Wearing Your Jewelry

things to keep in mind when putting on and taking off your jewelry

Over time, your jewelry and especially your engagement or wedding rings will take on a normal patina of wear: small scratches, dents and dings will appear. High polished surfaces will appear more matte, and matte finished surfaces will appear more high polish. The finish on a ring is superficial. You may choose to refinish it periodically, or let it age with you. Following are some pointers to keep in mind for the care of your ring.

General Care for All Jewelry

  • Try to protect your engagement ring and all jewelry from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  • Chlorine and related chemicals can severely discolor and damage jewelry as well as loosen your precious stones and settings.
  • Put jewelry on after using cosmetics, hair spray, lotions and perfumes.
  • Remove rings when working with your hands, such as performing household tasks, gardening and using abrasive particles.
  • Store jewelry separately so it will not scratch other jewelry.
  • Pearls are best stored in a special chamois pouch because of their softness.
  • Storing beaded necklaces flat is recommended to reduce stretching.
  • Do not use paper towels on your jewelry; it can scratch precious metals.

When to Remove Your Ring

  • Unless your ring is solid palladium or platinum, always remove it before swimming in a chlorinated pool or jacuzzi.
  • If you wish to keep your stones bright, remove your ring before showering, doing the dishes, washing your hands and applying lotion. Some sunscreens have been reported to discolor metal, as well!
  • If you wish to avoid major dings and scratches, remove your ring before holding metal tools or objects, especially before weight lifting, blacksmithing, earthmoving, washing pots and pans, and other industrious activities. The ring pictured was a garbage disposal victim!

The Top Ten Mistakes Jewelry Wearers Make

Adapted from Jewelry Savvy: What Every Jewelry Wearer Should Know by Cynthia A. Sliwa and Caroline Stanley

1. Wearing jewelry while at the gym or pool, playing sports or doing other activities that may damage the jewelry.
2. Spritzing perfume or hairspray on wrists or necks adorned with jewelry.
3. Wearing jewelry that doesn't fit correctly.
4. Neglecting proper maintenance on jewelry, such as having prongs checked or pearls restrung.
5. Not cleaning jewelry regularly or properly.
6. Cleaning/rinsing jewelry over an open drain.
7. Keeping jewelry in a tangled jumble in a jewelry box or drawer.
8. Wearing jewelry that requires constant adjustment and fussing.
9. Buying what's hot rather than choosing jewelry that flatters.
10. And worst of all . . . Not wearing and enjoying that jewelry they own!
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