By Rebecca Padgett
An engagement ring holds so much meaning and value. It is the first step towards forever commitment. It is an investment in your relationship. It is a symbol of your future. It is gorgeous and uniquely you. With so much meaning tied to a piece of jewelry, you’ll want to keep it shiny and safe for eternity. Here’s how!
1. Purchase Insurance
You can’t stop staring at that new sparkler on your finger, so the last thing you want to think about is something unfortunate happening to it. Protect your new favorite piece of jewelry — and your fiancé’s investment — by purchasing insurance. Most insurance will cover a lost, stolen or damaged ring. The first step is to have your ring appraised, which can typically be done for free by the jeweler you purchased it from. With that total, you can insure the ring for its full replacement value. It might be wise to review a few different insurance options to find the one that best fits you. The cost of diamonds and metal tends to rise, therefore it’s good practice to have your ring appraised every five years or so.
It is likely that your ring may need an initial resize. An initial resize is usually necessary because you want it to fit comfortably, not sliding past the knuckle too easily or spinning around your finger. More than one resize can make the metal fragile and susceptible to damage. Keep in mind that your ring will fit differently based on the temperature, the weather, travel conditions, air pressure, weight gain/loss, and life changes such as pregnancy and postpartum. Rather than continuously resizing, consider these factors. You can store your ring safely until it fits, wear a silicone band, or opt for a less pricey band for the time being.
3. Cleaning and Care
Invest in a quality jewelry cleaner. There are tons available, but it is best to consult your jeweler to ensure what will best serve your ring. If you don’t want to spend the money on a cleaner or prefer using household items, fill a bowl or cup with warm water and add a few drops of soap or mild dishwashing detergent. Put your ring in and let it soak for approximately 10 minutes. Then remove the ring and gently clean it with a toothbrush. For that extra sparkle, I recommend getting your ring professionally steam-cleaned a few times a year.
4. Yearly Visits
Just like humans, rings deserve a yearly checkup. You can arrange this with your jeweler, but most jewelers will inspect your ring even if you didn’t purchase it with them. During an inspection, they will ensure the prongs are tight, check for scratches and scrapes and make sure the diamond isn’t loose or damaged. They will also clean it and shine it for you. Every year, it is recommended that platinum and yellow gold undergo professional polishes. It is suggested that white gold is dipped every few years to replace the rhodium plating and to retain its color. Many of these services are offered free or at a low cost.
Ring dishes will become your new favorite household decor. Fortunately, they are very cute and add to the home aesthetic at an affordable price. And who doesn’t love giving them as gifts? Place a ring dish by every bathroom, in your kitchen and on your bedside table. It is wise to keep the box your ring came in as it is likely composed of a soft fabric that is conducive to long-term storage. If you travel often and leave your ring behind, a lock box or safe might be a wise investment. If you take your ring off and travel with it, do not store it with other jewelry or leave it loose within a bag because you don’t want it to be scratched.
We realize that you likely never want to take off your ring, but there are times when it’s best to do so to protect it. Remove your ring when cleaning with chemicals, working out, gardening, outdoor activities, water activities, showering and doing the dishes. If you’re doing something and find yourself thinking, “Should I be wearing my ring?” The answer is — probably not. For these times, go ringless, get a silicone ring or buy an inexpensive alternative. All of this being said, avoid removing your ring in public because of the risk of losing it. Avoid the activity or proceed with caution, but do not take it off when you don’t have a safe place to secure it.