Ring safety v Covid-19

How many times can you wash your hands in a single day? How much hand sanitizer (if you still have some!) can you squirt in 24 hours?

These are questions you never thought you would ask, but here we are, at least for now. Are you still wearing your rings? Perhaps because you always wear them, or simply that it cheers you up to look down and see them on your fingers. Whatever the reason, it is more important than ever to get your ‘#washyourhands’ routine right.

However washing your hands dozen of times a day while wear rings can lead to irritation. Also, hand soap - and alcohol-heavy sanitizer even more so - can cause permanent damage to precious stones.  

But don’t just take off your rings without washing them as they can be contaminated too. Unfortunately however there are rings that cannot withstand such heavy cleaning routine and you might want to consider not wearing altogether right now. 


These include: 

  • Any ring with organic materials like coral or pearls, or porous stones like opals or turquoise. The alcohol in the sanitizer will dry out the gems and lead to surface damage or cracking.  


  • Any ring that is plated, gold or silver or non-precious. The alcohol hand gels will damage the finish.  


  • Any antique jewellery, such as Georgian and early Victorian rings. Water can get into rings with closed-back mountings and affect the appearance of the stones. Also, locket rings or any ring that has a photo or some other decoration under glass should not be washed with water. 

The rings that you can safely clean yourself at home are rings in solid precious metal (platinum, gold, or silver), either a plain or with set gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, spinels or chrysoberyls.  

For those rings, the best way is to use warm, not hot, water and a mild soap. Rinse, pat dry with a soft cloth and leave to dry completely. This routine is suitable for shiny or matt finishes. 


For stubborn dried and caked soap or hand lotion, soak your rings for a while to loosen up the debris. Then brush your rings with a new soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Make sure to get behind your stones in the mountings where dirt and grime can accumulate. 

Keep well and enjoy wearing your rings safely !