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The Dos and Don’ts of Taking Care of Your Engagement Ring

on Oct 3, 2023 4:00 PM
Person wearing an engagement ring by the water

When someone proposes it’s a joyful moment. And when it comes with a gorgeous engagement ring? Even better. The best, even. The only downside is that your new bling doesn’t come with an instruction manual filled with tips on how to keep your engagement ring safe and looking as good as the day you received it. Because the reality is, everyday life—going to work, picking up groceries, working out—puts your engagement at risk. Not to scare you or anything! 

Still, taking a few practical precautions now will pay off in the long run, ensuring your engagement ring really does look its best from this day forward. And the smart habits you develop now will soon become second nature. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of what to do and what not to do when it comes to taking care of your engagement ring. 

 

DO Buy Engagement Ring Insurance  

What happens if.... you lose your engagement ring? Or someone steals it? Or you knock it on a table, and it cracks? Engagement ring insurance can offer peace of mind and financial protection when the worst-case scenario presents itself. For the best possible coverage, consider taking out an insurance policy with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance, like Jewelers Mutual. More on this later!

 

DON’T Wear Your Engagement Ring to Bed  

Sleeping with your engagement ring on can put pressure on the band and possibly even bend the prongs out of shape. Your engagement ring could also snag on your blankets, bedding or clothes which can cause damage to the prongs and loosen the stone(s). If you’re a particularly active or restless sleeper, you may end up accidentally banging your engagement ring on something or even scratching your partner (yikes!). 

 

DO Clean Your Engagement Ring Regularly 

Daily wear can cause dirt, debris and bacteria to accumulate on your engagement causing the stone to lose its brilliance and accelerating tarnish on the metal. To remove dirt, debris and bacteria from your engagement ring, soak it in warm water and mild dish soap for a good 20 minutes. Use a soft toothbrush to reach hard-to-reach surfaces and dry your engagement ring with a soft, clean cloth when you’re done.

 

DON’T Shower or Swim with Your Engagement Ring on

Take your engagement ring off before you wash your face, shower or bathe. Soaps, cleansers, shampoo and engagement rings don’t really mix. The suds can create a film on the engagement ring, making it look dull and dirty over time. These substances can also cause your engagement ring to slip off your finger (gasp!) and fall down the drain.   

Also, don’t wear your engagement ring when going for a swim in a pool, lake, or ocean, either, as chlorine and salt water can damage and discolor certain metals and gemstones. Cold water can also cause fingers to shrink, making it easy for your engagement ring to slide off into the water’s depths.

 

DO Take Your Engagement Ring Off Before Hair & Makeup

After bathing, don’t put your engagement ring back on until after you’ve applied any skincare or beauty/grooming products. Moisturizers, lotions, makeup, perfume and hairspray can get trapped in small crevices in your engagement ring and dull the center stone’s natural sheen and sparkle. Likewise, the chemicals, fragrances and alcohol in these products may also negatively interact with diamond or gemstone accents in the engagement ring setting or with the metal itself. 

 

DO Store Your Engagement Ring Properly  

One of the keys to taking care of your new engagement ring is making sure not to lose it! That’s why it’s so important to designate a safe place to store it whenever you’re not wearing it. Some suggestions:
 

  • The original ring box 
  • Jewelry box 
  • Jewelry tray 
  • Individual fabric pouch 
  • Jewelry safe 

For more tips and advice—including where you definitely should never store your engagement ring—you can dig in here.

 

DON’T Pick Up Your Engagement Ring By Pulling On the Stone  

Develop the habit of picking up your engagement ring by the band, not the diamond. Constantly touching the diamond could dull its sparkle and loosen its prongs over time, especially if someone’s pulling on the diamond (like when trying to remove it) or otherwise handling it roughly. 

 

DO Visit a Reputable Jeweler Twice a Year for a Professional Cleaning and Inspection  

Supplement at-home cleanings with trips to a professional jeweler (at least twice a year). They have high-tech equipment for cleaning and polishing that can dislodge any dirt particles bonded to the metal or gemstone(s) and remove any scratches or abrasions. In addition, a jeweler can check to ensure that no stones have come loose and that no prongs have been bent out of shape. 

 

DON’T Remove Your Engagement Ring in Public 

No matter how convenient, resist the temptation to remove your engagement ring in public spaces – such as a restroom or gym locker. Seriously, the possibility that you might leave your engagement ring on the ledge of a sink or, worse, drop it down the drain, isn’t worth the risk. 

 

DO Take Your Engagement Ring Off When Breaking a Sweat  

Whether you’re hitting the gym, playing a competitive sport, going for a run or working out at home, it’s best to do these activities without an engagement ring on. For one thing, your engagement ring could slip off from all the perspiration. And certain exercises and sports equipment leave your engagement ring vulnerable to damage. It’s also a good idea to leave your engagement ring behind when participating in strenuous or adventurous outdoor activities, such as hiking/backpacking, biking, camping or canoeing, etc.   

 

DON’T Travel with Your Engagement Ring…Unless

When you’re packing for a vacation, or perhaps your honeymoon, should you take your engagement ring? If you don’t have proper coverage, the answer is…no! Wherever you’re traveling, the safest choice is to leave your engagement ring at home (preferably in a safe) if you don’t have a specialized jewelry insurance policy. 

Did you know Jewelers Mutual's coverage extends while you travel worldwide? So if your jewelry becomes lost or stolen during your international travels, don't worry - you're protected globally while traveling!*

*Coverage is only available to residents of United States or Canada. Coverage not available in Quebec.

 

DON’T Put your Engagement Ring in a Storage Unit 

In the event that you're moving, rent a safety deposit box at your bank if you need to store your jewelry safely away from your home for an extended period. In a storage unit, your engagement ring might get lost among your other possessions and the security factor is lacking compared to what a bank can provide. 

 

DO Remove Your Engagement Ring While Cooking, Baking and Doing Dishes

Cooking with your engagement ring on can be a recipe for disaster (get it?). But seriously, things can get messy in the kitchen, especially if you’re kneading dough, handling oily foods, or prepping raw meat. Food particles and spices can get caught in the crevices of your engagement ring (ick). On the flip side, your engagement ring could carry dirt and harmful bacteria which could contaminate your food (double ick). And let’s not forget the dangers of the kitchen sink and garbage disposal. Avoid hearing the terrible sound of your engagement ring being chopped to bits by removing it before washing dishes and/or loading the dishwasher. 

 

DON’T Do Household Chores or Yardwork with Your Engagement Ring On

Set your engagement ring aside when cleaning the house. The chemicals in cleaning supplies  
(i.e., bleaches, detergents and solvents) can be abrasive and erode the finish and polish of precious gems. Keep your engagement ring off while doing any type of yard work or gardening as well. While some say getting your hands in the soil is good for the soul, it’s not so great for the longevity of your engagement ring. Dirt, pebbles and creepy crawly things and engagement rings don’t mix! 
 
Wearing gloves is not a great solution either, as the tension and pressure from the gloves can loosen prongs and cause stones to fall out, especially when you pull the gloves off. 

Even if you follow all of these recommendations to the letter, there’s no better protection for your engagement ring in the long term than obtaining personal jewelry insurance. Jewelers Mutual is an affordable option that typically costs 1-2% of your engagement ring’s value, per year. Get a quote in just 30 seconds. 

 

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