For many women, an engagement ring is their first piece of fine jewelry, and for most it is the only piece of truly valuable jewelry worn on a daily basis. In addition to its value as a piece of fine jewelry, your engagement ring has a special emotional value. Amidst all the excitement of sharing your engagement news and showing off a sparkly new diamond, you might already be asking some questions about how to take care of your engagement ring. Should you sleep with your engagement ring on? Should you wear your engagement ring all the time? How often should you clean your engagement ring?
Whether you are newly engaged or already married and wondering "How do I protect my engagement ring?", read on for tips for engagement ring care.
Engagement Ring Dos
Do clean it once every few weeks. Think of everything your hands come into contact with throughout the day. Rings collect build up of dirt and oil more than most jewelry. That build-up blocks light interactions with the stone, dimming its sparkle.
Fortunately, how to clean an engagement ring is easy. Just drop it into a cup of warm water with a few drops of soap or mild dishwashing detergent. Leave it for a few minutes, or even overnight. Use a soft baby toothbrush to gently scrub away the grime, pat dry, and voila, your diamond will be sparkling like new!
Check the prongs and settings. Examine your ring regularly. Look at the prongs, checking for any that are shorter than the others. Hold the ring to your ear, between two fingers, and shake it. If you hear anything, the setting is loose and needs to be tightened.
To ensure your ring stays in top condition and gets expert care and attention, you may want to bring it in to a jeweler for an annual "prong check". For most classic settings, such as a solitaire, it is usually sufficient to examine the ring yourself on a regular basis and bring it to a jeweller if you have any concerns.
Know when to take it off or keep it on. If you're not used to wearing rings or pricey jewellery, you might be tempted to take your ring off frequently -- when washing your hands, doing chores, working out -- either out of discomfort or fear of damaging the ring.
As you get used to wearing your ring, you'll have less of an impulse to take it off while you are working with your hands. In fact, it will start to feel strange not to have it on!
There are some times when it is worth temporarily removing your ring. For example, visiting the beach or going swimming. Water temperature can cause your finger to shrink, and the chances of recovering a lost ring at a beach or pool are simply too risky.
If you have a more delicate setting, such as micro pavé stones, it is advisable to take it off for vigorous activity, or activities such as tennis or golf. If there is a chance of impact with the ring, or it will be rubbing against a surface, small stones could be dislodged or the setting could be damaged.
For more day to day activities, such as washing your hands, doing household chores, or bathing, it is actually better to keep your ring on. If correctly sized, the chance of your ring falling off during daily activities is slim. It is much more common for an overly-conscientious bride to take her ring off to wash her hands and end up leaving it in a public washroom or knocking it into the sink.
Engagement Ring Don'ts
Don't assume a diamond is invincible. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance in the world, but they can still be hurt. Diamonds can fracture, bruise and chip. Settings can be damaged too, possibly even resulting in loss of the stone itself. Even a brand-new ring can be damaged by an unlucky and hard enough knock.
If you plan on wearing your engagement ring on a daily basis, it is important to become comfortable with it, but do wear it with care.
Don't resize your ring without caution. Many things can affect the fit of your ring from day to day and month to month. Seasonal temperature changes, weight fluctuation and even travel can change how your ring fits. Ring size can change so much and often that some Jewellers even prefer to size rings at specifically in the afternoon, or after exercising to accommodate for swelling!
If you are finding that your ring is consistently too loose, year round, do size down. If your ring is always too loose, it will cause more wear on the diamond, and cause the setting to become out of shape.
Keep ring dishes throughout the house. Perhaps more than anything, taking care of an engagement ring is about not losing it! Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom -- wherever you are likely to take your ring off, have a designated place for it. That way, if you forget to put it back on, you know exactly where to look! Plus, small, attractive ring dishes are available in all sorts of styles, so you're sure to find something for any decor.
Get insurance. Jewellers recommend insuring engagement rings as soon as they leave the store. Most homeowners or renters insurance allows an engagement ring to be added to an existing policy. You'll need a valuation from the jeweler of the ring's characteristics that goes beyond just the purchase receipt.
Knowing how to best care for your engagement ring, you'll be able to enjoy wearing it with peace of mind.