So it’s summer and you’re a frequent appearance at the local beach and the pool. Day in and day out you’re cladded in a swimsuit – but where’s the sparkle, where’s the shine? At some point, especially as a jewellery addict, you’ve been wondering how you could add a little bit of glamour to your outfit without thoroughly destroying all your jewellery pieces. No fret, because Hiasan has prepared for you a little guide on what to wear and what not to wear in the water this summer.
Chlorine Is Your Jewellery’s Worst Enemy.
Our beautiful sparkling friends are not often made for wear in the pool, mostly due to one reason: chlorine exposure and damage. Chlorine can do more damage to your jewellery in one hour than natural wear and tear over several years can. It reacts with certain metals such as nickel, zinc and silver and leave microscopic bubbles inside your jewelry. It tarnishes sterling silver almost instantaneously upon contact, and don’t even think about putting your lovely organic gems (for example, natural pearls or coral) into that pool water, as they are extremely susceptible to chlorine damage.
You will also want to keep your semi-precious and softer stones (for example, turquoise, opal and emerald) out of pool water as these gems can be discoloured or bleached by pool water. Thinking about buying cheap costume jewellery anyway and so it doesn’t matter to you if you destroy the piece and buy a new one? Well, that will very much be the case if you do decide to swim with costume jewellery on. Costume jewellery + chlorine = Most lethal combo of them all. Period.
It essentially sounds as if you can’t wear any jewellery into the pool, right?
You can indeed wear jewellery into the pool, just extremely selectively. Platinum and gold jewellery fair relatively well in chlorine water (well, better than sterling silver at least). However, it is important to make sure that your platinum jewellery is made entirely of platinum (absolutely no combination with other metals) before taking them out for a swim. As for your gold jewellery, it is generally safe to use them in the pool if they are of high-karat value. If your gold jewellery is 10, 14 or 18 karats, this means that other metals (for example, copper, nickel, zinc and silver) are present in the jewellery. The lower the karat of your jewellery, the less gold it contains and the higher the amount of other metals. This means that the other metals will be attacked by the chlorine even if your gold isn’t – which we obviously don’t want to happen. So take note of the karats of your gold jewellery before wearing them in the pool.
Another alternative to glamming-up your swimsuit ensemble is precious stones, such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies. These gemstones are more tolerant of chlorine, so it might be worth to splurge a little on these high-value beauties because they are not only hardy and relatively chemically resistant, they are extremely attractive and will indeed add that little shine you need anywhere and everywhere.
The Beach Life.
So you prefer the beach instead of the pool – what can you wear in salty seawater then? For one, salty seawater is usually less damaging than chlorinated pool water, so it is generally less harmful to wear your precious sparkling friends in seawater – although it is still highly discouraged to do so! If you really feel the need to add a little bit of sparkle to your day’s trip to the beach, here are some options that are the lesser of two evils:
Organic gems, such as natural pearls or coral as aforementioned, can resist salt-water corrosion quite well, as opposed to their high susceptibility to chlorine damage in pool water.
Karat gold jewellery stands relatively well in natural salt, while silver discolours in salt water.
When swimming, it is also important to keep jewellery practical and simple to avoid them falling off or *gasp*, getting caught in something while swimming. A tip to all avid (fashionista) swimmers out there: Small hoops or studs that are comfortable, secure and lightweight are perfect for summer swimming, as you remain fashionable without having to fuss over them too much.
We hope you find the guide useful in planning your beach or pool-side ensemble - we understand the obstacles us women have in staying chic when the water is just calling out to us! This is Hiasan signing off, as it’s time for us to go do some swimming ourselves.