cleaning diamond ring with toothbrush

How to Clean and Care for Your Diamond Engagement Ring

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Your engagement ring might be the first piece of fine jewelry you own. After the initial excitement of being engaged winds down, you suddenly realize you’re now responsible for a valuable piece of jewelry - one that you need to care for every single day.

It's easy to panic - wondering how often to clean your diamond to keep it sparkling, when to take off your engagement ring and how to keep your new jewelry safe. 

Start with these daily, weekly and yearly tasks. If you do each of these things at the frequency noted, you’re very likely to have a diamond that really does last forever. 

How to Care for Your Diamond Engagement Ring Daily

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Store in a separate, fabric pouch or section of your jewelry box

One of the most common ways jewelry is damaged is being scratched by other jewelry.

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Have a safe, memorable location available to place your jewelry

Even when you’re on-the-go, always know where you can safely store your ring if you need to remove it.

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Watch for warning signs of vulnerabilities in your jewelry

Know how to spot a loose stone. There are six major signs that your jewelry’s about to break.

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Place your ring in a designated spot while showering

All those soaps and shampoos will cause buildup on your ring. Plus, fishing a ring out of the drain is never fun!

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Wipe down with a dry gem cloth

Need your very own gem cloth? Your jeweler may be able to provide one.

How to Care for Your Diamond Engagement Ring Weekly

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A light cleaning using a safe, homemade jewelry cleaner

Sweat and body oil can dull the shine of your jewelry. The best DIY diamond ring cleaner calls for just warm soapy water and a fresh toothbrush. Watch the video to the right to learn how to clean diamond rings.

How to Care for Your Diamond Engagement Ring Weekly

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Professional Cleaning and Inspection

It's easy to lose a piece of jewelry or individual stones if you're not giving your jewelry regular check-ups. Your jeweler will deep clean your pieces for a brilliant shine, too! Two times per year is best. 

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Renew Your Jewelry Insurance

Make sure you fully understand your coverage. Not covered? Check your rate.

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Get an Updated Appraisal

If your jewelry's value has decreased, you could be spending more than necessary to insure your piece. Or, the reverse could mean you're underinsured and may incur additional out-of-pocket expense to repair or replace jewelry that becomes damaged or lost. Getting a new jewelry appraisal every 2-3 years is sufficient.

Never Do This to Your Diamond Engagement Ring

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Clean your jewelry with bleach, abrasives or toothpaste

Strong chemicals like bleach can discolor precious metals, and abrasives like toothpaste and baking soda can scratch softer stones and metals.

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Pick your ring up by the stone

The less often you handle your ring, the better, especially the center stone.

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Put your jewelry in a storage unit

Rent a safety deposit box at your bank if you're moving or need to store your jewelry away from your home for an extended period.

When to Take Your Engagement Ring Off

Although you may not want to, there are certain times when it is best to take your engagement ring off and store it in a safe place.

When washing hands, keep in mind that soaps or sanitizers may be harmful to certain stones and metals. In addition, cool water can cause your fingers to shrink, creating room for your ring to slip off. In general, rings and open drains are a risky combo which is why it’s best to remove the ring before washing.

The activities below can cause damage to the band or stone of your ring or unnecessarily subject your piece to loss or theft. 

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Dirt and small rocks are abrasive. If not cleaned right away, your jewelry can be permanently damaged. Beware the dangers of gardening gloves too.

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Bleach and other heavy-duty cleaners can wear away at precious metals.

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Any exercise that requires you to hold something, like dumbbells, a tennis racket or golf clubs, is a jewelry wearing no-no. Sweat in general can also be damaging to sterling silver.

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Swimming or Hot Tubbing

Salt water and chlorine can damage your jewelry. Chlorine can discolor metals (like gold and platinum) and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones. It can even corrode your prongs enough for them to break off entirely. Plus, the cold water could make your fingers constrict, causing the ring to become loose and fall off.

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Things get messy in the kitchen. Take off your ring to avoid coating it with sauce or nicking it with a knife.

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Applying Lotions or Sprays

Lotion can get into the crevices of chains and prongs, and both lotions and sprays create a film on your jewelry, making it dull and dingy.

Set a Reminder

While all these tasks may seem daunting to remember, it’s really all about habits.

Make it a habit to always remove your ring when doing something potentially damaging. When in doubt, take it off - just be sure to designate safe storage spaces both home and on-the-go. 

As for the maintenance tasks like cleaning, inspections and appraisals, try setting yourself recurring calendar reminders. If your jewelry is insured, your annual policy renewal is a great reminder to take that ring in for an inspection!

If your ring is not insured (gasp!), click the button below to check your rate in minutes and see how affordable peace of mind really is.