4 Summer Activities that Shouldn't Include Jewelry

Summer is here. There are so many fun things to do around the U.P. in the summer, but not all of them are jewelry friendly. You should consider taking your jewelry off while doing the following activities:

Chlorinated Pools

A dip in the pool is so refreshing on a hot day! But did you know that chlorine reacts with most metals and can cause corrosion a pitting? This can lead to chains breaking and prongs dissolving. It will also eat way any plating, including rhodium and lacquer, which will discolor your piece. Below is a ring we had to rebuild because it spent about 20 minutes in a hot tub.

Hiking, Camping, Rock Climbing, etc.

Although diamonds are extremely hard, they have a fracture point. If you are out in the woods and hit your ring against a rock at the correct angle, it could crack or possibly even shatter. You could also bend your prongs or scratch a softer stone. Although it’s tempting, when out in the woods, it’s best to not wear jewelry.

The Beach

Spending a warm day soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Superior sounds like the perfect summer day. Although it’s tempting to accessorize your beach style, stay away from any jewelry with prongs, especially jewelry with pave set diamonds. Sand can wear away the prongs, leading to losing your stone. Pictured is a ring worn while building a sandcastle at the beach. There were 8 diamonds missing and the sapphire and larger diamond wiggled when touched (see the video here).



I love fishing. Being out in the boat, surrounded by water, is one of my favorite places to be. The only bad thing is, if your watch happens to come unclasped, your ring slides off your finger or your earring back pops off, your jewelry is going down to the bottom of the river, lake or stream. Now, I’ve heard stories of handy fishermen using underwater cameras to find jewelry that fell in, but this defiantly isn’t the way you want to spend your fishing trip.

These are just a few scenarios where you should really consider taking off your jewelry. We love working on jewelry, but hate to see preventable injuries coming into the shop. For more information on getting your jewelry fixed, visit our Repair page

Chris Wattsson is the co-owner and bench jeweler at Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers. Jewelry shown are actual pieces that have been fixed by our jewelers. Photos are published with customers' permission. 

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June's Birthstone: Pearl

Whether natural or cultured or natural, Pearls have been sought after for many, many years. Both cultured and natural Pearls are created inside the body of certain mollusks. A small irritant inside the mollusks will cause the creation of Pearls. In the case of cultured Pearls, a skilled technician goes through an extensive process for every individual Pearl. The very first processes for cultured pearls began hundreds of years ago in China.

The oldest written mention of natural Pearls was in 2206 BC by a Chinese historian. Royals as well as wealthy families over the ages have strongly desired the natural Pearl, and passed pieces down through generations. Because of its shape, the Pearl has been associated with the Moon across cultures. In ancient China, they were thought to protect against fire and fire-breathing dragons.

Although the white and cream colors of Pearls are most widely recognized, Pearls can present in every hue from grey to yellow, orange, pink and lavender, as well as green and blue. 

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Did you know: Mother's Day

Founded in 1908, Mother's Day is a holiday and tradition that is celebrated throughout the United States. The first official Mother's Day celebration was initiated by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Anna Reeves Jarvis who was a major proponent of Mother's organizations. Anna Jarvis wanted a way to commemorate the hard work her mother had put in, and thus in 1908 in Grafton, West Virginia at a Methodist church, Mother's Day was born. Mother's Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.


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May's Birthstone: Emerald

Emerald has been a highly sought after stone since early history, with the first known Emerald mines being in Egypt from 330 BC right into the 1700s. Cleopatra was particularly fond of Emeralds, using them in her royal adornments. The Incas had been using Emeralds in their religious ceremonies for 500 years before the 16th Century Spanish Explorers invaded "The New World."

The word Emerald actually comes from the ancient Greek word for green, "smaragdus," and even Pliny the Elder of Rome wrote about Emerald in his Natural History published in the 1st Century AD. Emeralds come from the Beryl family, a mineral species that includes Aquamarine, Morganite, and Heliodor.

The Emerald has rich lore and history. Legend has it that placing an Emerald under the tongue allowed the wearer to see into the future, discern the truth, and be protected against evil spells. Emeralds also were said to have healing properties, curing diseases like malaria and cholera. The deep green color of the Emerald calls to the exciting new growth of Spring, thus it is the perfect birthstone for May.

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We're Shining Brighter with New Lighting

Thank you to Michigan Energy Options for putting together this great story on our LED project!

When it comes to undertaking energy efficiency projects in historic buildings, preservation and persistence are key. Chris Wattsson, co-owner of Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, knew that he wanted the store to be more energy efficient and was ready to act when he received a brochure from the Energy Optimization Program offered by the Marquette Board of Light & Power. 

“I was initially concerned that our chandeliers were so old that they wouldn’t be compatible with newer LEDs. Ultimately, we were able to replace the chandelier bases really easily, which made it possible to upgrade from incandescent to LED bulbs.” said Wattsson.

Better Lighting Means Better Business

Lighting is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways for businesses to save energy and money. It is also an important part of making a jewelry purchase, such as a diamond ring, shine. After Chris contacted the Energy Optimization Program to perform an on-site electrical energy assessment, together they identified several areas ripe for efficiency upgrades within the downtown business. A U.P. company that specializes in LED lighting designed a new lighting plan that not only enhances a customer’s shopping experience within the store’s showroom, but is also delivering a high return on investment to Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers. 

Another aspect of the project that appealed to Chris Wattsson was working together with their utility, the Marquette Board of Light & Power, and Energy Optimization Program staff. They made sure his project was done right and that he received rebates to defray some of the project’s up-front cost.

“I was really impressed with how committed everyone that I encountered was to energy optimization and efficiency. I was surprised that we were able to customize the LED strips that we needed to do the jewelry cases.” said Wattsson. “I was really happy that they were able to get the correct hue of the light, as we wanted a warmer feel.”

Less Maintenance, Lower Costs 

LEDs can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 80 percent less energy. “The amount of energy that the building is saving is remarkable. It’s a great return on investment and I feel great that our building is better for the environment,” said Wattsson. “The products we picked will last a long time, which cuts our costs and creates less waste.”

Energy Saving Actions:

  • Replaced 100 60-watt incandescent decorative candelabra-style bulbs with similar LED bulbs that use only seven watts

  • Replaced more than 100 20-watt halogen bulbs used for under-cabinet jewelry display lighting with special extruded under-cabinet LEDs

  • Replaced seven 35-watt incandescent MR16 bulbs with six-watt dimmable warm-white LED MR16 bulbs

  • Replaced standard T12 fluorescent tubes in custom overhead fixtures with LED tube replacements


    • Lowered electricity use by 26,000 kilowatt-hours per year

    • Received a $1,560 rebate from the Marquette Board of Light & Power’s Energy Optimization Program

    Energy savings and rebates for anyone

    Find out how saving energy can benefit your business. Call 877-296-4319 or visit to learn about the energy-saving options that are available for your business, farm or home.


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