As a jewelry store who also does repair work on a number of cherished heirlooms and heirlooms-to-be, we want to better educate our customers on safety and longevity for their precious rings. Day-to-day, we meet a number of people who proudly wear their ring every single day and have been doing so for decades. While we admire that commitment, it’s important that we explain when the rings should come off.
You may or may not know that rings, sort of like cars, need occasional maintenance and frequent checking. Prongs can wear, stones can become loose, shanks can break, and many other things that will require repair at some point. Although the necessity for this repair is inevitable, you can control how soon and how often your ring needs this repair by taking good care of your rings. This means removing your rings before certain activities.
It’s important to mention that our store does offer a free warranty for stone loss on jewelry purchased from our store, and we highly recommend having your jewelry insured. If you would like to have your jewelry insured and need an appraisal, we would be happy to help you with that. Should you lose a stone for any reason, know that our professional bench jewelers are properly equipped for stone resetting or replacement.
Here is our list of When To Take Your Rings Off.
#1 : Before Bed.
Did you know that one nights sleep is the equivalent of 30 days wear? The sheets are like sandpaper to prongs, the metal that holds your stone in place. Over time, this wear makes the prongs thin and easily bendable, and eventually there isn’t enough metal to protect your stone. This will eventually happen, which we will detect ahead of time if you bring your jewelry in every 6 months to be examined. But ideally, you want to protect your prongs so that you can go as long as you can without needing them repaired with what we call retipping. By not sleeping in your jewelry, you can buy yourself years without needing repair. On average, prongs need to be retipped every 6 – 10 years. You might be able to go even longer without needing this service if you follow these tips.
It’s also worth mentioning that because your finger swells at night, we don’t recommend sleeping in your jewelry due to the risk of getting the ring stuck on your finger. It’s unlikely, but it happens, and we have had to cut rings off of people’s fingers before for this exact thing.
Read about having your rings removed here: https://www.hperryjewelers.com/remove-your-ring-not-your-finger/
#2 : Before Swimming.
Chlorine eats gold.
Yeah, let that sink in. (No pun intended)
To clarify, it is actually the metals in the alloy that erode from the chlorine. We do not recommend trying it at home, but a container of bleach can actually dissolve a 10k, 14k, or 18k gold ring in a matter of days. So no swimming, no hot tub, and limit wearing it in the shower if you can.
#3 : Before Cleaning.
Same reason as #2. Bleach in your cleaning products can discolor and erode gold alloy.
It’s also important to mention that if you clean in your rings without gloves, the harsh chemicals can get stuck under your ring and cause irritation to your finger. In fact, some people mistake this for a metal allergy when in fact there is a simple solution: A ring cleaning.
Read more about skin irritation from unclean jewelry here: https://www.hperryjewelers.com/am-i-allergic-to-my-wedding-ring/
#4 : Before Exercise.
For the safety of your ring and your finger, please do not wear your rings while lifting weights.
If the metal was soft enough to be formed into jewelry in the first place, it is soft enough to be damaged by pressure from a hard metal–especially cast iron. Grabbing on to weights can smush your shank, distorting the shape and causing weak points that are subject to breaking.
We should also make note of the fact that the sweat on your hand may cause the ring to fly off of your finger. We have seen this happen a lot, so we don’t recommend wearing your rings on the treadmill, in aerobics class, or during any fitness program where your hands might sweat. Which is most of them.
#5 : Before Traveling.
This isn’t a must, but you should know that the #1 way people lose their jewelry is from traveling.
We’ve heard it all. Rings disappear from the hotel, get forgotten in the hotel safe, fall off in the ocean (again, beware of wet hands), falls out of the luggage, the list goes on.
We understand that you don’t want to leave your jewelry in your unattended house. Don’t worry, we have a solution: Bring your ring to HPerry Jewelers before you leave town and drop it off for a refurbish. It starts at only $35, and we will buff out any scratches, tighten all of your stones, and rhodium-plate your ring if you want us to. It will look brand new when you come to pick it up. Your jewelry is always insured in our care and kept in our time-lock safe under video surveillance. The safest place it can be is with us, and we are happy to help.
You may want to leave your ring with us anyway if your white gold ring is starting to turn yellow.
Learn more about that here: https://www.hperryjewelers.com/why-is-my-white-gold-ring-turning-yellow/
#6 : Before Outdoor Activities.
Because if you lose it in the woods, you probably won’t find it. Same goes for the water. We also don’t recommend wearing your ring during outdoor activities because of the risk of causing injury to the hand, which may make your finger swell up and prevent you from removing your ring–ultimately resulting in having to have your ring cut off. We have made a list of activities during which you should remove your rings, and we made this list by recalling horror stories from customers of ways that they have lost or damaged their rings.
And last but not least…You should remove your rings
#7 : Every 6 Months to Have Your Jewelry Cleaned and Checked
This is a free service that only takes a few minutes. There is no reason not to do it. Having your ring checked every 6 months will help prevent you from losing sentimental stones and demanding more costly repairs in the future. In addition to examining your ring under a microscope, we will clean it to make it shiny and beautiful again. 99.9% of the time, having your ring checked frequently prevents devastating loss or damage and saves people money.
So feel free to come by the store today and have all of your jewelry checked and cleaned!
GIA Diamonds Graduate, GIA AJP
Designer and Consultant for HPerry Jewelers since 2013