Summertime Jewelry Care Guide – Altana Marie
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pink sunset over blue sea full of swimmers and surfers

Summertime Jewelry Care Guide

There's been a lot of discussion lately about where you should and shouldn't wear your jewelry and how you should take care of it. While some of it is a bit extreme, there are definitely situations where we would advise removing your jewelry. And going into summer, it's the perfect time to break it down before you make a mistake that could cost you your favorite piece.

Jewelry Care Guide for Summertime, with picture of blue sea and pink sunset, water full of swimmers and surfers

Can I go swimming with my jewelry?

If you're going to swim or soak, definitely take your ring off! Whether it's a pool or the beach or a hot tub, this is one to skip for sure. Chlorine, salt water, and even the PH of your sweat can discolor your jewelry. Sunscreen can create a film on your band and your stone. But in our opinion, the larger risk when you're swimming is that your ring might slip off without you even noticing it. In cooler water, your fingers can shrink slightly. You would not believe how many people lose engagement rings and wedding bands while swimming or in the sand. It is really quite common. Don't let this happen to you!

Can I wear my jewelry at the gym?

Nope. Don't wear your jewelry at the gym. Barbells and weights can mar the surface of your rings or rip earrings and necklaces. Ring settings can also be knocked and damaged causing stones to become loose or fall out. But more seriously, you run the risk of hurting yourself. If your jewelry gets caught on something heavy, it can seriously injure you. Best practice would be to take off your jewelry before you go to the gym so you don't have to worry about your precious pieces sitting in a locker while you're working out.

What about when I'm getting ready?

This is a tough one, and it really comes down to personal choice for most people. The official answer is that all face products, lotions, makeups, sunscreens, etc can dull the shine of your jewelry and build up on your pieces over time. The unofficial answer? We know very few people who bother to take off their jewelry every time before they shower or do their hair or get ready for the day. The one exception here would be pearl jewelry, as pearls can be permanently damaged by the chemicals in your toiletries. 

When else do I need to worry about taking off my rings?

For us, there are two categories you should watch out for: chemicals and dirt & sand. Any activities that involve chemicals, like cleaning, can damage your band and stone. Even cleaners that you might assume are "gentler" than bleach or other strong chemicals can still damage your jewelry. At home, an easy solution is to wear heavy gloves for cleaning or store your pieces in your jewelry box while you work. The same thing goes for activities with dirt and sand. When gardening or playing on the beach, rocks, sand, and dirt can get stuck in your ring, and depending on the stones, can even potentially scratch them.

What if I work with my hands?

We always ask our customers about their lifestyle before creating a ring for them because we want to design something beautiful that fits in their day to day routine. But the truth is that if you work in a very rough profession or use your hands all day long, like a masseuse, you may want to skip the ring at work. In those cases, you could consider a placeholder ring, something with less sentimental and actual value or wear gloves if that's an option.

Can I sleep in my earrings?

We have many clients that prefer to sleep with smaller earrings in at night. Generally, at issue here is the fact that your pillow or blanket could snag a prong and loosen or lose a stone on the earring. Certain types of earrings, like pearl earrings, can be permanently damaged by lotions and cosmetics from you washing your face at night or getting ready in the morning. Most gemstone earrings will be okay in this situation, and just may need more frequent cleanings. While these are things to take into consideration, for the most part, we feel like it's a personal decision and wouldn't strongly advise our clients one way or the other. (One caveat to that rule would be to avoid sleeping in large and heavy earrings as this can stretch your piercings.)

So, how do I clean my jewelry?

First and foremost, remember that we are always available for a complimentary cleaning and prong check for your pieces. This not only returns your jewelry to it's original shine, it also makes sure that your stones are secure. If you'd like to make an appointment to come in for a cleaning, call the store at 510.488.9960 or email us at

If you'd like to clean your own jewelry at home, we offer a cleaning kit with a fabulous biodegradable surfactant. It's gentle and effective, safe for all gemstones, even pearls. It's great for cleaning oil and build up off of stones and in hard to reach areas. Especially for clients with pavé, we highly recommend this kit. 

For silver, the rules are a bit different. Our number one recommendation is to wear your silver jewelry often. Your skin's natural oils actually help to keep it from tarnishing. And you want to be very diligent about taking it off before using any toiletries, sunscreens, cleaning products, etc. Polish your silver jewelry frequently. We like using a microfiber cloth, like the one here. Our jewelry cleaner mentioned above can also be used on sterling silver.

How should I store my jewelry?

As a good general rule, you want to keep your jewelry somewhere dry and secure. It's best to always store it in the same place so you don't lose track of it. And remember to keep it somewhere that children and pets can't get to it. Keep an eye on the store. We are adding new jewelry boxes and travel jewelry kits soon!

Anything else I should do to protect my jewelry?

Yes! Get insurance! We can't recommend it enough. Did you know that jewelry insurance can cover not just damage or theft, but even "mysterious disappearances"? (Psst... that means you just lost it. Who hasn't been there?!) Generally, your jewelry can be added to your home owner's policy or your rental insurance. Otherwise, you can take out a policy with another company. Depending on the value of the jewelry you're insuring, you may need to provide an official appraisal. We work with a local third party appraiser and are happy to facilitate the appointment for you. Please contact the shop at 510.488.9960 or email us at 


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