3 Summer Jewelry Care Tips

Make sure your favorite pieces keep shining long after sundown with this handy summer jewelry care guide.

Summer Jewelry Care Tips, How to Keep Jewelry Nice During Summer, How to Clean Jewelry by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

Photo by Brooke Michelle Photography

Ah, summer… The days are longer, the nights are radder; the sun is brighter making the jewels even sparklier!
But while you accessorize your favorite warm weather outfits, keep in mind that summer’s extra heat and social calendar could pose a risk of damaging your favorite pieces of jewelry. (Cue horror movie shrieks!)

Take a deep breath; you don’t have to despair! Your favorite jewelry designer is here with a handy list of summer jewelry care tips to make sure your metals stay shiny and your stones continue to sparkle!

Summer jewelry care tips from custom jeweler J'Adorn Designs

Photo by Madison Short

The single most important part of summer jewelry care is remembering to take it off!

More specifically, be sure to take off your jewelry before any of the following activities to ensure its shine & color will last:
  • Before you SWEAT
  • Before you SWIM
  • Before you SUNSCREEN 

    Summer Jewelry Care Tips, How to Keep Jewelry Nice During Summer, How to Clean Jewelry by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelerPhoto by Olivia Reed Photography

    1. Before you SWIM

    When the ocean calls your name, all you want is to dive straight into the water. But stop for just one second to remove your precious jewels before making a beeline for the waves.

    This quick pause can prevent your favorite gold necklace from turning green.

    I don’t know about you, but a deeper tan is the only color change I want to bring home from a day at the beach! The same principle also applies for a day at the pool.Summer Jewelry Care Tips, How to Keep Jewelry Nice During Summer, How to Clean Jewelry by J'Adorn Designs custom jeweler

    2. Before you SUNSCREEN

    Practical wisdom tell us to apply sunscreen generously at this time of the year to prevent damage & premature aging. But did you know that the lotion you wear to save your skin can do the opposite for your jewelry?

    Take off your jewels before applying sunscreen, and be sure to let it fully dry and soak in before putting them back on.

    Summer Jewelry Care Tips, How to Keep Jewelry Nice During Summer, How to Sweatproof Jewelry by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelerPhoto by Olivia Reed Photography

3. Before you SWEAT

The third “S” to keep in mind when you remember to remove your jewelry is SWEAT. 

Depending on where you live, a simple walk outside in the summer could result in a glistening brow or full waterworks. If perspiration reaches the places where your jewelry touches – your neck, hairline, hands, and wrists – it can quickly become a destructive force on the surface of your jewelry, particularly for plated metals.

So, consider how much you might sweat during your walk along the shore or bike ride to the farmer’s market and plan your outfit accordingly! 

Summer Jewelry Care Tips, How to Keep Jewelry Nice in Hot Weather, Tropical Jewelry Care, by J'Adorn Designs Custom JewelryPhoto by Brooke Michelle Photography

Sound a little too involved?

If you don’t want to bother with removing your jewelry every time you engage in your favorite summer activities, you can always reach for non-plated metals or colorful statement pieces made of fabric, plastic, or glass when you accessorize for the day. These materials stand up much stronger against the elements of summer. Plus, they could add some unexpected flourishes of color & texture to your look!

Want to read more of my jewelry care tips? Check out my post, “5 Ways to Ruin Your Jewelry,” and learn what else you can do to protect your jewelry!

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Statement Earrings for Sensitive Ears

Sensitive ears don’t have to limit your bridal jewelry options. Here are my top 3 tips for choosing statement earrings for sensitive ears! 

If you’re planning your wedding and have been looking for the perfect pair of statement earrings to match the dress of your dreams but have the “blessing” of sensitive skin (or, as I like to call it, “biological good taste“), chances are you’ve been frustrated by the selection of cheaply plated earrings at the bridal salons.

But having sensitive skin doesn’t have to limit your options!  Your ears can sparkle as brightly as you want with a simple quality upgrade. 

Rose Gold Teardrop statement earrings for sensitive ears by J'Adorn Designs bridal accessories

This post will guide you through 3 important features to look for when selecting statement earrings for sensitive ears. Additionally, you can click any of the photos in this post to shop my favorite picks from the J’Adorn Designs collection that fit the bill!

Gold and blush leaves statement earrings for sensitive ears by J'Adorn Designs bridal accessories

Cluster style sparkly statement earrings for sensitive ears by J'Adorn Designs bridal accessories
1. Choose earrings with sterling silver or real gold posts if you’re sensitive to metal quality and weight.
  • A sturdy post with a secure backing will make sure your earrings stay put with minimal “swing” during the day.
  • I always recommend a higher-quality precious metal for any pair of statement earrings for sensitive ears. Even if the earrings are not heavy, materials like sterling silver and real gold are gentler on the skin than base metals. Most of the earrings in my shop already feature sterling silver or gold filled components, but you can always ask for an upgrade too!
  • If your earrings are heavy, high quality metals will help your sensitive skin be a little more forgiving of the weight and motion that might occur.

