Can you wear your good jewelry to the beach?

Absolutely! The freshwater of Lake Erie poses no issues for fine metals like gold and silver, or to hard gemstones like diamonds, rubies or sapphires, said Tammy Oreskovic-Geraci of Peter & Co. Jewelers. But you’ve gotta watch out for sunscreen and sand.

“That sand is everywhere, and it grinds,” said Oreskovic-Geraci. 

RocktheLake visited Peter & Co., a family-owned jewelry store in Avon Lake and the sponsor of our monthly Romance the Lake series, for advice on jewelry and Lake Erie.

Most people wear their wedding rings to the beach, maybe a pair of diamond stud earrings or a simple necklace, Oreskovic-Geraci said. All will clean up fine with a cleaning at the jewelry store, or even a little soap, warm water and a toothbrush.

It’s pools — hot tubs especially — that will damage fine jewelry, she said. Chlorine attacks all metals.

What else should be wary of wearing where?

Pearls: Their surface scratches easily. And most are just glued on to metal. So leave your strand at home. “I don’t recommend wearing it to the beach, even though it came from the beach,” Oreskovic-Geraci said.

Sterling silver: You can wear it, no problem. But no that it oxidizes in salty air near the ocean. It will clean up fine, though. “When it’s a precious metal, it is fixable. It just takes a little TLC.”

Fashion jewelry: Generally fashion, or costume, jewelry has a base metal plated with another. But even though Lake Erie is just water, the mixture of water, perspiration, sand and sunscreen can wreck the not-so-expensive bracelets and necklaces. So if you wear them there, put them in your beach bag when you hit the sand.

Watches: Make sure your watch is water resistant, up to at least 3 atmospheres (30 feet).

Rings: Everyday life can be rough on the prongs of diamonds and other stones in your rings. If you’re sailing, you’re banging your hands around tying lines, trimming sails and grinding the winches. So make sure your prongs are snug.

If you’re worried about losing your wedding or engagement ring at the beach, you can buy ceramic or silicone bands for about $20, to make it clear you’re taken.

And if you’re looking for fine jewelry with a beachy aesthetic? Check out some options in the photo gallery above.

Romance the Lake is a RocktheLake series brought to you by Peter & Co. Jewelers in Avon Lake.  Throughout 2018, we’re bringing you the most swoonworthy stories of love on the lake. Because Lake Erie not only rocks, it romances.