As my wife reminds me, there is no such thing as a bad piece of jewelry. But, just as some people were not meant to wear lime-green stretch tights, some jewelry may not match your lifestyle. Picking pieces that fit the way you live will guarantee your new bling won't spend most of its life buried in your jewelry box.
For example- some people love to wear flat herringbone chains to bed. Granted, you may look fetching when a certain someone wakes you during the night for a little snuggling, but the next morning you may find the chain is a mangled mess around your neck. The sad truth is a flat chain that has been twisted is very difficult to return to its original shape. So if you intend to make a flat chain part of your nightwear, steer clear of the paper-thin variety. Invest in a thicker chain, or one specially constructed to avoid kinking. That way, it will look as good in the morning as it did when your head hit the pillow.
While we're talking flat chain, here's another piece of advice; flat chains and sliding pendants don't play well together. If you looked at your chain under the microscope, you might be surprised how its edge resembles the teeth of a saw. And sawing is just what it does to the bail of your pendant. Every time you move, the pendant bail will rub against your chain, carving away a little more metal. For pendants, a rope or box chain will extend the life of the bail. If you really want to wear a stone with your flat chain, consider having one soldered in place.
One last suggestion about chains; match the length to your wardrobe and your features. Nothing diminishes the impact of a chain more than having it tangle in your day. If you favor scoop-neck tops, consider an 18" silver or gold chain that will lie nicely above the hem. If you favor turtlenecks, a 20" would fall neatly below. With a plunging neckline, a 24" chain will have plenty of room to drape attractively.
Are you shopping for a gemstone ring? Again, you'll be happier if you match your selection to your lifestyle. For example, if you are an avid golfer, you are aware of the stress golf puts on a ring. Sun, sunscreen, sweat, and swinging are all hazardous to delicate gems such as the opal. For a great sports ring, consider the bulletproof end of the gemstone spectrum-- diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and tourmaline all wear exceptionally well. An additional caution: if you wear a ring on your glove hand, be especially careful when removing the glove that your ring doesn't come along with it. Somewhere in the golfing world one of my wedding rings jumped ship.
Also, choose the proper the stone mounting for your lifestyle. A four-prong setting is marvelous for opening your stone to light from all directions, thereby maximizing the sparkle. But it does have the potential to snag, so if you do a lot of gardening or other hands-on work, think about a bezel or pave setting, where the stone is securely held around its entire periphery. Another great choice for a bulletproof sport/hobby ring is a simple gold signet ring.
As my wife again points out, a well-stocked jewelry chest holds not just a variety of pieces to suit each outfit, but pieces appropriate to various activities. The next time you shop, buy in accordance with your life style, and you'll enjoy your purchase to the max.