So you’ve recently gotten engaged. Congratulations! It’s a very exciting time, and you’re probably eager to start thinking about your wedding plans. In the midst of all the excitement though, don’t neglect the proper care of your engagement ring. After all, it’s going to be a fixture on your left hand along with the wedding ring, and you’ll want to keep it looking its best. Fortunately, just a few simple steps will help it look as good as the day you got it.
- Insure your ring – This is the first step in caring for your ring, and it’s an important one that you might not even have thought about. Of course, no amount of money could replace the emotional connection you have with your ring, but should the occasion arise where your ring is lost or stolen; you can at least have the assurance that it had this layer of security. Have your ring professionally appraised and insure it based on this value. Because not every insurance company is the same, make sure you do your research before choosing one.
- Keep track of your ring – You’ll reduce the chances of having to call on your insurance money by following this step closely. If you have to take your ring off, try to keep it in the same spot every time so that you’ll always know where to find it when you’re ready to put it back on. Make sure you never put it in a dangerous spot such as the edge of the sink or the bathtub even if it’s “just for a second” – it’s easy for you or someone else to accidentally knock it down the drain. Try to avoid ever taking it off in public, as you could easily leave it somewhere or knock it down a drain or sewer grate. Even putting it in your pocket can be a risk as it could slip out without you ever realizing it until it’s too late. The safest thing to do is just to take it off before you go out and keep it in a safe place at home.
This safe place, ideally, is in a fabric-lined jewelry box or case. This could be a ring box or within a larger jewelry box as long as it has its own space where other pieces of jewelry can’t scratch it.
- Know when to remove your ring – Of course, you won’t be wearing your ring 24/7; there will be situations where it’s actually best to take off your ring. These include:
- Before performing heavy cleaning or yard work, as these activities may damage the stone or metal of the band.
- Before applying heavy creams or lotion, which could create a buildup on the ring and cause it to lose its natural sparkle.
- Before swimming, whether on the beach or in a pool.
- Before playing any intense sports.
In addition to knowing when to take your ring off, it’s also a good idea not to handle it too much when it is on your finger. Playing with it too much can lead to the natural oils that are on our skin causing the ring to dull and lose its natural sparkle. It could even cloud the gems and dull the metal itself.
- Don’t have it resized too many times – Rings can be resized if the need arises, but doing so can run the risk of it getting damaged. Ring size can change due to a number of reasons, such as weight fluctuations, traveling, or changes in temperature. In most of these cases, the change is temporary, so jumping to have the ring resized will only mean another resizing will be needed later on. Give your fingers time to return to their normal size and keep your ring in a safe place in the meantime. Be sure that the change is not temporary before deciding to resize it.
- Try to avoid unnecessary wear and tear – You’ll most likely want to wear your ring as much as you can. It’s a good idea to take precautions to avoid damaging it. Be careful not to knock it against hard surfaces and try to avoid getting the prongs of the setting snagged on loose threads or fabric.
- Clean your ring – No matter how well you take care not to damage your ring, it will naturally accumulate a bit of grime over time. There are several ways to effectively clean your ring at home. One method is to mix a few drops of dish soap into a bowl of lukewarm water. Let your ring sit in this solution for a few minutes, then brush it carefully with a soft baby toothbrush. Rinse it off by letting it sit in another bowl of just lukewarm water, then dry it off with a soft cloth, being careful not to let it get caught in the fabric. You can also use a jewelry cleaning solution; just be careful to read the instructions and make sure that it’s safe for your particular stone and metal. Do not use any harsh cleaners to clean your ring, as they can end up damaging it.
Use the cleaning time to also check your ring for problems, such as a loosened stone or a damaged prong. It’s recommended that, in addition to regularly cleaning your ring at home, you have it professionally cleaned from time to time.
Taking just a few simple steps will allow you to enjoy your engagement ring for years to come.