On a blindingly hot summer day, your first thought is cooling off in the ocean (or pool) and often, your last thought is the damaging effects of chlorine and saltwater on your precious jewelry.
This article breaks it down in no uncertain terms; take it off first! A gold ring placed in undiluted chlorine can disintegrate in minutes!
Chlorine and Gold Jewelry
One chemical that is often found in daily life is not usually thought of as harmful or destructive to something as solidly built as jewelry. Chlorine, whether it is found in chlorine bleach used for cleaning, in the swimming pool or in the hot tub can degrade gold jewelry to the point of disintegration. The actual damage to the jewelry piece is due to something commonly called stress corrosion cracking. Whether there is already stress in the joints of the jewelry or it has been repaired, these existing stress points cause a failure in the integrity of the jewelry when exposed to chlorine. A gold ring, placed in undiluted bleach, can disintegrate within minutes of exposure. The higher the karat of the gold in the jewelry, the longer it takes for the chlorine to cause stress fractures.