Does salt water damage your jewelry?

The trip to the beach is planned and the sea awaits you, but what to do with your jewelry?

After spending your savings on expensive jewelry, you want to know that you are getting what you paid for, which is why it is important to take all the essential steps to ensure your jewelry is protected.

To learn more about the effects of salt water on jewelry and how salt water can damage jewelry, read on.

If you wear jewelry all the time, whether it's a wedding ring or an engagement ring, a simple pair of classic earrings or that necklace you never take off, you know, From your past experiences, jewelry often suffers from exposure to different conditions.

The biggest culprit and cause for concern is often exposure to salt and chlorine, and both of these agents can cause irreparable damage to expensive jewelry, which is why it is recommended to remove your jewelry when swimming.

bangle bracelet

Now you know to remove your jewelry in chlorinated water, but did you know that salt can have just as damaging effects, or worse?

Salt can be very damaging to your gold or diamond jewelry, and the main reason is that salt causes the metal layer of the jewelry to erode. Platinum, silver and gold are eroded by salt, and exposure to salt over a long period of time weakens precious metals, and the jewelry may break.

Diamonds are also affected by salt water, with the main concern being tarnishing of the stone. Exposing a diamond to salt stains the facets, causing the previously sparkling diamond to dull.

The good news is that tarnishing is temporary on diamonds, and a good rinsing of diamond jewelry after exposure to salt water will help it retain its shine.

Does salt water damage gold jewelry?

Yes, salt water damages gold, as well as all white jewelry like silver and white gold. The reason is that salt water erodes the gold layer of the jewelry, weakening it.

While some tougher white metals, like platinum, tend to hold up well even in extreme saltwater conditions, softer metals, like gold and silver, don't hold up well, meaning That if your wedding ring or engagement ring is gold or silver, you should take extra care near the ocean and other areas with salty water.

Salty ocean water is particularly harmful to your jewelry. Its hardness means that salt will eat away at gold jewelry and the extent of corrosion is expected to worsen, especially for copper jewelry.

Gold is naturally very soft and cannot be cast into jewelry in its purest form. Metals like copper are mixed with gold to harden it. Although effective at hardening gold, copper is very reactive to salt, meaning you risk completely destroying the gold jewelry by exposing it to salt water.

The other consideration you need to keep in mind is that the copper content of gold varies depending on the type of purity percentage of the gold - 18k gold contains less copper than 10k gold or 14k. Gold jewelry with a high copper content will therefore be affected by salt water.

Of the three main types of gold jewelry - white gold, yellow gold and rose gold - rose gold is much more sensitive to salt water and a rose gold ring will corrode more quickly than l white gold or traditional yellow gold.

Therefore, if you are planning to go to the beach and you love your rose gold jewelry, you can take it off before going for a swim.

Note, however, that potential damage from salt water is not limited to gold jewelry. Any metal jewelry exposed to salt water will be eroded and damaged; precious stones too.

Does salt water damage silver jewelry?

Yes, salt water can seriously damage silver jewelry, and we strongly advise against wearing your silver jewelry in the ocean as the salt will react with the silver layer, causing tarnishing.

We don't need to say how bad, cheap and ugly jewelry looks when it's tarnished!

Note that the combination of water, salt, and oxygen causes extreme damage to metals, and it is thought that the level of damage that results from this combination is worse than that which would be caused by rust.

The reason is that the combination of water, salt and oxygen eats away at the metal, weakening it and eventually causing it to fall apart.

It's also worth noting that salt water causes metals to corrode at a rate about five times that of fresh water.

So while silver would not normally be damaged in clean fresh water, the damage is considerable when you expose your silver jewelry to salt water.

Does salt water damage leather jewelry?

Yes, and you should avoid soaking your leather strap or putting it in contact with ocean or beach water.

Salt in the water or even beach sand causes the oil in the leather to dry out, damaging it deeply and irreversibly.

Does salt water damage stainless steel jewelry?

Although salt water damages most metals and you may see the damage within a few days of exposure, stainless steel jewelry is more durable and exposure to small amounts of salt will not damage it.

Stainless steel jewelry features chrome, which is protective, and the best part is that even if stainless steel is exposed to salt water and becomes slightly tarnished, you can wipe off the tarnished layer with fresh water and a clean, soft cloth.

Does salt water damage brass jewelry?

Brass is a beautiful metal known for its golden glow and brilliant shine. When new, brass shines like gold, but after a while it becomes dull.

While natural tarnishing from exposure to air takes time, it deteriorates more quickly when exposed to salt water or seawater, due to the high reactivity of the copper used with zinc to make brass. So you should not wear brass jewelry to the beach.

Interestingly, brass can be cleaned with salt and lemon juice to remove tarnish, but you should wash it with hot water and soap then dry it before storing it.

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