Dos and Don’ts of Responsible Jewelry-Wear

Do you regularly wear your engagement ring when you sleep? What about when you dip in the pool or jacuzzi tub? It’s easy to forget to remove fine jewelry before showering or taking part in these activities, but wearing them may leave you with regrets later.

From a dermatological standpoint, as long as the jewelry isn’t irritating your skin, doctors say it isn’t a huge problem to wear them during these daily activities, however — there are always potential risks to your health (especially if you have a potential allergy or sensitivity after prolonged exposure or wear) and a strong possibility of damaging your jewelry. Here are a few friendly dos and don’ts for keeping your jewelry (and your health!) in tip top shape:

  1. Don’t get into water with jewelry on. Activities like swimming where the water is cooler can cause your fingers to shrink, and a favorite ring could easily slip off. Showering and jacuzzis can have the reverse effect making it very difficult to slide a ring off. Plus, chlorine or salt water can damage or discolor metals like gold and platinum. They can also slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones. Finally, it’s important to be aware that any movement of the water could cause a loose prong to give away, knocking the stone from a ring entirely.
  2. Do remove jewelry before taking part in sports. With summer right around the corner, you may be thinking about joining a league, or enjoying outside play with your family. Unfortunately jewelry-related injuries happen all the time. Participants can hurt one another accidentally, hurt themselves when jewelry comes in contact with sporting equipment, or even suffer from blisters, cuts or contusions. Again, loss or a favorite piece or setting is also a huge risk.
  3. Don’t wear jewelry while applying sunscreen or bug spray. Part of what makes your fine jewelry so beautiful is that it’s characterized by small crevices, prongs and facets — which are perfect places for lotions or solvents to hide and create a film that dulls.
  4. Do remove jewelry before getting some shut-eye. While the risk of damaging jewelry in your sleep is pretty minimal, there’s always the possibility that a ring could catch on a sheet or blanket and weaken the prongs. Perhaps a greater risk is the potential to scratch yourself or someone you share your bed with in the middle of the night.
  5. Do clean jewelry regularly and have it inspected twice a year. We recommend using a simple combination of warm water and a gentle jewelry cleanser for quick, routine cleanings at home. But please don’t ever hesitate to bring your jewelry in to Swierenga’s for a professional, free cleaning and inspection — in fact, we recommend you do this at least twice a year. We’ll return the sparkle to your favorite piece and make sure every prong, clasp and setting is just as it should be then recommend any needed repairs before it’s too late.
  6. Do have your jewelry insured. You’ve invested a lot of financial and sentimental capital into your jewelry. Make sure you’re covered.