Diamonds are often seen as indestructible due to their reputation of being the hardest substance on earth. But realistically, even diamonds can chip or become imperfect with enough neglect. It’s important you know how to care for your diamond or diamond alternative engagement ring and fine jewelry correctly so it sparkles and keeps it heirloom quality forever.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about how to care for your diamond engagement ring. You might just find that what you’ve known about jewelry care and the way you’ve been cleaning your ring is all wrong. Before your next pamper, read these important dos and don’ts on how to properly care for your engagement ring.
INSURE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING
One of the most important first steps of caring for your engagement ring - whether it features natural diamonds or lab created diamond simulants - is to insure it. Having your ring insured will not only give you peace of mind during your everyday routine, but it may also come in handy if something ever does happen to it. No one plans to have their ring damaged, lost or stolen, but by insuring your engagement ring you’ll be plenty prepared if any of those things do happen.
Purchases made through Diamond Nexus come with their own guarantee. Every Nexus Diamond™ alternative comes with a Lifetime Stone Guarantee, which ensures your stone will maintain its perfect ratings on the diamond quality scale and should never chip, crack or discolor. If it does, we’ll replace it free, forever.
In addition, each new engagement ring purchase comes with the Everything’s Covered Plan, which covers, well, everything, for up to one year after the purchase date. This includes lost stones, repairs of loose stones and metalwork. The plan also come with a Spa Day, which includes thorough inspection, cleaning, polishing and rhodium brightening for white gold items. Spa Days also include free U.S. shipping both ways.
If the company you purchase from does not include protection, with a little searching you should be able to find an insurance policy that can accommodate the additional coverage you’re looking for. You may even be able to insure your engagement ring under a policy you already have, like homeowners insurance. Here are a few key tips from ring and diamond buying advice to consider before deciding on the right insurance policy.
- Make sure the policy covers the full price of your ring, not just a fraction of it.
- Verify that the policy will cover all accidents, from garbage disposal mishaps to plain out losing it.
- Keep in mind how they plan to replace the ring- will it be a check or through a jeweler of their choosing?
After you feel confident that your new engagement ring is fully protected, you can focus on how to care for your diamond ring to ensure it keeps its heirloom quality for as long as possible.
USE MILD SOAP AND WATER TO CLEAN YOUR RING
Although this seems like a fairly simple task, there is a lot of incorrect information out there about the best ways to clean a diamond ring or diamond alternative jewelry. The safest and most foolproof way to clean your ring is to lightly scrub it with soap and warm water.
Begin by making a simple solution of lukewarm water and dish soap. Most household dish soap will work, but to be on the safe side, it’s best to use a non-scented product as it will contain less chemicals. It’s also best not to use anything with moisturizing properties in it as that can leave a film on your ring after cleaning it. A few drops of soap should suffice for a mixture of 2-4 cups. Once your solution is made, soak your ring for about 15-20 minutes, or until you feel it has been sitting long enough to release most stuck-on grime. Grab a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush your stone or stones with. After a few gentle brushes, carefully rinse it under a stream of warm water until all soap residue is gone- and you’re done! If you still see buildup on your ring after completing these steps, you can repeat them until your engagement ring returns to its original sparkle and shine.
DON'T USE HARMFUL HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS TO CLEAN YOUR RING
It is never a good idea to experiment with household cleaners that may contain harmful chemicals. If you’re looking for a more potent cleaning solution than soap and water, look into buying cleaning solution from your jeweler, preferably where you purchased your ring. If they don’t offer anything proper for jewelry care, look elsewhere. However, if you buy cleaner online, make sure it’s from a reputable jeweler so you know the solution is safe to use.
It’s important to stay clear of household chemicals such as: bleach, chlorine, acetone or ammonia which is found in Windex. With prolonged use, these harsh chemicals can break down the base metals in your ring. Although there is speculation whether ammonia will harm diamonds, it should never be used on soft stones such as sapphires or pearls. The harsh chemicals found in common household cleaners can dull your diamonds, diamond alternatives or gemstones over time.
Other common household items, such as toothpaste or baking soda, are likewise bad for your ring because they can easily scratch metals- especially gold. Even with a gentle tool like a soft cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush, it’s never safe to use these types of cleaners- even if they’re a miracle worker for other cleaning jobs.
MAKE SURE TO CLEAN YOUR RING OFTEN
To keep your ring from building up dirt and grime, it’s important to clean it often. If you don’t clean your ring frequently, your ring will accumulate buildup and will be much harder to scrub off when the time comes.
Although there is not a concrete timeline, once or twice a month should do for any type of cleaning services. Ultimately it will depend on your everyday routine. Substances like lotions and sweat will contribute to dirt and film buildup over time. This will also happen if you wear gloves or are required to do a lot of hands-on work, simply because your ring is being touched frequently. If you work in an environment like this and notice your ring becoming dirty often, try setting your ring aside when you are doing hands-on activities to avoid it.
