769. Forbidden and Permitted Jewelry

Shabbos 19:4

Even though a ring without a seal is considered a piece of jewelry for a woman, she should not go out wearing it out of concern that she might take it off in the public domain in order to show it to her friends, as one often does. If she does go out wearing such a ring, she is not liable. A man, however, may go out wearing a ring with a seal because this is considered jewelry for him and it is not common for a man to show off his jewelry. The accepted practice is for people to go out not wearing rings at all.

Shabbos 19:5

If a woman goes out wearing a needle that has an eye, she is liable (because it’s a method of carrying a sewing needle, not a piece of jewelry) but a man would not be liable. If man goes out wearing a needle without an eye, he is liable but a woman would not be liable because this would be considered to jewelry for her. However, she should not wear it by rabbinic enactment out of concern that she might remove it in order to show it to her friends. The general rule is that whenever someone goes out wearing something that is not considered jewelry for his or her gender, and the thing is not being worn as a garment, then he is liable if he transports that thing in the usual fashion. If a man goes out wearing jewelry that hangs loosely so that it could likely fall off, causing him to carry it through the public domain, or if a woman goes out wearing a piece of jewelry that she is likely to remove in order to show to friends, they are not liable. If an ornament is not likely to fall off or to be shown to others, then one may go out wearing it. For this reason, a woman may go out wearing a bracelet on her arm or a garter on her thigh if it is tight and will not slip off. This rule applies in all similar circumstances.