All The Reasons You May Want To Leave Jewelry At Home For A Beach Day

A successful beach day includes a lot of necessities, like a cooler packed with drinks and food, the best sunscreen for your skin, and of course, a very on-trend swimsuit. Although we're normally always in favor of accessorizing, at the beach one should probably stick to sun hats and sunglasses for the extra glam factor, as jewelry simply doesn't mix with the atmosphere. It's not good for your jewelry, and wearing jewelry in the ocean can also be unsafe for you.


Before we get into those reasons in-depth, let's talk about what you should do with your pieces, instead. If you're renting a condo or house, there is typically a small safe on site. Make use of this complimentary option to prevent theft. If there's no safe available, put all jewelry in a ziplock baggie or travel jewelry case and hide it, but don't forget where you put it! Better yet, leave anything that's valuable (from a monetary or sentimental perspective) at home. If you must have a ring on that finger, sport a piece of faux jewelry while on the sand, but still don't wear it in the water (more on that in a minute). Now, it's time to discuss some of the many ways jewelry could either get ruined, or ruin your big beach day.


Your jewelry can easily fall off

Ocean waves have been known to upend bikini tops and pull board shorts right off, so your jewelry stands little chance against the powers of the deep blue sea. The risk is made even worse by the fact that fingers shrink when exposed to cold water. This size adjustment makes it all the more easy for rings to slide right off in the ocean, so quickly that the wearer might not even notice. Rough waves can also easily knock earrings loose, so definitely don't wear those diamond studs to the shore. Sure, it'll give those people who wander around with metal detectors a nice little prize, but at your expense! 


Even if you're really lucky and the ring or earring or bracelet stays put, the waves can loosen precious gemstones and run right off with them. While any of these might be recoverable in a pool or hot tub, the ocean or lake is a totally different story.

It can be impossible to recover lost jewelry

Not only is jewelry easy to lose at the beach, but it can be impossible to find again. Whether a ring falls off in the sand or in the vast ocean, your chances of recovering it aren't high, especially when you don't notice that it's gone until a while later. And given how valuable your jewelry is, it's not worth the risk. 


In 2022, the average cost of an engagement ring was more than $5,000, according to Reader's Digest. Even though most everyday jewelry is valued at far less than that, there is still plenty of sentimental attachment to many earrings, watches, and other pieces that people don day in and day out. 

If you absolutely must wear jewelry while at the beach, consider adding a jewelry-specific rider to your insurance policy to cover big-ticket items, and make sure you understand the situations under which jewelry is covered. No one wants to get blindsided when they go to collect the payment only to find out that the jewelry is only covered under cases of theft.

Jewelry could get damaged at the beach

You already know that diamonds and gems can come loose in the ocean. This is because the corrosive saltwater can erode the joints of your jewelry, which can affect the mounts and settings and increase the likelihood of a diamond just floating right off (via House of Diamonds). For the record, chlorine has the same effect, so it's best not to wear anything too valuable in a pool, either. 


Saltwater can also tarnish otherwise beautiful metals, especially anything made with a gold alloy, per Ocean City New Jersey. Other metals are tougher for saltwater to affect, like sterling silver, platinum, and solid gold, but they are still susceptible to tarnish and damage, so it's still best to keep them out of the water altogether. According to Little Switzerland, sunscreen, which is a non-negotiable necessity at the beach, can also cause metals to tarnish. At the very least, sunscreen exposure will require a deep clean to take the dullness away. Those same chemicals that protect skin are simply no good for precious metals and gems.

Jewelry attracts sharks

Even if you haven't watched "Jaws," chances are you have a healthy fear or appreciation for sharks and want to stay completely clear of them. One of the best ways to keep them at bay is actually to never wear jewelry in the water. This is because the glint of metallic jewelry resembles fish scales, which will draw these and other fearsome predators right over (via National Geographic). Jewelry may look cute with your swimwear, but its ability to attract sharks makes it a terrible idea. 


Even if you manage to dodge the attention of sharks while in the water, other predators like barracuda may think your jewelry looks especially delicious, per SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. So maybe leave the watches, rings, bracelets, and other items behind before going for a dip. While you're at it, steer clear of metallic swimsuits and those in a brightly contrasting color, like orange or yellow. The jury's still out on if swimwear can attract predators, but there's no sense in risking it. Save those bikinis for the far less risky pool days.