While at-home cleaning will suffice every couple of weeks or so, it is also important to take your ring into your jeweler for professional cleaning every six months to a year. A jeweler will be able to thoroughly clean and polish it to drastically enhance its luster. Some jewelers even include one or two cleanings with an engagement ring purchase, which can save you a lot down the road.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT METAL TYPE
No matter what metal type your ring or jewelry is set with, it will eventually show signs of wear. Any time your metal comes in contact with a material harder than it is, it will cause scratches. After years of everyday wear, these tiny scratches can start to have an effect on the finish of your ring. Shiny finishes may start to dull, while matte finishes may start to look shiny. Although refinishing your ring eventually is inevitable, some metals are harder than others and are better at withstanding scratches and breaks.
Gold is actually a fairly soft metal and is quite malleable. Pure gold is 24 karats, which is far too soft to be used in jewelry. Because of that, it is mixed with different alloys to enhance strength and durability. 14K gold is the most common type of metal for an engagement ring or wedding band. It is made of 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloys like silver, nickel and copper. The different alloys will influence its color, which is how you get white, yellow and rose gold.
18K gold is made with 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys. Because it contains more yellow gold, rose gold will be less rosy while yellow gold will be an even brighter yellow color. Due to the higher concentration of gold than alloy in 18K, it is softer than 14K. This makes it much more susceptible to scratching and damage, which is why it is less popular for an engagement ring or wedding band. Another relatively popular metal choice is 10K gold, which is created with 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloys. Because there is less gold than other metals, it is quite hard, but it’s also brittle. This makes it more susceptible to breaking rather than bending under harsh force.
DON'T WEAR YOUR RING EVERYWHERE
One of the biggest unknowns for the majority of engagement ring owners is where you shouldn’t be wearing your engagement ring.
- It can be a challenge to leave your sparkly prize at home, especially when it’s a new adornment for you. While it’s an extremely symbolic and meaningful accessory, it’s important to know when to leave your ring at home. There are places and events when it may not be the best idea to bring your engagement ring with you. Here are some places you shouldn’t bring your diamond or diamond alternative engagement ring with you.
- Any form of water activity is not an ideal place for an engagement ring. From showering to beach days, you run the risk of tarnishing or losing your jewelry. It’s especially not wise to wear your ring around cold bodies of water because your fingers actually shrink when submerged, making it much easier for a ring to slip off.
- It’s also best to take your ring off when cleaning around the house. Not only do you run the risk of it being exposed to harmful chemicals in household cleaners, but there’s also a greater change of damaging your ring. You could snag, bend or dent your ring if you’re not paying close enough attention. It’s just not worth the risk if you don’t have to take it.
- Another common activity that you’ll want to leave your ring off for is when you are moisturizing. Your engagement ring could eventually build up a film if it’s exposed to moisturizer often enough. A good daily routine would be to take you ring off before showering, and wait to put it back on until you’ve finished moisturizing and your hands are completely dry.
- A common place that people don’t often think to take their ring off is at the gym. With all of the movement and sweating, there is a large gray area for accidents to happen or dirt to accumulate. Prongs can be damaged with hands-on equipment, and there’s potential for your sweat to react with the metal, causing an allergic reaction. Although ellipticals and bikes are safer than performing those activities outdoors, it’s best to play it safe and take your ring off before you begin a workout.
TEACH OTHERS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT
You love your ring. It’s a symbol of your relationship and your lives together. Through thick and thin, good and bad. And now you know the proper way to care for your diamond or diamond alternative ring, which will help it last a lifetime or longer. There may come a time when the moment is right to hand your ring down the generational line. Part of your job will be to share this information with the next owner of your ring so they can continue to care for it just like you did for so many years. It will be a rewarding feeling when you finally hand it off, possibly filled with a little solace, too. But the feeling of knowing that your story will live on and enrich someone else’s life will be an amazing moment.
AN OVERVIEW OF CARING FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING
Now that you know the seven most important tips when it comes to caring for your diamond or diamond alternative engagement ring, you will be able to keep your ring sparkling for years to come. To help your ring looking beautiful on your finger forever or maintain it so it can be passed down to the next generation, it’s important you follow these care tips so it will last longer than a lifetime. The more careful you are with your engagement ring, the longer it will last in great condition. You may even choose specific features on your ring that will contribute to its longevity, like a sturdy setting and strong metal type. With a little love and a lot of care, your ring can stay as dazzling as the day you got it.
How do you care for your ring? Tell us in the comments!
*Diamond Nexus strives to provide valuable information, while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulant that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions - it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.