – go for it!
After a day at the beach you should treat your jewelry to a little TLC. Use a brush all over the jewelry to remove any grains of sand that may have gotten into the tiny crevices. If you’re going on vacation, take a spare make up brush with you. Wash jewelry in cold running water to remove any build up of salt and sun cream.
Had you ever considered any of these issues before you wear jewelry to the beach or are you like me and have some pieces you never take off, whatever you’re doing?
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