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You glance down at your new engagement ring — or the one you picked out just for your partner. Maybe you marvel at its beauty or how it shimmers in the sun. No matter what you love about it, it’s important to know how to take care of your engagement ring so it stays safe, clean, and durable. Without proper engagement ring care, you risk it chipping, cracking, loosening, or fading over time. And if it’s not kept safe, you might lose it.
As experienced diamond experts with decades in the field, we’ve compiled the best ways to care for your engagement ring. Our guide covers everything from cleaning and storing it to appraisals and diamond insurance.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
Your diamond engagement ring is likely one of your most valuable possessions, not just because of its price, but because of what it means to you.
Here are the biggest benefits of caring for your engagement ring:
Keep your ring safe and in beautiful condition by insuring it, cleaning it, and storing it properly. Here are the best tips for engagement ring care.
A warranty provides free replacement or repair if there’s a manufacturer defect. If something is wrong with your ring, a warranty gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to repair or replace it at your own expense.
Here are a few reputable vendors that offer a warranty for their jewelry and diamond engagement rings:
You usually need to have your engagement ring appraised before an insurance company will offer you coverage. With your ring appraisal on file, the insurance company knows the full amount to cover should your ring be damaged or go missing. Most reputable jewelers have professional appraisers and may even include the service in the price of your ring, but you can also have your ring appraised by an independent appraiser.
Just like other big purchases like a car or boat, you should insure your diamond as soon as possible (ideally when you buy the ring or soon after). If your ring is lost, stolen, or damaged, your insurance policy can help you cover the costs to replace it.
Here are the three main ways to get diamond insurance:
No matter which route you choose, make sure you’re offered reimbursement cash instead of a “ring of equal value.” You want to be able to choose your replacement diamond, not leave the choice up to the company.
Through the typical wearing of your ring, dirt, oil, and residue can get into your diamond. Cleaning it four times a year helps your diamond to stay brilliant and beautiful instead of dull and lifeless. Most jewelers clean rings for free. You can also send in your ring for cleaning with Blue Nile or James Allen.
Would you rather clean your ring at home? Mix 1 cup of warm water with a drop of dish detergent. Place the ring in the solution for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to break down oil and dirt. Use a soft bristle brush to gently clean your ring, then rinse it with warm water (be sure you plug the sink first!). Dry your ring with a hair dryer or lint-free cloth. Letting it air dry can leave water marks.
Be sure not to use bleach, harsh chemicals, or chlorine-based cleaners on your diamond ring. These products can damage your ring’s finish and the gemstones. If you don’t have the right products or time to clean your ring at home, take it to the jewelry store to ensure it’s done right.
Every type of precious metal tarnishes over time, thanks to oxygen and moisture coming into contact with your ring. Depending on the type of precious metal, you’ll want to polish or re-plate your ring every few years so it stays shiny and beautiful.
Resizing your ring more than once can make the metal more fragile and subject to long-term damage. If you’re sizing your ring, try to aim for the correct size the first or second time. During certain life stages where your fingers may fluctuate in size, such as pregnancy, consider storing your ring safely until it fits again.
Maybe you take your ring off when you wash dishes at home or hop in the shower. But you shouldn’t remove your ring when you’re out in public, such as in the bathroom or gym locker room. You might be more apt to forget your ring or it could slide down the drain.
Touching the center diamond on your ring attracts body oil, dust, and dirt. Over time it can make your stone look dull and cloudy instead of brilliant. Instead, try to always pick your ring up by the band.
Your ring likely has special meaning. Rather than upgrading by adding more diamonds (which can wear down the setting), consider pairing it with a wedding band or eternity band to add more flair or carat weight to your finger.
An engagement ring box can help preserve your ring and keep it safe while you’re not wearing it. From simple to ornate designs to boxes with LED lights, there are several engagement ring boxes out there.
Choose a ring dish or two to set on your bathroom counter or on your dresser for easy spots to store your ring. Whether you’re jumping in the lake for a swim or heading to the gym, a ring dish can help preserve your ring from wear and tear or getting lost. Pick a fun or elegant design so you enjoy using your dish.
With the right cleaning solution, it takes about 15 minutes to get the rust off of a diamond ring. But you want to make sure you don’t damage the precious metal or diamond. Rather than making a DIY solution at home, it’s best to bring your diamond ring to a jeweler for rust problems.
Clean your ring by mixing 1 cup of warm water with a drop of dish detergent. Place the ring in the cup of solution for 10 minutes so that any oil and dirt residue can break down. Gently scrub your ring with a soft bristle brush then rinse it with warm water. Dry your ring with a lint-free cloth or hair dryer.
Vinegar can help break down rust but it can also damage the precious metal or gemstones in your ring. It’s best to bring your ring to a jeweler for proper rust care.
You shouldn’t take your engagement ring off to wash your hands, especially if you’re in a public place. Typical hand washing doesn’t wear on your ring. But you should remove your ring when you wash dishes to limit exposure to harsh chemicals and hard surfaces.
It’s possible that sleeping with your engagement ring on can cause minor damage over time, but it’s unlikely unless you have a softer gemstone such as an opal, amethyst, or pearl.
The best way to store your ring is in a fabric-lined ring box or a jewelry box with dividers so your ring doesn’t rub against other jewelry. If you don’t wear your ring often or won’t be wearing it for a while, consider putting the jewelry box in a fireproof safe or lockbox for extra security.
A little time and energy go a long way in keeping your ring beautiful and durable. A decade or two from now, you’ll be happy you made the effort.
For help selecting a diamond ring or for questions about how to care for your ring, contact us. We love helping our readers choose and maintain the ring of their dreams.
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