Should I Stop Wearing Gold/Diamond Rings? April 7, 2020 – Posted in: Blog

When did I last wash my hands?  Is it time to wash my hands again?  Am I washing my hands for long enough? Am I using the right kind of soap?

As we’re (hopefully) spending more time in front of the sink, there are a couple of things to consider beyond just maintaining good hygiene.


Washing hands is an essential habit to stop the spread of germs during the coronavirus outbreak, but the rings you’re used to wearing on a daily basis could be impeding proper hygiene measures.

If wearing jewelry is part of your everyday routine, you might be wondering if you should wear it, what effect excessive hand sanitizing has and best practices for keeping yourself ― and others around you  healthy.

Use common sense

Lucy Wilson, a professor in the department of emergency health services at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, told HuffPost that while there is still little known about this novel coronavirus, based on information about viruses in general, it would be “reasonable to assume that it could be on any type of jewelry.”  Hand-washing, then, continues to be the best line of defense.

“The overriding advice is keeping the hands washed, keeping your hands to yourself and not touching your face,” she said. “If you’re washing a lot more and wear rings, you can get irritated.   So it’s not a bad idea to cut back on them if you’re trying to be really careful.”

Photo Credits: Pixabay

Coronavirus has raised its ugly head all all over the world and the variety of confirmed circumstances is spiking drastically creating widespread panic.  It now emerges that even your wedding ceremony ring, and different equipment would possibly harbor the virus. The pandemic has forced people to wash their hands regularly. 

Hand sanitizer could also be less effective if you wear rings.  A 2003 study found that nurses who wore rings and applied hand sanitizer, used sanitizer wipes, or washed their hands with antimicrobial soap had more bacteria on their hands afterwards than those who didn’t wear rings and did the same hygiene procedures.


But don’t just take off your rings without washing them.

If you’re worried about missing a spot on the hand that could be covered by a ring, it’s not a bad idea to remove it.   But simply removing it is not enough.

“If rings are contaminated and you pop them back on after washing your hands, you’ve recontaminated your hands,”  If you’re not going to disinfect your rings, you shouldn’t be taking them off and putting them back on.

Photo credits:

There are some pieces you might want to consider not wearing altogether.

And what about the maintenance of the jewelry itself?  Jewelry historian Elizabeth Doyle, who co-owns antique jewelry boutique Doyle and Doyle in New York City, shared some insight about which materials just can’t weather all the hand-washing and sanitizing we’re all (hopefully) doing at the moment.

“Hand sanitizer should not be used on any organic gems, like coral or pearls,” Doyle said. “The alcohol in the sanitizer can dry out the gems and lead to surface damage or cracking. When in doubt, it is always better to take your jewelry off before washing your hands.”

Photo Credits: Pinterest


Be careful about moisturizing, too.

“Rings set with gems can collect lotion or debris behind the stones,” Doyle said. “It is important to keep this area clean for many reasons.  That buildup can be a prime place for bacteria or irritants to collect, which can lead to skin irritations. Also, decreased airflow behind the stone can trap moisture against the finger, which is also a common cause of irritation.  And buildup of debris in a jewel can lead to unnecessary wear, and even loosening of prongs, which can result in lost stones.”

Taking off your rings to wash your hands and then putting them back on could also impede your ability to kill all of the germs on your hands.

“If rings are contaminated and you pop them back on after washing your hands, you’ve recontaminated your hands,”  “If you’re not going to disinfect your rings, you shouldn’t be taking them off and putting them back on.”

The CDC’s formal recommendations for healthcare providers states, “Some studies have shown that skin underneath rings contains more germs than comparable areas of skin on fingers without rings.” Additionally, it is also advised, “Further studies are needed to determine if wearing rings results in an increased spread of potentially deadly germs.”

“There are many conflicting studies out there, but generally, almost all of them focus on surgical handwashing for health care providers to prevent surgical infections,” says a spokesperson from ABC Medical Unit. “It’s difficult to generalize because the focus is heavily on bacteria — which just naturally colonizes the skin.”

In a situation where we are in extraordinary measures to limit COVID-19 transmission, We think removal of rings when washing hands – or perhaps limiting their wear together right now – represents a wise move forward.

We hope everyone is staying safe during this unsettling time.

AuGrav (Au-Gold, Grav-To Etch, to Engrave) Strongly believes that any Jewel should be a natural extension of yourself.  It could be as simple as your Names, to your Fingerprints, your Voice Waves, or anything that describes your Persona.  To create a piece that will be worn by only 1 out of 7 billion people on earth, Get In Touch with us.  Our Jewelry experts have all ears to listen to your story and suggest creating a masterpiece.

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