The Dos and Don’ts of Caring for Your Engagement Ring
Two pros give us expert tips for keeping your ring safe—and as sparkling as the day you received it.
Do: Have It Insured
This is your number one must-do item. While nothing can replace the sentimental value of your engagement ring, if you have it properly appraised and insured for its full replacement value, you'll at least be covered if it's ever lost, stolen or damaged. Some insurance companies offer more than others, so it's worth doing a little homework. For example, Jewelers Mutual offers replacement with same kind and quality, which is especially important if you have a designer piece.
Don't: Neglect It
Daily wear and tear can take its toll, even on fine jewelry. "We recommend cleanings and inspections at least twice per year," says Tyler Krowiorz, consumer marketing manager at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. Think of it this way: Your ring needs this yearly visit like you need your annual physical or your car needs a tune-up. The last thing you want is to look down and notice your diamond has fallen out of its setting because of a bent prong. Minor preventive repairs now can save you a lot of heartache later—trust us.
Do: Take It Off Sometimes
While you might feel like you never want to take off that rock, you should, and you should do it often. Working out at the gym, washing dishes, laundry and other household tasks will put stress on your ring, from stretching the band to loosening the delicate settings. "Be careful what you lift while wearing your ring," says Nicole Mann Novick, the jewelry designer behind Garland Collection. "Loose stones after traveling is not a coincidence—carrying heavy luggage is a surefire way to break or bend prongs."
Don't: Let It Get Too Dirty
There are a lot of home cleaning remedies out there, but be careful: Solutions that are fine for diamonds may not be safe for other gemstones or metals, Krowiorz advises. He recommends using a mixture of a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in warm—not hot—water. Let your ring soak in the solution for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a new, soft baby toothbrush. To rinse, place it in a new dish of lukewarm water and then dry it with a soft cloth, being careful not to snag the prongs. While this is the best home cleaning solution, it's still a good idea to have your ring professionally cleaned regularly. Drop it off at any reputable jewelry store and they can take care of the job. And remember: Never clean your jewelry over a sink or other open drain!
Do: Store It Properly
Find a safe place to store your ring when you're not wearing it. "Keep it in a clean, dry place such as a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers to prevent pieces from scratching each other," Krowiorz says. And it's smart to have a dedicated spot for safekeeping while you're cooking. "I keep an old-school ring holder in the kitchen to hold mine while I'm mixing the dough for my favorite banana bread or cleaning the bowls afterward," Mann Novick says.
Don't: Have It Resized More Than Once
During pregnancy, women's hands usually swell considerably, and you might not be able to wear your favorite bauble for a while. But don't run out to have the ring sized right after the baby is born. "Wait at least six months postpartum," Mann Novick says. Chances are, your ring will fit again by then without a jeweler's help, and the less tinkering done on a fragile ring, the better—otherwise you may risk having to remake the entire band and setting.
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