Caring for Your Wedding Rings

You earned that beautiful bling -- now take care of it with this handy guide to wedding ring maintenance.
by The Knot

It took you a lifetime, but you finally found the perfect specimen. Husband? No, actually we're talking about your engagement ring. Oh, sure, there are hundreds of books and articles on how to care for your significant other, but what about your ring? It's so shiny, so sparkly, so brilliant -- the last thing you'd ever want to do is nick it, chip it, gunk it up or knock it loose from its setting. Horrors, you're thinking. You would never dream of letting your beloved ring meet with such fate. So, how do you care for such a precious symbol of your love? Read on.


Take It Off.

Believe it or not, caring for your ring occasionally means taking it off, such as during the following activities:

  • Playing sports. Holding a tennis racket tightly is particularly not good for a wedding band which has stones going all the way around -- especially if you're left-handed. As for taking your ring to the gym, lifting weights with it on can also be hazardous. You wouldn't want a 25-pound dumbbell making contact with your stone.
  • Gardening. It is possible to chip your diamond or knock the setting loose while doing heavy yard work.
  • Cleaning house. Harsh chemical soaps or cleansers can soil the ring. It's also a good idea not to wear your ring while doing the dishes.

Safekeeping.

If you'll be taking your ring off to do the activities above, make sure you have a safe -- and memorable -- place to put it. Diamonds should be stored in their own separate box, pouch or jewelry compartment because they can scratch other pieces of jewelry.

Keep It Free From Lotion, Sunscreen And Perfume.

These products can gunk up your diamond, and even etch colored gemstones. It's a good idea to take your ring off before you put these things on.

Have Your Setting Checked Regularly.

Most jewelers recommend you have your setting checked every six months to make sure the stone hasn't been knocked loose, especially if it is particularly large.

Don't Swim In The Ocean.

Cold water may shrink your fingers just enough to loosen the ring from your finger, and if you lose it in the deep blue sea, you won't be seeing it again. If you must, you may swim in a swimming pool with your ring -- at least the pool can be drained if it slips off your finger. Note, however, that while platinum can withstand virtually any chemical, experts advise not to expose gold or silver rings to the harsh chemicals found in swimming pools and spas -- the bands can become severely discolored over time.

Be Careful In The Kitchen.

Cookie dough, turkey loaf, a piecrust… it's great to mix with your fingers. But these foods can leave a film on your ring and really affect its luster.

Keep It Clean.

Most jewelers will clean your ring free of charge, so take advantage of this courtesy. If you don't have time to get to the jewelry store, there are a few ways to clean your ring at home.

Craig Small Jewelers in Los Angeles suggests using a gentle dish detergent to clean lotion buildup from the bottom of the mounting. Simply scrub the top and bottom with a soft toothbrush and rinse several times in hot water. For diamonds, you can use a drop of Formula 409 with a large quantity of water, but be sure to rinse several times to get all the cleaner off.

If you have an emerald ring, only use a gentle detergent; never use chemicals such as 409.

For extra shine, soak your diamond ring in a small bowl of ammonia diluted with three times the amount of water, and gently brush the top and bottom of the mounting with a soft toothbrush. Dip the ring into the solution again, then rinse in warm water several times to be sure to get all of the solution off.

Note: If you do this over an open drain, use a strainer!

You may set the ring on a soft towel to dry, or gently pat it dry.

Insure Your Ring.

God forbid that anything should happen to your ring -- we all know it's irreplaceable. However, it's important to have insurance just in case. Most insurance companies will include your ring under your homeowner's insurance, although you can always insure it separately if you wish.

Take care of your ring, and it will always be as dazzling as it was on your wedding day.

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