Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now the hard work starts. You’ve got a wedding to plan, where you’ll be the centre of your family’s love and attention. You can also expect a lifetime of worrying about whether you’ve scratched, grazed or marked that precious (and often surprisingly expensive) piece of metal wrapped around your finger. That’s right – today, we’re tackling ring care, specifically engagement ring care.
When to remove your engagement ring to avoid excessive wear and tear
The uncomfortable truth is that one way or another, your ring will get dented or discoloured in some way. You can fight this early on by ensuring you choose a metal that doesn’t tarnish like Platinum or Palladium. Gold is much softer than other metals and is, therefore, more prone to marking.
It’s important to know when to remove your engagement ring to maintain its splendour. The rule of thumb is, if your ring is at risk of being exposed to harsh chemicals or if you’re about to engage in manual labour, it’s best to remove it. Here’s a brief list of potential scenarios in which you’ll want to avoid wearing your ring:
- In the gym
- Before intense or heavy cleaning
- Gardening, particularly any work with tools or full-on landscaping
- Before applying heavy creams and lotions as these could dull your ring’s shine
- Before swimming – chlorinated water isn’t exactly metal’s best friend, while cold water will also make your fingers shrink so there’s the risk your ring might slip off!
- Intense sports – this one should go without saying… the risk of diamonds falling out during a rugby game is obviously not worth taking.
Read More: The Engagement Ring Report 2018
Where to store your ring
If you’re planning any of the aforementioned activities, it’s a good idea to decide where you’re going to store your engagement ring. If a safe isn’t readily available, here are some viable alternatives:
- A fabric pouch: Cotton, silk and velvet will protect the ring against scratches, but make sure it’s an individual pouch as you don’t want it getting damaged after coming into contact with other jewellery.
- A fabric-lined jewellery box: This is just a fancy version of the pouch, but again make sure your engagement ring is in a separate section to the rest of your jewellery.
- The original engagement ring box: This option gives you the bonus of prompting the memory of the proposal!
In addition, you should avoid keeping your ring on windowsills, park benches or within reach of pets.
Don’t re-size too often
Given that engagement rings last a lifetime, it’s inevitable that at some point you finger will grow or shrink and your precious item will need to be resized.
Beware though: when you get a ring resized, you run the risk of inflicting structural damage. If you have it resized too many times, then you may need to have it reset, which will cost you.
Instead, let your body adapt to changes over time and have the ring resized only when a change becomes permanent.
Various factors impact on the size of your finger, including weight change, travelling to warmer or colder climates, and pregnancy. In the instance of pregnancy, if the ring becomes too tight then remove it and wait until a couple of months after the birth before you put the ring back on – this gives your body time to re-adjust and settle.
If a change in your body leads to your fingers becoming bigger or smaller for longer than six months, then maybe it’s time to resize your ring.
Read More: How To Choose A Wedding Ring For Men
Clean your engagement ring regularly
Your ring will show the passage of time by gathering dirt and losing its shine. But fear not, a jeweller is always there to bring the sparkle back to your precious ring.
If forking out for a professional clean isn’t in your budget, then there are home cleaning methods which will have a great impact. Elizabeth Taylor famously cleaned her jewellery with hot water, gin and a toothbrush! While that might sound like fun, here are a couple of fairly mundane alternatives that’ll work just as well.
Your local supermarket will have jewellery cleaner solution that’ll work effectively as long as you follow the instructions, and make sure you get a solution that cleans both the stone and the metal. Sometimes, however, what is safe for the stone is not great for the metal and vice versa, so do your research before you buy.
For the full DIY option, let the ring soak in warm soapy water for a few minutes before gently scrubbing it with a baby toothbrush or soft cloth. You return the shine to it but might struggle to get into every nook and cranny. Our advice is to check out the cost of a professional clean and maybe treat your ring every couple years to a proper scrub.
Don’t underestimate engagement ring insurance
This is the ultimate care you can give your ring. Engagement ring insurance covers theft, loss and accidental damage to your engagement ring, wherever you are in the world.