Weekend getaways, jaunts to the beach, and full-fledged vacations are perks that pretty much come with come the territory during the summer months, so it’s no wonder that summer fashion tips—i.e., what to wear, what to pack, what to buy—are at the forefront of our minds right now.
One thing, though, that’s not quite as readily on our radar is the idea of jewelry and how the summer months might affect our pieces. Namely, how we can protect our beloved rings, jewelry, necklaces, and earrings from the season’s elements, and how we can keep them secure while jetting off somewhere sun-filled.
According to the experts at The International Gemological Institute (IGI)—the world’s largest independent laboratory for testing and evaluating gemstones and fine jewelry—our jewelry can take a serious bruising when exposed to quotidian summer activities such as lounging in the sand, applying suntan lotion, and traveling. Whether your summer plans include a weekend trip or a week abroad, we caught up with Jerry Ehrenwald, president and CEO of IGI, to get 5 easy tips on how to make sure your jewelry is taken care of.
1. Sunbathe sans sparklers.
Sunscreen can coat gemstones, which reduces refractive and reflective light. Essentially, this means your stones won’t be as brilliant or bling-y. To avoid this, leave your fine pieces at home if you’re heading to the beach or the pool for the day, and be sure clean them regularly all summer.
2. Organization is key when traveling.
When jumbled together, your jewelry doesn’t always get along. For example, a diamond can scratch a pearl, and a bracelet can get caught on a necklace, so always pack pieces in individual soft cloth pouches or lined jewelry boxes to prevent scratching, dulling, and the dreaded tangling of chains.
3. Keep it safe.
When selecting a hotel, be sure that safe deposit boxes are available. Never leave fine jewelry unattended in a hotel room, a rental car, or on a lounge chair—even if you’re just popping over to the bar for a mojito.
4. Shopping for something new? Do your research.
Oftentimes, vacation destinations are also prime shopping destinations, so if you get the urge to commemorate your trip with a new fine jewelry purchase (as opposed to a couple of locally-made friendship bracelets, which are a must!), make sure you’re buying from a jeweler that’s been in business for several years. When in doubt, check a retailer’s reputation and rating with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbbonline.org) and also learn the store’s return policy. Most reputable jewelers have at least a 30-day money back guarantee wherever you are.
5. Before you go away, be sure your jewelry is adequately insured.
If you decide to bring an especially valuable piece on vacation—perhaps your engagement ring, a pricey watch, or a family heirloom—you might want to consider consulting an insurance agent to obtain an independent appraisal report to ensure a fair replacement if the article is lost, stolen or damaged.
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