It is almost impossible to avoid going to the beach when you are at our home base in Pensacola, FL. Many of our customers come in asking, “Is it okay for me to wear my jewelry to the beach?”. There has never been a definitive black-and-white answer to this question. We have seen a lot of debate on this, but everything should be considered on a case-by-case basis. We don’t have a simple answer but we do, however, have some helpful guidelines you can use to decide for yourself.
First, some warnings.
Sand can be very abrasive to your jewelry. The millions of grains of sand at the beach can scratch your jewelry very easily. Something as simple as building a sandcastle can wear down your jewelry tremendously.
Salt can tarnish your jewelry. Salt is genuinely inescapable, as it is in both the water and the air. Salt’s chemical compounds can be deadly to your jewelry, leaving it tarnished and stained.
Water can also be dangerous. Besides the salt in the water, cold water can make your fingers shrink, making it very easy to lose your jewelry.
Jewelry can also mess with your sun routine. Sunscreen can leave a greasy film on your jewelry, and if you let it sit long enough, it can erode your finish and tarnish your piece. Jewelry can also leave you with some pretty nasty tan lines if you leave them on. Baking your jewelry in the sun can also be pretty painful when it starts to heat the metal.
Weigh the risks.
Leave your precious one-of-a-kind pieces at home. While they might look amazing with your beach outfit, it is not worth losing something irreplaceable. Stick to pieces that you would survive damaging or losing. Always assume the worst-case scenario to make sure you don’t disappoint yourself.
What can you wear?
We recommend wearing lighter pieces that are easy to take off. Simple jewelry is easier to remove before getting into the water and sand. More lightweight jewelry also lowers the risk of an embarrassing tan line. When it comes to the beach, less is more.
Consider the metals in your jewelry. Tougher metals like gold, platinum, and silver are less likely to be scratched by sand than softer metals like iron, vermeil, or gold-plated jewelry. Pewter, copper, and sterling silver are all very susceptible to being tarnished in saltwater. Metals like gold and platinum can generally withstand salty water.
Choose harder stones like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Harder stones are scratch-resistant and can survive a trip to the sand.
Make sure your jewelry fits well before you take a dip in the water. Any loose items could get lost forever in the water or sand so make sure your jewelry fits correctly.
So you decided to wear your jewelry to the beach, what should you do when you get home?
First, you can take a damp cloth and use that to wipe down the jewelry you wore. It is crucial to clean your jewelry every time you leave the beach to prevent any permanent damage. Wiping down your jewelry will help get rid of any sand or sunscreen that could damage your pieces. If your jewelry is still noticeable greasy or sandy, you should consider doing a deeper clean. Harsh cleaning products could damage the jewelry further, so stick to a gentle soap and water on a cloth. Make sure to wipe down every area of the ring when cleaning. After that, rinse and dry the piece with a dry cloth and leave it to make sure it fully dries to prevent any rust. While cleaning your jewelry yourself can do wonders, it may be worth considering taking your jewelry in for a professional cleaning to ensure that your jewelry is immaculate. Once your beach season is over, you can bring in a big batch of jewelry to be cleaned all at once.