We explain whether jewelry can be worn every day—and the reasons why
It comes as no surprise that anyone who owns jewelry wants to wear it as often as possible. Whether it’s a beautiful engagement ring, fancy pearl earrings, or a necklace that holds sentimental value, many people want to incorporate jewelry into their everyday life.
Many people wonder if they can wear their jewelry every day. People commonly ask us this question because no one wants to be left wondering, “Why did my jewelry break?”
A lot goes into jewelry design and construction, all of which can affect the sturdiness, durability and, ultimately, the wearability of an item. Let’s dive into the subject and go over some of the general reasons why you can or cannot wear jewelry every day.
Can jewelry be worn every day?
The simple answer to this question is: It depends. There are many different types of jewelry out there, made of various metals and with different stones, features, and design characteristics. All of this adds up to no clear answer on whether jewelry can be worn every day.
The bottom line to remember is this: The more you wear an item, the more it wears. The more it wears, the more susceptible it is to damaging or breaking.
The safest type of jewelry to wear every day
Generally speaking, both earrings and necklaces are the safest type of jewelry to wear every day. Because of where on the body they are worn, they don’t take the same type of abuse that a ring or bracelet gets.
As far as the sturdiest stone out there, there’s really no surprise it’s a diamond. A diamond is the hardest mineral on earth, meaning it’s pretty hard to damage. That’s not saying it’s impossible for a diamond to break, chip, or get damaged, but a diamond is a pretty durable little stone.
As far as other stones go, the most commonly known and sold colored stones are rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, all considered to be “precious stones.” Additionally, birth stones such as amethyst and garnets, along with pearls, are stones commonly used in jewelry, and they all have various strengths and weaknesses. For instance, rubies and sapphires are both harder stones, which means they are very durable. Emeralds, amethyst, garnets, pearls, and other stones are much softer and therefore much more susceptible to damage.
But again, this all depends on where the stone is located. If the stone is in a necklace or earring, the durability and strength are less important, since those pieces of jewelry take less abuse.
Are rings safe to wear every day?
One of the biggest reasons diamonds are found in engagement rings is because they are designed for everyday wear. Diamond engagement rings are constructed in a manner that helps them stand up to more wear and tear compared with other types of rings. Everything in an engagement ring, from the metal, to the diamond, to the way it’s constructed, is built to create a ring that is suitable for everyday wear. Another thing to remember is rings worn on a dominant hand will be more vulnerable to damage, simply because you use that hand more than the other. This means your dominant hand (and ring) will bump against things, take damage over the long haul, and potentially get caught or snagged on something.
Are bracelets safe to wear every day?
Again, some yes, some no. If you’re wearing a bracelet that drags on a desk all day while you’re at work, it will start to wear out quickly, regardless of its construction. Conversely, a bracelet that is low (meaning close to your skin) and solid in form will hold up better.
Construction affects whether jewelry can be worn every day
As we’ve already said, the way a piece is constructed can make a huge difference.
For instance, a hollow piece of jewelry will not hold up as well as a solid piece. This is a big factor in jewelry durability and makes a big difference over the long term.
Plating also makes a difference in terms of durability. You may have heard terms such as “rhodium-plated” when people talk about white gold. If so, you should know that the plating on jewelry can be worn off over time due to general wear and tear, which exposes the original metal. Since rhodium is a stronger metal than gold, it’s vital to keep that plating on your jewelry to keep your piece in great shape. If you’re wondering, yes, items can be re-plated and repaired.
The metal itself makes a difference, as well. Gold, silver, and platinum all have different hardness and durability levels, with platinum being the hardest. Both silver and gold are about the same in terms of hardness. You see many engagement rings made of platinum instead of gold because it’s a more durable metal.
Additionally, jewelry that is low generally will hold up better over time. This goes double if the piece is solid and not hollow. Conversely, a high-profile item that is significantly raised up from your skin, such as a pearl ring, is more exposed to potential wear.
When a piece of jewelry is repaired, it can affect the durability of the piece. For example, when you solder a piece of jewelry, especially a chain, it softens the metal around the solder somewhat. The metal on each side of the solder gets a bit weaker, especially for sterling silver jewelry. This all adds up to an item that is more susceptible to future damage. There’s a lot to cover when it comes to jewelry repair, and I encourage you to review our article titled How long does jewelry repair take? to learn more on the subject.
Lastly, here are a few general points when it comes to design and construction that affect the sturdiness of jewelry:
- Generally, the more hinges or moving parts in a piece of jewelry, the greater the potential for problems.
- Toggle clasps hold up well, but are generally responsible for more lost jewelry than with other types of clasps. With a toggle clasp, your item is more susceptible to coming undone and falling off.
- Antique items should take a “time out” every now and then. I hear people all the time say things like “I’ve been wearing this item for 50 years and never had a problem until today!” If your item has 40-plus years of consistent wear, give it a rest every now and then. Even better, stop by a jeweler and have him or her look at the piece. A jeweler can offer insight as to how the piece is wearing.
Some jewelry can be worn every day, some can’t
It’s really as simple as that. I’m sure if you’ve been wearing jewelry for a long time, you have noticed that certain items may be more susceptible to breaking or damage over time. If you’ve broken a few bracelets, chances are it’s not you, it’s external factors that contribute to wearing your items down to the point of damaging them.
Regardless, if you’re wondering about whether an item can be worn every day, take it to an expert and ask. Let a jeweler know your intentions, and he or she can offer guidance.
To learn whether your piece of jewelry can be worn every day, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly about your piece of jewelry, contact us online anytime by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out our contact form. We’ll answer your questions quickly.