Jewelry Blog

The 8 Times You Shouldn’t be Wearing Your Engagement Ring

Aquamarine Ring Customer Looking in Mirror

Your engagement ring is the second most important ring you’ll ever wear, after your wedding band, but that doesn’t mean there is any good reason for you to wear it every hour of every day. The nature of engagement ring design means it’s exposed to many potential dangers that wedding bands aren’t. Here we look at 8 times when you definitely shouldn’t be wearing your engagement ring.

Do you Wear your Engagement Ring Everyday?

Yes. The engagement ring is worn throughout the day. Wearing your diamond ring while you sleep is a matter of contention. See below.

That being said, the engagement ring should not be worn at certain moments throughout the day. Below we have 8 examples of times that you should not be wearing your ring.

1. In the Gym

Woman in the gym with engagement ring

To be honest, wearing your ring during any form of intense exercise is a big no-no, whether it’s on the treadmill or on the field.

Aside from the obvious potential for damage from knocks, just the constant extreme movement of most types of exercise can cause the ring to twist, and, eventually, this may lead to the stones loosening enough that you won’t realize it’s gone until it’s too late.

Add to that the damage that salt from sweat can do, and the increased presence of oils being secreted from the skin causing dirt to build up, Recognize your ring for what it is, and not what it isn’t. It’s not a sporting accessory. It’s not knee support or an Alice band, it’s your engagement ring, so take it off!

Learn more about exercising while wearing your ring.

2. Cleaning the house

Woman cleaning house with engagement ring on finger

Again, knocking your ring on worktops or other hard surfaces can be a real issue when cleaning, but this risk almost pales into insignificance when compared to the damage harsh cleaning chemicals will do. Bleach, ammonia, and other solvents can permanently damage both the metal and the stones.

Even if you wear gloves, still take the ring off, as it can easily catch when pulling the gloves on and off.

In short, get a safe for your house and put the rings into the safe whenever you’re preparing to do any form of serious cleaning.

4. Swimming

Girl swimming in ocean with engagement ring

Assuming we’re not classing swimming as exercise, of course, we could just as easily call this one “At the pool or beach”. Water does things to human skin, and water with salt or chlorine does things to everything it touches.

Unless you’re in a pool heated to quite a high temperature, the water will be cooler than you. This makes your fingers shrink slightly, but enough to allow your engagement ring to slip right off. On top of that, salt and chlorine can seriously affect the metal of the band, especially if it is treated metal like white gold. Salt, basically, rots everything over time so, if you do go in the sea wearing your ring, have it cleaned as soon as is practical.

And don’t get us started on what sand can do to the shine of the band or the clarity of a diamond. There’s a reason they use it to clean the outsides of grime-clad buildings.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you wearing the engagement ring in a pond, river or ocean, and then it slips off you can safely assume that you will never see it again.

5. During your Beauty Regime

Girl doing makeup with mirror

Soap, creams, gels, pastes, face-packs, shampoos, perfumes, indeed any of the countless beauty products are the slow-burner of ring damage. Every time you apply any kind of product to any part of your body, some of it will end up on and in your engagement ring.

Over a period of time, this buildup does two things. Firstly, it attracts as much dirt, grease, and grime as it can and, secondly, it gets further and further into the nooks and crannies of your ring and can eventually cause not just accelerated physical deterioration, but also the loosening of the stones due to the increased pressure from beneath as it gets packed tighter and tighter.

To quote CeeCee Chatter, “Jewelry and makeup are a dangerous combo”.

6. When You’re Sick

Woman sick with rings on her fingers

Despite trillions of dollars being spent on (unsuccessfully) finding a cure for the common cold, you’re still looking at 7 to 10 days for it to work its way out of your system, and double that time for the flu or other virus-based illnesses.

During that time, your body goes through some crazy things, often ones that aren’t immediately obvious. Weight loss, dehydration, localized swelling, and many more secondary symptoms can cause your ring to loosen or tighten on your finger. If you do get sick with something that’s likely to last more than a day or two, just take your engagement ring off.

Taking all of them off is actually a good idea, as sickness isn’t a respecter of jewelry values, whether monetary or sentimental.

7. Cooking and Baking

There's something fishy about this 200-year-old DESSERT!   | How To Cook That Ann Reardon
Here’s a video from Ann Reardon (A famous YouTube Cook) reviewing one of our rare Georgian Rings from our collection.

Apart from when deliberately applying lotions and creams to our bodies, cookery is probably the next biggest contributor to detritus attaching itself to your engagement ring.

Almost everything we touch when preparing a meal from scratch will make our hands sticky, smelly, oily or any one of a thousand usually undesirable things. Baking is just about the worst thing to be doing whilst wearing your engagement ring, as it involves the two worst ingredients imaginable for long-term damage: fat and flour. They are, and we make no apologies for the pun, a recipe for disaster when it comes to your wedding ring.

The warning we’ll give about taking your ring off in the kitchen is to go and put it somewhere safe. Kitchens are notoriously cluttered spaces with plenty of places for a ring to get lost.

8. In Bed and Sleeping

Breakfast in Bed Proposal

This point actually depends on who you listen to, but we think it’s a good idea not to wear your engagement ring in bed.

Apart from the obvious snagging threat from pajamas, bedclothes, hair, or even a partner, if you tend to lie on your hands, the pressure of your weight can cause the band to become miss-shapen and this could lead to stones popping out. There is an argument that, if you’re wearing it, you can’t lose it, but that doesn’t mean you should just accept that the risk of damage is acceptable. It’s what your nightstand was made for.

We know you want to wear your engagement ring all the time, but for the sake of taking them off for a few minutes or a few hours, why risk it?

Learn More

Here are some other insider articles that will help you take care of your engagement ring.

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About Afshin Shaddaie

Afshin moved to New York City in the 1980s, and a few years later, he began his career in the fine and rare jewelry scene. He teamed up with Michael Khordipour, and they've been curating vintage jewelry ever since. He also regularly contributes to Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, The Knot, and Insider. Afshin constantly travels to international shows and private viewing events in the hope of finding rare vintage rings that will be important enough to make an impression. He is available for appointments at our New York showroom when he's not traveling. In 2019, Afshin authored his book called The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on vintage jewelry and antique diamonds. His favorite jewelry era is Art Nouveau, and he loves rare Italian jewelry from the 1950s - 1970s. The Natural Saltwater Pearl is his favorite precious jewel.