Environmental Effects on Fine Jewelry

August 20th, 2023

a woman standing on a boat wearing a gold chain necklace and a swimsuit

At Weston Jewelers, we understand the timeless value and sentiment attached to your precious pieces, such as engagement rings, wedding bands, and fashion accessories. These treasured possessions demand protection against the unanticipated harm nature can cause. However, by adopting routine care measures and safeguards, we ensure your fine jewelry withstands time, retaining not just its physical beauty, but the moments and memories it signifies, creating a legacy to be cherished for generations. 

Humidity and Moisture

Some of the most pervasive threats to your fine jewelry are humidity and moisture. Excessive moisture can lead to tarnishing and corrosion of various metals, particularly sterling silver. Even gold, though resistant to rust, can lose its sheen over time. Certain porous gemstones like opal or pearl can also absorb the water, causing them to become dull or even crack. It's vital to store jewelry in a dry, cool place and avoid wearing it in conditions where it might be exposed to humidity or moisture, such as while swimming or showering.

a hand holding a dandelion to the sky and wearing a floral ring


High temperatures can have a detrimental impact on your fine jewelry. Metals like gold and sterling silver can discolor or warp under extreme heat. More worryingly, delicate gemstones like opal, amethyst, and turquoise can suffer from structural changes, leading to permanent damage. Pearls, specifically, can dry out, losing their luster and beauty. Additionally, heat can cause certain gems to fracture or discolor due to internal stress or chemical alterations. It's crucial to avoid storing your jewelry in hot environments or wearing it in situations where it might be exposed to excessive heat, such as a sauna or while cooking.


Exposure to saltwater can cause significant damage to your fine jewelry. Salt is naturally corrosive and can cause pitting in gold, silver, and other metals, leading to a rough surface and loss of shine. In addition, the abrasive nature of salt can scratch the surface of gemstones, diminishing their sparkle over time. Certain precious stones can also react adversely with saltwater, causing discoloration. To preserve the longevity and brilliance of your jewelry, we recommend removing it before swimming in the ocean or when in contact with saltwater.

two pairs of hands passing a flower pot, one hand adorned with an engagement ring

Dirt and Dust

Though they might appear harmless, dust and dirt can be surprisingly damaging to fine jewelry. Tiny dust particles can scratch the surface of metals and dull the shine of gemstones. When dust accumulates, it can also settle into the small crevices of intricate jewelry designs, making it difficult to clean and causing the jewelry to lose its sparkle. Furthermore, dirt and grime can wear down metal settings, potentially leading to lost gemstones. Regular cleaning and proper storage can help protect your precious pieces from the damaging effects of dirt and dust.

Temperature Fluctuations

Rapid changes in temperature can create a hostile environment for your fine jewelry, especially for certain types of gemstones. These abrupt changes can cause thermal shock, leading some gems to crack or fracture due to the internal stress. Opals, for instance, are particularly susceptible due to their high water content. Temperature changes can also cause metals to expand and contract, potentially loosening settings and resulting in lost stones. To maintain your jewelry's integrity and beauty, it's important to avoid exposing it to extreme temperature variations.

a hand reaching into a crate of grapes, adorned with two gold bracelets

Trust Your Jewelry To Weston Jewelers

If your pieces ever incur any damage, entrust them to our skilled professionals here at Weston Jewelers for comprehensive repair services. With stores located in both Weston and Hollywood, our Florida jewelry stores are well-equipped to restore your treasures to their original glory. We use state-of-the-art technology, along with traditional techniques, to ensure each piece is handled with utmost care. Don't allow your jewelry to lose its shine; instead, request an appointment for a personalized consultation with one of our knowledgeable team members. We are dedicated to preserving the legacy of your precious possessions.