Silver Teardrop Bridal Statement Earrings for Sensitive Ears

2. For dangle earrings, choose lever-backs over open hooks.
  • Lever-back earrings, or hook earrings that close completely in the back, are a style that I always recommend for brides. This is because a closed earring is much less likely to fall out than one that is open! In my experience, they are also less likely to slide around inside your pierced earring hole, which makes for an extra level of comfort when wearing earrings all day.
  • Once again, quality metals are key! Look for lever-backs that are sterling silver or at least gold-filled in quality. For a refresher course on metal quality & terminology, check out this previous blog post.

Gold vine boho statement earrings for sensitive ears by J'Adorn Designs bridal accessories

3. Choose earrings that are as lightweight as possible.
  • It is possible to wear a pair of large-sized statement earrings for sensitive ears without lots of weight. (Just think about the feather earrings that were popular a few years ago!)
  • Wire-wrapped styles are often lighter weight than solid metal frames with pronged stone settings.
  • Alternative materials like lace, feathers, and even colorful acrylic are all creative options for adding a unique “pop” to your statement earrings without weighing down your earlobes.

Customized statement earrings for sensitive ears, by J'Adorn Designs bridal couture

If all else fails, you can always go custom!

If you’d simply like to save yourself the headache of testing every piece of jewelry against this list of criteria, you can always commission your own bespoke pair of statement earrings for sensitive ears! J’Adorn Bride Jill went this route and was thrilled with the results.

Whatever you choose, be sure to remember that it is possible to have the look and feel you want when it comes to your bridal jewelry!

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Up Close: Tiny Pearl & Crystal Stud Earrings

A closer look at the inspiration behind the smallest new pair of stud earrings in my shop!

Tiny crystal pearl earrings, small bridal stud earrings, custom jewelry by J'Adorn Designs

If this pair of earrings looks familiar, you may remember it from the custom bridal jewelry set I made for J’Adorn bride Jill!

The first time I made this pair of stud earrings it was part of a custom bridal jewelry set.  My client Jill wanted a pair of small coordinated studs to wear in her second ear piercing on her wedding day. She asked for something simple to complement her customized Laurel Earrings in Gold and Blush without overpowering the whole look.


Tiny crystal pearl earrings, small bridal stud earrings, custom jewelry by J'Adorn Designs


They were the perfect piece for Jill!

I thought that their simple design would make them a super versatile accessory to wear in almost any context.  I also remembered that multiple clients have requested more stud earring options.  So, it made perfect sense to recreate this pair of crystal and pearl stud earrings for my  new collection!

Tiny crystal pearl earrings, small bridal stud earrings, custom jewelry by J'Adorn Designs

These stud earrings are one of my favorite pairs to wear personally. Their simple design makes them a lovely and comfortable pair of earrings to wear with my everyday wardrobe. I also love to wear them in my second ear piercing to complement my favorite drop earrings on a date night or special occasion.

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Up Close: The Bridal Choker Vine Necklace

A closer look at the inspiration behind the trendy bridal necklaceGold bridal choker vine necklace with pearls and crystals, by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelry and modern bridal accessories

One of my favorite pieces in the new collection I created for 2017 is the limited edition Bridal Choker Vine Necklace.

This necklace is as delicate and lovely as its wirework is intricate. Here’s a closer look at my inspiration as a designer as I made this handcrafted piece for my new collection of jewelry and modern bridal accessories!


Bridal Choker Vine Necklace, Wedding Choker, Couture bridal fashion by J'Adorn Designs
One of the biggest jewelry trends this year has been the return of the choker.

Because I draw inspiration as a designer from the fashion world, I knew that I had to make a “nod” to the trendy choker necklace when I designed my new collection. However, I also knew that the plastic “tattoo chokers” of my middle school years just wouldn’t fit for J’Adorn Designs as an upscale jewelry brand. (Or, frankly, in the wardrobe of most women over 25!)

Gold bridal choker vine necklace with pearls and crystals, by J'Adorn Designs custom jewelry and modern bridal accessories

Handcrafted wire vines have long been a staple element in my bridal accessory designs, so it came naturally to extend that signature style to my first choker necklace.

I made the Bridal Choker Vine Necklace with the same golden wire as the vine-style hairpieces from my collection. I used freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals to adorn the branches of the choker. Then, I finished the piece with a delicate gold filled chain that clasps in the back. It’s a dramatic, stunning piece of wedding jewelry that would make the perfect focal piece for a fashion-forward bridal ensemble!

