Twenty-first Century Jewelry Rules
When you purchased your jewelry, did you receive an owner’s manual? If not, then read the following.
When Not to Wear Jewelry
1) When washing your hands. This is the first step on all websites on hand washing.
Remove your rings, bracelets and watches.
2) During food preparation. The food industry recommends that you remove all rings. This practice should carry over into every household. More germs live in the kitchen than in the washroom.
3) When changing a child’s diaper, going to the washroom or disposing of pet feces.
4) When using machinery. This is a workshop 101 rule and includes working on your car, doing electrical work or using power drills and saws, etc. This is safety issue more than a health issue. Take your jewelry off.
5) When doing housework. Ammonia and harsh cleaners damage the metal. Bleach is especially damaging to your jewelry. If your rings have been exposed to it, tell your jeweller.
6) When in a hot tub or swimming. Chemicals damage metal and stones. You should especially avoid exposure to chlorine.
7) When carrying or lifting over 5 kg. The weight causes the metal to bend. After 10 minutes of carrying a 5 kg package, you lose 46 percent of the blood supply to the fingers. Weight pressing on a metal ring causes the blood loss to be even greater, and it takes 20 minutes for the blood supply to be restored. A ring that is too tight or that you can’t remove causes comparable blood loss to the digit.
When at the gym or participating in sports. Never wear any jewelry in these circumstances, including wedding bands and necklaces. Moisture trapped under the jewelery can cause contact dermatitis.
9) When using body care or hair care products. Always read the label. Recently, I purchased a hair removal lotion, the label of which said, “avoid contact with jewelry.” This is no joke. Other items you should be concerned about include hair dyes and dripping bleaches. Do not wear jewelry when using these–not even earrings. And never wear jewelry to a beauty salon.
10) At the beach. The sand will scratch the metal, as will dust and dirt.
11) In bed. Bed linens are abrasive and scratch platinum and gold. Necklaces and earrings can cause injuries when snagged on bed linens.
12) When applying makeup or perfume.
13) In a lab or health care setting. If your jewelery comes in contact with mercury, go to a jeweler immediately. Mercury will eat into and degrade the metal.
14) When taking public transit. Never display expensive jewelry. If you do wear it, conceal it while traveling. See www.ttc.ca for details.
A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind
Remember that pieces like engagement rings are designed for special occasions–not for everyday use by those of us living hectic twenty-first century lifestyles.
Jewelry is unique in that no other product is worn by so many people 24/7, and no other product is as neglected and as dirty. Have your items professionally cleaned and polished. Maintain them between cleanings. Check the owner’s manual for proper storage and care.