It's like the song says: "Summertime and the living is easy." It is the time to hit the pool, go on vacation, get away from it all. We all want to look our best while enjoying our summer and if you own a luxury timepiece or fine piece of jewelry, the temptation to stun the world with your style can be overwhelming. You will want to be careful: You can wear your finery, but you will want to protect it from the sun's rays!
The sun's rays can do just as much damage to your jewelry as they can do to your skin. Prolonged exposure to intense light and heat can have an effect on a gemstone's color and durability. The sun can fade your stone's color, dulling their natural beauty. Stones like topaz and amethyst are particularly light sensitive. Pearls are also very much at risk during the summer: They can lose their luster and fade under extreme exposure to light.
Heat can also sap away the natural moisture contained in gems. Gems need this moisture to maintain their beauty. Without that moisture, they will be structurally weaker and could fracture. Pearls can dry out, discolor and crack under too much heat.
Another factor to keep in mind is whether or not your colored gemstone has been treated. Many stones are treated to improve their color and clarity. There is nothing wrong with treated stones - In most cases, they are indistinguishable when compared to "natural" gemstones. But they are more sensitive to heat! If you have a treated gemstone, take extra care to make sure they are not directly exposed to the intense summer heat for too long.
Before you get worried about your jewelry, it is important to note that most of these negative side effects will only happen after long exposures to light and heat. So long as you don't leave your jewelry out in the open to bake beneath the sun's rays, they should be fine. When you are at home, keep your jewelry safely stored in a cool environment. Just make sure that it isn't too dry: Some stones like pearls and opals draw moisture from the air, so storing them in a dry area like a safe deposit box could end up damaging them in the long run. Keeping your pearls and opals in a box that can accommodate a small glass of water will keep their hydration, prolonging their beauty.
Heat can affect your watch's ability to keep time. If you own a quartz timepiece, extremely high temperatures could throw off its accuracy: quartz crystals are cut so they will perform optimally at room temperature. Mechanical watches are also vulnerable to high temperatures. The heat can make the metal parts in your watch's movement expand and contract. It can also affect the viscosity of the oil that lubricates the watch movement, which can hamper its accuracy.
Sudden shifts in temperature can also cause the rubber seals in your watch to contract. Contracted seals can leave your watch vulnerable to water leaks and moisture damage. High temperatures can also reduce the service life of the battery on a quartz watch. The best way to protect your luxury watch is to use it sparingly if you know you're going to be out in the summer heat for a long period of time. You should also consider leaving your watch at home if yo know you are going to be swimming or in an area that could experience sudden temperature shifts between very hot and cold weather.
Looking for something that will make you shine as bright as the summer sun? Come visit us and see our collection of fine jewelry at Hamra Jewelers. For more information, give us a call at 480-946-5110.