An engagement ring is one of the most precious (and expensive) gifts you will ever receive. It’s only natural that you’ll want to do everything you can to keep it looking as good as the day you received it. While using a high-quality jewelry cleaning solution at home is a great first step, you can take the relationship with your ring one step further. From taking it in for professional attention to taking it off altogether, your engagement ring care routine should go beyond just cleaning and polishing.
Discover our jeweler-approved tips for maintaining your engagement ring for as long as you both shall live.
1. Schedule professional cleanings.
Most jewelers, like Ritani, offer free cleaning services. Not only will your ring be steam-cleaned by an on-site jeweler, it can also be examined under magnification to make sure the prongs are secure, and to check for diamond fractures and loose stones.
Experts say having a professional cleaning at least twice a year—much like a dental appointment—is a great way to manage the structural integrity of your ring and keep it as sparkly as the day you first slipped it on.
2. Use mild cleaning solutions.
Rumor has it Elizabeth Taylor would clean her 33.19-carat Krupp diamond ring in a combination of hot water and gin. However, the experts at Ritani say if you’re going to wash your ring at home, you should soak it in a mixture of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid for half an hour, before gently scrubbing it with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Baking soda’s mild, non-abrasive consistency makes it another great choice for cleaning metals and precious stones. Simply pour a bit of baking soda into a bowl and mix it with a bit of warm water to create a soft paste. Take off your ring and use your fingers to gently rub the paste around the stone, the setting, and the ring. Rinse the ring in warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth.
If you’re really serious about keeping your ring clean, here are a few more tips.
3. Get insurance.
It’s amazing how many people overlook insurance coverage for their rings. With a price similar to that of a modest car but so much smaller and easier to lose, you’d think this would be a no-brainer.
Though it may be emotionally difficult to replace your original engagement ring, it’s nice to know that if you do accidentally lose it, you won’t have financial difficulties to add to the misery.
And getting insurance can actually be quite easy. Especially because every Ritani engagement ring comes with a free expert appraisal, so you can easily submit it to your insurance company. In addition to the appraisal, you may want to include a close up photo of your ring to keep on file as well.
Ritani’s Guide To Engagement Ring Insurance includes step-by-step instructions for exploring your options and obtaining the right level of coverage for your ring.
4. Consider a “backup” ring.
Another increasingly popular option is what’s known as the “backup ring.” This is an alternate ring that may not be as valuable—monetarily or emotionally—and can be worn more regularly without worry of it getting lost.
Many department stores and boutiques sell costume jewelry that look very similar to real engagement rings and bridal sets. For some, substituting their ring for a stand-in is completely worth the additional price to avoid putting the real ring at risk.
5. Say no to chemicals.
Aside from cleaning products, chemicals like the ones in perfume, lotion and sunscreen can add residue to the ring and diamond, which can cause potential damage. Always remove your ring before applying these or any other products that may be made with harmful chemicals.
6. Check the weather.
Whether you’re making a quick run to the grocery store during a snowstorm or hiking in the Alps, most people’s fingers naturally get smaller due to the temperature. This means there is a risk that your ring could slide off during cold weather.
Alternatively, hot weather can cause fingers to expand, and may cause your ring to feel uncomfortable. Either way, consider leaving your engagement ring at home when the temperature is intense outside, and sporting your wedding band only.
7. Don’t risk the bling.
Certain activities put your ring at a higher risk than others. Sailing, for example. Dangling your hands out in the open sea while sipping champagne? Risky.
Even certain outdoor chores, like gardening, can be fraught with peril. In fact, any situation that may make the ring especially dirty, or impossible to retrieve, should be carefully considered. In our book, if you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and leave the bling at home.
8. Have a spot.
When you do take your ring off, it’s best to have a designated spot for it. A specific drawer in your jewelry box. Your bedside table. The smallest pocket in your purse. By having a known location for it, you cut back on the likelihood of leaving it somewhere you won’t remember later.
Whether you’re going to the gym, or having a particularly in-depth house-cleaning session, it’s important to have a place where you put your ring, and to make a habit of keeping it there.
9. Restore shine to white gold and platinum.
There comes a time when every white gold ring starts to dull and a yellow hue begins to shine through. This is natural and unavoidable, no matter what care you give your ring.
White gold’s original sheen can be easily restored through a process called Rhodium plating. Not only will Rhodium bring back the shine of your ring that you fell in love with, Rhodium plating can make diamonds shine brighter. Depending on your activity level, the amount of care you give your ring and your body’s natural makeup, a white gold engagement ring can call for a Rhodium plating every six months to once a year.
Platinum rings do not need Rhodium treatments because platinum does not originally start off as yellow. However, those who want a shinier platinum ring can opt to have their platinum band plated to be more reflective.