The jewelry people love the most is either stashed away in a safe, or worn every day. While we are in favor of actually wearing your favorite jewelry, there are certain times when its removal is encouraged.
1. Remove jewelry when engaging in sports, exercise, or yard work.
Are you dripping in sweat? Catching balls? Raking leaves? Hoeing a field?
Leave the jewelry at home, just as you would your expensive dress shoes or your night-on-the-town jeans. Sweat, like water, can weaken delicate inlay work and can make it easier for rings to slip off your fingers. Any time you are engaging in heavy activity, it increases the likelihood that your jewelry will fall off. Do you really want to spend your evening digging through bags of leaves for your favorite earring or strapping on scuba gear to scour the lake for your wedding ring?
In the right circumstances, jewelry can break - and even injure. Earrings can be ripped out or the posts can puncture the skin behind the ear. Necklaces can get caught and twisted around your neck. Bracelets can injure your teammate's face. Rings can get stuck if you jam your finger and it starts to swell. Ever heard of a paramedic having to cut off an engagement ring? It happens!
2. Remove jewelry when cleaning, showering, or swimming.
Detergents, soaps, cleaning solutions, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and chlorine can damage inlay stones, darken turquoise, and weaken inlay settings. Slippery cleaning agents can make it easier for rings to slip off your fingers and go down the drain. Cleaning agents can become trapped under the ring, or in earrings, and irritate the skin. Soaps are the quickest way to dull the sparkle of diamonds and other gemstones.
We always try to instruct people to remove their jewelry in these instances - partially because we sell a lot of intricate inlay jewelry, but also because it pertains to ALL types of jewelry. It may take a little getting used to, but being more aware of when to remove your jewelry will help you get the longest life out of it with the least maintenance.
Try keeping a small earplug compartment (cheap and available at most drugstores) nearby in a purse, car, or pocket in case you need to stash small jewelry items - that way they won't be loose in your pockets or bag.
While not very common, the other factor that we want people to be aware of is that some people's body chemistry may darken turquoise. This is similar to the way some people's skin changes color when in contact with certain metals. If this happens to you, we recommend having your ring re-inlaid with a different stone, such as opal, lapis or mother of pearl.
Just remember... wear your jewelry with pride, but know when to put it aside.