6 Rules to avoid jewelry mistakes: When NOT to wear

May 21, 2018 0 Comments

When NOT to Wear Jewelry

Jewelry Etiquette Series

We have always been advised to pair our outfits with the best matching jewelry to add a finishing touch a nice finishing touch. As glamorous as jewelry is, unfortunately, we cannot wear jewelry all the time or for all occasions. There are certain places where wearing jewelry is either just not appropriate, or it can actually damage your precious jewelry (Think Pearls, Gold, and Silver).

Today, we are here with a few simple rules that can help with your jewelry care and help you avoid the most common jewelry wearing mistake as part of our Jewelry Etiquette Series. Here are 5 times when you should not wear jewelry.

#1 Swimming

Swimming with your jewelry on is a big no-no. The chemicals in the pool and the salt in the ocean water can be really harsh for the material of your jewelry. Swimming pools, in particular, are treated with bleaching agents that can ruin the color and top layer of your jewelry, resulting in unrefined edges and visible changes you might not want. I have heard countless stories of people who decided to go swimming with there jewelry and ended up losing their favorite piece.

Even if you feel you are responsible enough to handle not misplacing your jewelry, the chemicals and water can be harsh on certain precious metals and especially to pearl jewelry. This is because pearls are porous and will absorb the chemicals, often leaving them stained yellow. In addition, pearl jewelry and other gemstones use an adhesive that holds the gem in place. The water can wear down this material leaving your pearl or other gem lost. So remember, kindly remove jewelry before swimming to avoid any heartbreak.

#2 In The Shower

It is quite easy to forget taking off your jewelry, especially rings or studs, while you step into the shower. But this practice can be very damaging to your jewelry items. The biggest surprise people don’t realize is that hot water and steam can cause damage to numerous types of gemstones. Why go through the hassle? Just remove them.

Additionally, shampoo, body soaps, and scrubs we use in the shower contain chemicals that are harmful to the jewelry, especially to the pearls and metals. If you really feel the need to keep on your engagement ring, pearl jewelry, or any other special piece, you can use baby soaps and shampoos; these items are less harmful because they don’t have the chemicals which standard bath products contain. Drying yourself after the shower can also cause additional problems.

Certain towels and scrubs are too abrasive and can scratch your jewelry, and if you use a hair dryer the heat you apply can damage your earrings as well. And remember, be careful where you place your jewelry when you take it off! Try and remove your jewelry BEFORE you enter the shower or bathroom. This avoids having to call the plumber to retrieve your precious jewelry.

#3 Amidst House Chores

House chores can be your biggest enemy if you are fond of wearing jewelry with precious stones and pearls. Losing jewelry stones while dusting around the house, folding the laundry, and doing the dishes is all too common. The major problem is you can get too focused on your task and not even realized you lost your precious gem. Besides losing your jewelry, you can also damage it. Any guesses how? You got it, chemicals. Household cleaners are much harsher than pool chemicals or shampoos. These chemicals can damage precious metal, pearl jewelry, and other soft gemstones pretty rapidly.

Additionally, your jewelry can actually damage your household items as well! Hard gemstones such as Diamonds and Sapphires can easily scratch just about anything! If you aren’t worried about scratching your items, then you still need to be conscious that your jewelry can easily get caught in threads why doing laundry and your necklace can snag on numerous items.

So if your deciding to do some housework, please remove your jewelry. Your pearls, gold, and other gemstones will thank you kindly, as well as your wallet.

#4 During Sports/ Exercise

It is always advised to remove your jewelry before doing any sports or exercise. Believe it or not, your sweat can destroy and soft gemstones. Your sweat also contains chemicals and can also oxidize the jewelry. Unless you want your opals, pearls, or metals to be damaged and tarnished, remove them.

Physical activities such as lifting weights can also scratch your jewelry. Exercises that involve dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or any metal object you need to grip, will likely result in scratching a ring. Pliable metals such as platinum make not scratch but actually bend or warp its shape. This can cause a ring to loose stones and loose its round shape, causing a bad fit on your finger.

Removing jewelry for sports is also a safety concern. A physical blow or a fall can bend a ring onto your finger and actually in extreme cases cause you to lose your finger completely. Besides, rings your earrings can also get caught on an object when playing sports and be ripped from your ear. Yes, it's scary, and that’s why we are letting you know. We have seen it happen.

#5 While Sleeping

Sleeping and wearing jewelry do not mix. It’s very common to forget to remove your jewelry before sleeping, especially rings and earrings. However, this is a big no-no.

One of the reasons you should remove jewelry when sleeping is that it's very easy for you to lose or break certain parts of jewelry. As you roll, toss, and turn in your sleep, you can easily loosen prongs to gemstones or damage softer gems such as pearls and opals. Second, many of us sweat in our sleep. As mentioned above, sweat is damaging to jewelry. Additionally, you can ruin your sheets and linens. This happens when a loose thread gets caught in your jewelry. Harder gemstones can also scratch your linens, and nobody wants that. Lastly, fingers tend to swell in the morning. This can cause pain and discomfort. In certain cases, you can stretch or bend your rings, especially platinum jewelry.

#6 At Funerals

Unlike the other items on this list, funerals are a no-no because it’s bad form. Wearing jewelry, especially statement pieces at a funeral is disrespectful. During a time of mourning is not a time to show off your wonderful pearls or gems.

A funeral should be black and simple, as to not draw attention to yourself. Anything flashy on your body is not appropriate for a sensitive event such as this. So, keep your jewelry inside and wear the simplest of attire to attend a funeral and give a shoulder to the loved ones. There will be plenty of time to get good use out of your gorgeous gems, just not here.


We are not advising you to eliminate wearing jewelry from your lifestyle, but these five things are best done without jewelry. It is ideal for the safety of your jewelry and even for you. These are good practices to avoid ruining your jewelry and from angering your friends and family. So avoid jewelry in these situations.

  1. The Shower
  2. Swimming
  3. Housework
  4. Exercise
  5. Sleeping
  6. Funerals

Stay tuned for other articles in our Jewelry Etiquette Series!

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James Kyllonen

Founder and CEO of Kyllonen Luxury