Below are some helpful guidelines and best practices to care for your engagement ring and/or wedding band, especially if you have a delicate or intricate design studded with many little diamonds (such as pave', micropave').
Keep these tips in mind to maintain the best structural integrity and prevent loss or damage to your fine jewelry.
Avoid wearing your jewelry when;
- We recommend you take your ring off before bed and place it in a safe spot. Clothing fiber, bed sheets, or pillow sheets can snag on the prongs and break them. This is especially recommended for delicate designs such as micro pave', pave', and micro-prongs which contain many little diamonds held by tiny little prongs.
- When putting jewelry away, choose a hidden place that you can easily remember to go back to, and carefully place it in a cloth lined box to prevent it from scratching.
Swimming or Showering
- We recommend removing rings/jewelry when showering and when applying products and lotion. Hairspray, moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners can not only make your jewelry look cloudy/dirty, but it can also build up between the crevices of your ring and the product particles can lodge between the prongs, thus causing the stones to shift and become insecure over time.
- Avoid harsh chemicals. Chlorine is one of the most damaging chemicals for jewelry and is often found in swimming pools, hot tubs, and even cleaning supplies. One of the ways chlorine impacts jewelry is by breaking down alloys such as nickel and zinc and silver (commonly used with gold), and leaving microscopic bubbles inside your jewelry causing structural damage, or even discoloration over time.
- Make-up, hand sanitizers, perfumes, sunblocks, scented lotions are also other common products that contain potentially harsh chemicals that may adversely react with the alloys and base metals used in your jewelry. While it may not show immediate impacts, the cumulative effect of all of the elements that may lead to long term damage.
- Always remove your ring when participating in any sports or activities that require vigorous use of your hands - i.e., gardening, swimming, cleaning, cooking, laundry, gym activities such as weight lifting, even yoga poses can bend your ring. In general keep in mind any risk of snagging or bending, or accidental blunt force and repetitive tension on the ring can eventually lead to structural damage and compromise the integrity of the prongs.
- Be gentle. Precious metals such as gold, and platinum are soft! For thinner rings, it is not uncommon for a ring to misshapen/mold to the natural shape of your finger which is generally an oval shape versus a perfect circle, while this is generally fine for solitaires or plain bands, it could cause stone loss for mountings with many stones set in it.
- Be mindful of heavy lifting or gripping. Lifting everyday heavy items such as luggage, strollers, etc.
Around Chemicals, & Exposure to Bacteria
- Avoid chemicals such as bleach and chlorine, or anything highly acidic as these chemicals can break down and discolor or weaken the base metals in a ring.
- Do not clean jewelry with chemicals or abrasives that are not made for precious metals or natural gemstones (i.e. toothpaste). It can scratch metal and harden under stones and create crevices of build-up.
- Here is a great article written by our tools manufacturer about chemicals and the impacts to your jewelry, highlighting the harsh impacts of chlorine and bromine. While those are more widely researched factors, keep in mind everyday things such as hand sanitizers, and chemicals found in sunscreen, make-up and lotions may also cause cumulative damage over time.
- Last but not least and often overlooked is the amount of build-up and bacteria that can be lurking in crevices under a ring therefore limiting exposure is key; taking rings off when handling raw meat, cleaning earring posts regularly, etc. Here are some great articles outlining the importance of jewelry care with great tips and ideas.
Other Helpful Tips
Get it annually serviced by a professional. Bring your ring in once every year for routine check-ups and if needed, a professional cleaning or tune-up.
Customers can schedule a free maintenance check-up and basic clean by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a visit.
- Be sure to speak with an expert before having your rings serviced in any way. For example, events such as sizing can can increase the chance of losing stones or deforming a ring if not done carefully or with experience. When a ring is re-sized the angle of the prongs changes too, and this can compromise the structural integrity of the prongs so it is key to ensure you speak to a professional before having work done on your jewelry.
- DIY ring cleaning tips at home, written by the Classic Gem.
- Consider an alternative (plain band) to wear daily, or a replica for travel!
Consider jewelry insurance for peace of mind.
Below are two companies we recommend.
- BriteCo: We'd be happy to help set you up with an appraisal through our partners at BriteCo and submit all of your details to receive a free quote.
Jewelers Mutual is another insurance company that has provided peace of mind and jewelry insurance since 1913 and we'd be happy to help you walk through the process of obtaining a quote to compare.
Jewelers Mutual also offers a great repair and warranty program. We recommend this for more delicate pieces and those who are more prone to accidents :). You can learn more about the JM Care Plan here.