10 Ways to Keep Your Engagement Ring Looking Brand New 

2019-08-02

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For most people, their engagement ring is the most important - and most expensive - piece of jewelry they own. It’s a ring they’ve spent months, or even years, dreaming about. Because it’s a ring that’s worn nearly every day, it needs a bit of care to ensure it stays just as shiny and sparkly as that very first wear. That means properly taking care of an engagement should be a top priority. 

 Here are 11 tips on how to make sure your engagement ring will last a lifetime

1. Get Jewelry insurance.

This is number one on the list for a reason - it’s an absolute must. Some homeowners policies will cover your ring, but the most comprehensive cover will come from a specialist jewelry insurer. Some jewelers might provide a warranty that covers small repairs or jewelry polishing, but it’s not going to cover wearer damage, loss, or theft of the ring. 

Having coverage will give you peace of mind and save you a lot of money and heartache in the event of something happening to your ring. 

 

An insurance company will need proof of value for the ring if you end up making a claim, so make sure your jeweler provides you with an official appraisal at the time of purchase. Once you have that ring on your finger and that appraisal in hand, getting jewelry insurance should be the first item of business!

2. Clean your ring - but not over an open drain!

When it comes to taking care of your engagement ring, the good news is that the safest cleaning methods are also the easiest! You can easily clean your ring with things you probably have lying around the house. Give your ring a light cleaning every week or two to keep it looking its best. Soak your ring in some warm water with a couple squirts of dish soap added in. Let it soak for 15 minutes or so and scrub it with a soft toothbrush. Rinse, dry, and enjoy the fresh sparkle!

3. Don’t expose your ring to harsh chemicals.

You’ll notice the first instinct from someone admiring your ring will be to reach out and put their thumb right on your diamond. And while we can’t blame them for admiring, there’s no need to let them dull up your ring! Oils from skin will dirty the stone and make it less sparkly. When you’re taking the ring on and off, grab the ring from the sides to avoid touching the center stone.

4. Keep your finger off of the center stone!

A gold engagement ring can be seriously damaged if it’s overly exposed to chemicals, even some found in common household cleaners. 

If engagement rings were made of pure 24 karat gold, they actually wouldn’t be corroded by chemicals. But, because 24k gold is much too soft to withstand everyday wear, it is mixed with other metals for additional strength. It’s the mixed in metals that will react to chemicals, causing corrosion or discoloration to your gold ring. Avoid chlorine, things with a high salt content, bleach, and any cleaner promoted as deep cleaning. 

 A platinum ring won’t have the same corrosion issues of a 14k or 18k gold ring. Because a platinum ring will be pure - or very nearly pure- platinum, it will give the wearer a tougher ring. If you’re worried about your ring being exposed to chemicals, pay extra for platinum.

5. Know when to take off your ring.

A diamond is tough, but not indestructible. Diamonds can be chipped, gold and platinum can be scratched or bent, and gemstones can be fractured. 

Sports, working out, & sweating: Workout equipment (especially weights), fast-paced movements and sweat will all increase the likelihood of damaging your ring — it could get caught on loose clothing, hit a hard surface, or even hurt someone else if you're playing a team sport. If your ring accidentally falls off while you're outdoors (running, rock climbing, etc.), you might not even realize it's missing until it's too late.

Showering: Exfoliating soaps can work wonders for you skin, but they can cause a lot of harm over time to your ring. Precious metals and softer gemstones are prone to micro scratches that will dull the metal and stones. Yes, the ring can get re-polished but the best way to keep it shining is to take it off before you shower. 

Swimming: Chlorine or salt will be present if you’re swimming in a pool or the ocean, both of which can be harmful to your ring. 

Sleeping: Even when sleeping, you can do damage to your ring. While you’re tossing and turning, your ring could get caught on sheets, clothing, or hair. While this won’t cause immediate damage, over time the repetitive friction can loosen stones and wear down prongs. Keep a dish or jewelry box on your nightstand as a reminder to take off your ring before settling in for the night. Which takes us right on to the next tip…

6. Have a safe place to store your ring.

Whether you’re cooking, putting on lotion or taking the ring off before you go to sleep, you’ll need safe convenient places to store your ring. Some people like to have ring dishes strategically placed around the house in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom for easy ring storage. Others might prefer to have one specific spot with a dish or jewelry box as the only place they store their ring. Whatever your preference is, make sure to have a safe place to put your ring when you take it off. 

7. Have your ring professionally inspected & polished once a year.

Even with best our efforts, every ring will get little scratches and dents over time. Minor wear and tear isn’t going to impact the longevity of your ring - it’s sturdy enough to withstand them. But it will dull the metal a bit. Your jeweler will be able to polish those scratches out no problem. If you have a white gold ring, your jeweler can also give it a fresh coat of rhodium plating making the ring look bright white and good as new. 

8. Give gemstones extra attention.

There are plenty of gemstones that are beautiful and tough enough for everyday wear in your engagement ring. But, a gemstone ring will need a little extra TLC when it comes to cleaning and care. 

Most commercially made jewelry cleaners will be ok for gemstones, but some ultra sensitive gems like pearls or amber may be harmed if there’s ammonia or strong chemicals present. For cleaning gemstones, it’s safest to stick with the soap and water method. Gemstones are softer than diamonds and too strong of a bristle could scratch the stone. Using a soft bristled toothbrush on the harder gems will work well, but for something as soft as a pearl, stick with a clean makeup brush to avoid scratching. 

 If your gemstone is treated, be especially mindful of heat exposure. Cleaning the stone in water that is too warm could damage it. 

 For a full list of gemstones and what kind of cleaning they require, take a look at the Gem Society’s comprehensive list. 

9. Avoid getting your ring resized more than once or twice.

Changes in the weather, weight fluctuation and travel can all affect the fit of your ring. During pregnancy, some women find their fingers swelling and their ring no longer fits comfortably. While it may be tempting to expand the ring, once the swelling subsides the ring will need to resized yet again. Too much tinkering with the ring can loosen the prongs and you risk stones falling out and the structure of the ring could weaken. However, if you notice your ring is consistently loose through changing seasons over time, it’s wise to resize.

10.  Keep your diamond away from other jewels.

Remember, diamonds are the hardest substance on earth. This means they can do some serious scratching! If you have a ring dish or jewelry box, make sure any diamond rings are kept on their own so you don’t risk scratches to other gold, silver, or gemstone jewelry. 

11. Be extra careful with thin bands.

When you’re choosing your band width, many people find themselves drawn to the look of a dainty ring. If you have a super active lifestyle - sports, working with machinery, using your hands a lot, this may not be the best option. A dainty band is beautiful, but can be damaged if proper care isn’t taken.  Consider getting a sturdier band width so the bumps and dings of your daily wear and tear don’t cause too much damage. If you have your heart set on the thinnest band out there, just make sure to take it off before doing any activity that might harm the ring. 

Remember, no one will be able to be on their best ring behavior 100% of the time. Sometimes you’ll put on lotion while you’re wearing your ring, or jump in a pool without taking it off. It’s not going to destroy your ring! The important thing is to create safe ring wearing habits so over time, your ring doesn’t have any unnecessary wear and tear. By following these tips you will keep your ring in the best condition possible and enjoy its beauty for your whole life.