Waterproof Jewelry 101: Myths, Facts & Care Tips
“Waterproof” has become a bit of a buzzword in the jewelry world…but what does it actually mean?
We’re breaking down the most common myths about waterproof jewelry—and helping you curate a durable, tarnish-resistant collection you can wear with minimal care.
Myth: All water is safe.
Fact: Certain waters contain harmful chemicals.
First thing’s first: jewelry is waterproof, not chemical-proof. Chlorine pools and hot tubs are rife with chemicals that can damage or tarnish your beloved pieces—same goes for shampoos, conditioners, body washes, skincare and cleansers with chemical additives. Even beaches aren’t your jewelry’s best friend (thanks to potential micro-scratches from sand)! The safest bet is always removing your pieces in case they come in contact with any harsh chemicals (or wearing gloves to protect your rings while cleaning). And when in doubt, rinse it out—a splash of clean water and a quick dry do wonders for sparkle and shine.
Myth: “Waterproof” also means “sweat-proof.”
Fact: Sweat is an acid that can tarnish certain metals.
Science time: sweating is how our body rids itself of excess fats, fatty acids and amino acids which can tarnish certain metals (the more you know!). Some metals naturally corrode in the presence of moisture, too, but don’t sweat it. Just remove your gold-filled, gold vermeil or sterling silver pieces before a workout (and wipe down your always-on solid 14k gold pieces afterward to maintain their shine).
Myth: I have to sacrifice quality for waterproof jewelry.
Fact: Nah, GLDN’s got you.✨
It’s true: all GLDN jewelry is tarnish-resistant and long-lasting when cared for properly! While some brands (👀) market stainless steel as their waterproof material of choice, our gold-filled, sterling silver and solid gold pieces are waterproof, too, and way higher quality—you’ve just gotta show them a little extra love now and then.
Myth: Caring for jewelry is difficult.
Fact: It’s actually insanely easy (and we’ll show you how)!
Caring for solid gold pieces:
For some truly effortless upkeep, do yourself a solid 14k (or solid 10k)! Our lowest-maintenance, most water-resistant metals of all, solid 14k and 10k gold will last a lifetime (and then some) as they're truly tarnish-free. Chlorinated waters can add a dull film to solid 14k and 10k pieces, so it’s always best to remove them to maintain that sensational natural shine—but it’s easy to get that sparkle back with a jewelry cloth if needed. (If you’re looking for a wear-everywhere, vacation-ready piece for your daily life, these metals are the ones.)
Caring for gold-fill pieces:
Made by heat- and pressure-bonding a thick layer of 14k gold to a high-quality brass core, this option is highly durable, hypoallergenic and perfect for daily wear with minimal upkeep. Remove your pieces in chlorine and saltwater, but showers are totally fine—just no harsh chemicals, please (and remember to dry ’em off afterward!).
Caring for gold vermeil pieces:
A thick layer of gold lovingly draped over a sterling silver core, gold vermeil is another hypoallergenic metal we love. You’ll want to baby these a bit more than you would gold-fill pieces (as this layer of gold isn’t pressure-bonded). Keep these pieces away from harsh chemicals, skincare products and fragrances, and be sure to dry them off immediately after any contact with water.
Caring for sterling silver pieces:
These icy pieces love being worn—the oils in our skin naturally clean and shine ’em up! Much like gold-fill, showers and gentle soaps won’t harm these hypoallergenic pieces (they can actually help remove any built-up residue). Stay away from hot tubs and pools, though, as they can discolor the metal and may require more upkeep than you wish.
Sometimes jewelry just takes a little bit of work to keep it looking beautiful—but what’s more meaningful than caring for something you love? Polish your pieces with a soft cloth (included with every order), store them away from humidity and excess moisture (see: steamy bathrooms) and wear them daily with delight.