The most exciting thing about summer is spending time in the bright sunlight, which evokes the feeling of life and new beginnings. But have you ever thought that these beautiful rays could be hard on your gemstone jewelry? Yes, you read it right! Some gemstones can fade in bright light. Learn what gems fade in direct sunlight and how to care for them.

Kunzite ring in gold resting on stone.

Kunzite is one of the most well-known stones susceptible to light.

Gems Known to Fade in Sunlight

Some gemstones are light-sensitive and fade when exposed to sunlight for long periods. Bright sunshine can also make them brittle and breakage-prone. Below are some of the most common gems susceptible to bright light.

  • Amber can darken with age.
  • Some varieties of amethyst can fade.
  • When dyed, coral may fade under direct light.
  • The oils in emerald may dry or alter the stone’s appearance.
  • Bright lights can cause kunzite to fade.
  • Opals are generally stable, but the heat from intense light can create fractures, known as “crazing.”
  • Like opals, pearls can dry and crack from excess heat produced by exposure to direct light.
  • Rose quartz may fade with prolonged exposure to intense lighting.
  • Like emerald, ruby and sapphire may be affected in the same way.
  • Brown topaz gems may fade over time when exposed to light.
  • Heat-treated zircon has been known to fade under direct light sources.
Emerald pendant draped over wooden frame.

Oils in emerald may dry when repeatedly exposed to intense sunlight.

How to Protect Gemstones from Sunlight

The beauty of colored gemstones lies in their lively color and timeless appeal. Hence, it is crucial to be cautious and take special care of your prized possession in summer. Whenever you leave for outdoor fun, follow these useful summer gemstone care tips.

  • Store gemstone jewelry in a cool, dark place when not worn.
  • Do not wear jewelry under direct sunlight for an extended period.
  • Try to wear light-sensitive gemstones in the evening.
  • Remove delicate gemstone jewelry before heading to the beach.
  • Periodically have gemstone jewelry professionally cleaned.

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So, next time, when you step out in the summer sun, be sure to select your gemstone jewelry carefully. Know how your stones are treated and care for them accordingly. Learn more about stone treatments in the Shop LC Education Center.


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