A pretty large percent of American workers work in an office environment. We could debate the pros and cons of productivity, synergy, team building, etc., but what I really want to discuss is the toll that office work takes on our rings, ring settings, and jewelry in general.
Several years ago, when I worked at a college, my boss’s secretary went shopping on her lunch hour. When she returned to her desk, she noticed her diamond was missing from her wedding ring. Luckily, the proprietor of the store she visited was able to find it, and the ring was repaired.
This same situation happens all the time across America. It sometimes ends with bad results. A few years ago a colleague lost a diamond from her wedding ring. The diamond was never found, so she had to buy another. It probably got sucked up in a vacuum cleaner.
It seems that papers, files, and other office-related activities wear away the prongs on our rings. Years of handling papers, getting into file drawers, and organizing papers into files create a gradual reduction in the tiny gold or platinum prongs holding those expensive diamonds and jewels in place.
For some reason, I am particularly hard on my jewelry. I chip stones like they are cheap pieces of slate! A few weeks after getting married, I gestured by slapping my left hand over my right hand, and I immediately heard what I had done. I was not used to having a ring on my left hand, so I had moved in such a way that the band of my wedding ring had made contact with the amethyst ring on my right hand. The amethyst now has a huge chip. Luckily it did not compromise the mounting, so I still wear it. I hesitate to have the stone replaced because I fear I will make the same mistake again.
Just recently, I raked my engagement ring down the brick wall in my office while trying to catch a falling sign. The prongs suffered the brunt of the abuse, thankfully!
What is the solution? Well, we could stop wearing jewelry to the office, but how much fun is that? I believe if you own it, you should enjoy it. We could replace stoned pieces with plain gold items, but again, that defeats the purpose.
What I recommend is frequently checking your settings to make sure they are still intact. This may require using some type of magnification to really get a good view. Or, I am sure your jeweler would gladly check them for you. It might even be a good practice to take your jewelry in each year for a thorough evaluation and cleaning by your jeweler.
The other trick I use is to rotate my jewelry. Some days I wear my engagement ring and other days I wear the wedding band. I hope this will increase the longevity of both rings.
When I clean my jewelry at home, I am very careful. I use an ultrasonic cleaner, rather than the soaking solution with the little brush. I would think the little brush could be hard on settings if used aggressively.
Enjoy your jewels; just make sure you protect them as well!