Travel, Swimming and Your Colored Stone Jewelry

by Nancy Troske March 02, 2017

Travel, Swimming and Your  Colored Stone Jewelry

You may be traveling to a warm climate, living in one or anxiously awaiting summer.   Did you know that chlorine, salt, and even sunlight can attack the gold in your jewelry, especially pieces containing colored gemstones can be attacked by these? Nowadays, many gemstones have been heat treat, filled with oils and dyes (fracture filled) to enhance color and clarity. Especially emeralds and rubies.

Even common household items such as lemon juice, chlorine bleach, ammonia can damage stones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires and other gemstones. Sunlight can bleach gemstones such as kunzite, lapis lazuli, jade and other stones.

The stone on the right is a peridot damaged by swimming pool chlorine (under magnification). Amber, pearls and other organic stones are also susceptible.

Some common gemstones that are damaged in sunlight (there may be more):

  • Amethyst can fade
  • Ametrine may change color
  • Apatite pink variety fades(extremely fragile in any situation)
  • Aquamarine can fade
  • Adventurine translucent types often lose color
  • Beryl brown or orange types may change to pale pink
  • Citrine may change color
  • Fluorite green and purple types change color
  • Kunzite becomes pale or loses color
  • Rose Quartz can fade
  • Smokey Quartz can fade

Your best bet is to remove your jewelry before jumping into a swimming pool or ocean. And at the beach oils and lotions can also affect many stones which are often coated with color or treatments that give them an iridescent look such as mystic topaz.

Gemstone treatments are not necessarily a bad thing......they enhance what nature has done, making them more beautiful, adding color and clarity as well as making them more affordable for most consumers.

So if you are not sure if your colored gemstone has been treated, assume it has and take extra precautions. Remove your jewelry but......don't put it in a safe place and forget where you put it. My best advice is to find a safe, secure place and use it each time you take it off. And then... make yourself some kind of reminder to put it back on, especially if you are away from home on vacation or visiting people.

Oh, and while you are traveling, be sure to protect your jewelry with a padded case or jewelry don't want your jewelry rubbing up against each other. They can scratch or chip that way.  These are nice options: 

One time I was away for the weekend and put hid good pieces of jewelry in the toe of a shoe. Needless to say it was over a year before I found it in that shoe! Won't do that again!

Anyway, this is not meant to scare...only to caution. With proper care your jewelry will last for years.

Nancy Troske
Nancy Troske


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