This will definitely garner an "I love this, do it immediately" or "no, don't you dare" reaction from various people, but I was browsing through Imperian's artifacts and was interested to see this in the blurb on their Earrings of Gazalis artifact:
"These earrings are unlike other artifacts in that they are permanently bound and linked to the buyer and one other person. That other person must be specified to Jeremy when the artifact is purchased. The link and binding of the earrings cannot be changed, like all other artifacts".
Imperian doesn't seem to have *nearly* the issues with earrings that Achaea does, and a good deal of that probably has everything to do with sheer cost. 800 credits a pop to have an earring partner. The earrings themselves seem have similar mechanics (you can't be prone or off-balance, etc...), although it's not explicitly stated in their help file (their help files are often somewhat lacking compared to Achaea, as admin is spread thinner).
As a reminder, the relevant blurb for Achaean earrings:
"Earrings of Sinope are always owned by exactly one person, though clearly they are used by two. If the owner should decide to bestow the other pair to some different partner at a later time, this can be accomplished. Cost: 100 credits. You specify the partner at purchase time with the following syntax: BUY <earring> PAIRED WITH <person>. See HELP ARTEFACT TRANSFERS for more information on changing partners".
You could simply stop allowing people to do that. People keep all their current partners, but no new ones for 100 credits. This is well outside what I'm involved with, so I leave it to you all to hate, love, discuss, what have you, but interesting to see how a small administrative difference seems to have made ALL the difference in how prevalent/PITA an artifact like this is or isn't. Obviously, it makes the artifact somewhat less appealing, so Achaea would sell fewer of them in general, so there's that.
EDIT: Whew, had to fix the mess using the quote feature made, and it made a worse mess, and now it's decent!