Special Care for Jewelry in Autumn

Chunky sweaters, cozy scarves, pumpkin carving, hay rides, apple picking, and bonfires: these aren’t just the best parts of Fall, they’re also the dangers to your jewelry that lurk in the shorter days and longer nights after the mid-September equinox. With a bit of caution and care, however, you can enjoy the best that the season has to offer while keeping your jewelry looking its best. Here’s how:

Take care when wearing knits: Those cozy sweaters provide a million little opportunities for your jewelry to snag, which could result not just in damage to your clothes but to your jewelry, as well. If you find that the prongs on your jewelry are catching on your sweater, take them into your jeweler to be inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Also, as a rule of thumb, always put your jewelry on after you’re dressed and before you undress.

Keep up your at-home cleaning: After any outdoor activities, such as hayrides, apple picking, or a day spent in a corn maze, clean your jewelry with either the cleaning formula listed in this article or according to your jeweler’s instructions. This will help to ensure that any debris from the day doesn’t begin to build up or become lodged in your settings, which could result in loose or even lost stones.

Be mindful of the temperature: Jewelry and extreme temperatures are never a good combination. If you’re attending a bonfire or even just sitting around a campfire, it’s best to leave your jewelry far away from the heat and flames.

Keep your jewelry away from that jack o’lantern: Carving pumpkins? Take off your rings, watch, and bracelets first -- not only will you save your jewelry from unsightly and sticky conditions, but you’ll also avoid accidental impact with carving tools that could cause severe damage.


With the cold weather of winter and the additional layers of clothing that come with it, so too come additional hazards to your jewelry and necessary precautions to take. With careful attention and by following a few standard rules, however, you can make it from the lioness of winter into the lamb-like days of Spring without any jewelry disasters. Here’s how:

Watch out for snags: Gloves, scarves, and hats keep you toasty and warm, but they also create hazards for your rings, earrings, and necklaces. The best remedy is to buy and wear only winter accessories with a smooth inner lining. If you can’t bear to part with your fuzzy knits, however, you might consider carefully packing your jewelry if you can stow it safely during your forays into the cold winter weather so you can put it on once you arrive at your destination. If this approach will expose your fine jewelry to potential theft, take a very cautious approach to both putting on and removing knit outerwear over your jewelry, being mindful not to pull or yank if your jewelry does happen to catch on the thread -- you’re better off with a damaged glove than a damaged engagement ring.

Protect your jewelry from snow and extreme cold: Heading outdoors to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or for a day of skiing or snowboarding? Leave your jewelry indoors no matter what. Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can damage some jewelry and the moisture and potential for impact of these activities make them a no-no for all jewelry.

Moisturize your skin, not your jewelry: Suffer from dry skin in the winter? You’re not alone, and you should know that you’ll need to take caution when applying your favorite lotions and creams by removing your jewelry first and allowing your skin time to absorb the excess moisture before you put your jewelry back on

Don’t let “let it snow” turn into “oh no!” - Find out how to care for your jewelry through winter, so it's still sparking in Spring.

More Cleaning Tips


There’s something about Spring that makes us giddy to open the windows, let in the sun, and scrub down every last inch of our homes. While Spring cleaning may be the best thing to happen to your home, it can wreak havoc on your jewelry.

Follow these tips to make sure your scrubbing doesn’t lead to sobbing when you find that your clean house came at the expense of your favorite jewelry :

Always remove your jewelry for housekeeping activities: Even folding and putting away laundry presents dangers of snagging your rings on knits or knocking your setting against the metal closures on your jeans. To make it easy to remember to remove your jewelry during these activities, consider putting a jewelry dish or small box in the areas of your home where you do the most cleaning, such as the laundry room and on your kitchen and bathroom counters.

Gardening and gems don’t mix: Getting ready to garden? Leave your jewelry inside, away from the dirt, moisture, and pollen that gardening brings with it. Even if you garden in gloves, any veteran gardener knows that the earth always finds a way in. While you probably can’t save your manicure from the tricky bits of dirt and debris that manage their way into your gardening gloves, you can spare your jewelry from a similar fate by taking them off before you grab your shovel and spade to head outside.

Spring cleaning for your jewelry: Want to give your jewelry a spring cleaning? Go for it, but don’t go too far: this is no time to start experimenting with new cleaners or devices. Outside of the approved cleaning regimen provided by your jeweler, you shouldn’t expose your jewelry to anything new or out of the ordinary. For a proper spring cleaning, let the calendar serve as a reminder for you to bring your jewelry in for a professional inspection and cleaning from your jeweler.

Does your spring cleaning checklist include your jewelry? It should!


You almost certainly know to keep your jewelry far away from salt water and chlorine, but these aren’t the only hazards lurking in the hazy heat of summer that might cause your jewelry harm.

Many of the mainstays of Summer pose a risk to jewelry, unfortunately, and they aren’t all as well known. Before you hit the beach or head to the pool, make sure you know about these risks and how to protect your jewelry from them:

Working on your tan? Your gemstones might be getting one, too: The summer sun can do more than give you a healthy glow; it might also give your gems a hazy appearance or even change their color entirely. It’s true: some gemstones are sensitive to UV light, and exposure to the sun’s rays could result in irreversible damage to your favorite jewelry.

Love the heat? Your jewelry doesn’t: Do you love to lay in the heavy heat of summer, even after the rest of the sub lovers have retreated to the air conditioning? This is one past time your jewelry should sit out. Extreme heat or temperature fluctuations can cause some stones to crack or may result in other types of damage.

Don’t damage your jewelry when protecting your skin: Sunscreens, oils, lotions, and other summer body products can build up on your jewelry, leaving them looking hazy and dirty and potentially contributing to loose stones or metal erosion. Just as you would with soaps and lotions you apply daily, make sure you remove your jewelry when applying any sun protection lotions or sprays.

Headed to the beach? Be careful: all that surf and sun could mean saying sayonara to your favorite jewelry.


The expert staff at Carats & Stones are proud to bring our 40 years of experience to our clients in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district. Not only do we design and create jewelry to last a lifetime, but we offer professional cleaning and repairs on-site and are always happy to answer any questions to help you keep your fine jewelry looking as good as the day you brought it home.

​If you're looking for jewelry cleaning in San Francisco or have questions and are seeking advice, we invite you to call us , schedule a free consultation online, or just stop on by. We're proud to be one of San Francisco’s trusted family jewelers for over four decades, and we'd love to add you to our family.

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Can you repair jewelry?

Yes! Here is information on all repairs.

How long do repairs take?

Repairs typically take 2-4 weeks, depending on how busy we are.

Do you repurpose heirloom jewelry?

Yes! Here is information on repurposing jewelry.

Can you create something custom for me?

Yes! Here is information on designing a custom piece.

How much do custom jobs cost?

This really depends on what you’re wanting to create. Simply re-setting a stone would be a few hundred dollars, but creating a brand new ring can be thousands of dollars. Come by our shop or contact us for a free consultation!

Do you resize rings?

Yes! Here is information on all repairs.

Do you sell / re-sell watches?

No, we do not carry watches and we do not re-sell.

Can you fix my watch/change my watch batteries?

Yes! Here is information on watch repairs. We are certified to take in Rolex watches for repairs.

Will you buy my jewelry?

No, we do not buy jewelry.

Can I sell you my gold?

We melt gold and can offer scrap-metal pricing if you’d like to bring it in.

Do you do trade-ins or stone upgrading?

No, we do not do trade-ins, stone upgrading, or any such things.

Do you make grills or gold teeth?

We do not!

Can you restring my pearls or beads?

Yes, we can! Here [hyperlink to repair info] is information on repairs.

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