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5 Ways to Ruin Your Jewelry

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You love your jewelry.
But do you know how to care for it?

It’s ok.  You don’t have to feel embarrassed.  Most people are clueless when it comes to jewelry care!  

When you buy a piece of jewelry it doesn’t come with an instructional care tag like your favorite cashmere sweater or silk blouse.  But proper jewelry care is the number one way to protect your investment.  So, today I’m sharing my list of “what not to do” while wearing your jewelry!

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1. Sleep

First on the list of what not to do while wearing your jewelry is something you’ll spend roughly 50% of your life doing: Sleeping. 

Your bed might seem like a harmless place to wear your jewelry. After all, you’re surrounded by pillows and blankets! What’s the worst that could happen?

Because you move around while sleeping, the potential to sustain unintentional damage to your jewelry is actually quite high.  Tossing and turning in the sheets can catch a ring prong between threads, pulling it open ever-so-slightly. You may not even notice a change when you wake up, but over time a stone could come loose or even fall out.  You’re better off playing it safe.

Solution: Invest in a ring box or dish to keep on your bedside table.  Get yourself into the habit of taking off your accessories each night before bed.  Keep your jewels safe all night and they’ll be ready for you to wear in the morning!  

why you should not wear jewelry in the shower

2. Shower

Between abrasive soaps, slippery water, and the drain, the shower is one of the last places your jewelry wants to be. 

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I have broken this jewelry care rule.  In fact, I’d wager that most women wear their wedding rings into the shower.  But your fine and fashion jewelry are both better off on the counter (or back in that special box you bought back in #1!)

This is because the ingredients used in soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, and scrubs can cause both temporary and long-term damage to your favorite accessories.  Residue from these substances gets caught between the prongs of your rings, dulling the shine and making stones appear dirty.  Furthermore, abrasive agents eat away the finish on your metals, requiring you to have them re-plated by a professional jeweler at more frequent intervals.  If this happens to your fashion jewelry, which is generally not built for longevity, the plating could come off altogether after a dip in the shower.

Finally, we’ve all heard horror stories of people who lose their wedding ring down the drain.  Even if it feels secure when you step into the shower, the combination of conditioner and water can cause a ring to slide right off your finger!

Solution: Save yourself the headache and make sure you’re totally naked before taking a shower. 

 

druzy earrings tips for jewelry care in water

3. Swim

Whether you’re taking a dip in salt water or a chlorinated pool, remove your jewelry first!

Any blonde who’s spent too much time in the pool on a summer day can attest to the caustic properties of chlorine. But did you know that it can also discolor your jewelry?  Gold-plated jewelry responds particularly poorly to pool water, since the chlorine can strip the plating completely. When this happens it exposes the raw brass underneath, which can turn green in the chemicals.

Salt water and its close companion, beach sand, also pose a risk to your jewelry because of the small, abrasive particles of which both are comprised.

Solution: Leave your jewels at home. Or, bring along a small zippered bag made of neoprene or plastic that eliminates any risk of sand getting inside. Tuck it inside your beach bag, and you’re set! 

 

Jewelry Care Tips: Take off jewelry before spraying perfume, hairspray, lotion, deodorant, etc.

4. Spray

Remove your jewelry before applying hairspray, perfume, aerosol deodorant, or spray-on sunscreen.

Much like the products you use in the shower, spray-on substances adhere to the surface of your jewelry, dulling the shine and getting stuck in small nooks. The damage that sprays cause is two-fold: 

  1. Sticky sprays like hairspray can catch dirt, dust, and particles from the environment, which will then stick to your jewelry.
  2. Non-sticky sprays like perfume will cling to the surface of your metal jewelry and eat away at the finish or plating.

Solution: Keep all of these cosmetics in a place near your shower.  That way, you can apply them first thing after washing up, before getting dressed or putting your jewelry on for the day. 

 

Jewelry care tip: remove jewelry before you sweat and exercise

5. Sweat

My final jewelry care tip is to go [metal] accessory-free before you exercise.

Sweat isn’t a great substance for most types of jewelry to come in contact with.  Plated metals are particularly vulnerable to the damage sweat can cause.  The oil and salt that your skin produces during a heavy workout or long afternoon in the sun are both abrasive and adhesive, so the finish wears away while other damaging particles like dirt and dust easily get stuck.  This isn’t the glistening goddess look you’d envisioned!

Unlike rules 1-4, this one has a couple of exceptions:

  1. Cloth jewelry: hemp, cotton, nylon, etc. (as long as you can wash it!)
  2. Stone bead jewelry like Mala bracelets, which are a popular accessory and meditation aid among yogis

Solution: Leave your jewelry at home before hitting the gym. Or, use the same type of bag from #3 to keep your jewels safe!

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