The Bride Guide: The Rock
5 Tips for Avoiding Engagement Ring Disasters
Welcome to our second inspiring installment of The Bride Guide. Today we have Flower of Fountain City Jewelers joining us with some fantastic tips on how to keep your new engagement ring safe. We already mentioned yesterday, make sure to get it insured! Now, let me be honest…when I read this list I found out I was doing 3 of the 5 terrible things to my poor, poor ring. Luckily I had a jeweler with 15 years experience set me straight, so read for yourself and see if she caught you doing some dangerous things with your “rock” as well.
From Flower Gattone:
“You would be astonished by how many women overlook the importance of engagement ring upkeep. Just imagine you are faithfully brandishing your most important piece of jewelry on a daily basis along with all of the wear and tear from your daily activities.
#1 Take your engagement ring off every night and put it someplace safe, do not sleep with it on your finger.
There are two main reasons. First, the ring could sustain damage from getting tangled in the sheets and blankets. The prongs could get pulled or bent, making your diamond loose or causing it to fall out altogether. Your ring could also get knocked around in your sleep, smacked on the headboard, or even accidentally scratch you or your partner. The second is that your finger needs time to breathe. The tissue on your hand needs a break or it may deteriorate over time, allowing your rings to feel loose around your finger, and eventually you may not be able to slide them over your knuckle, causing an hourglass indentation on your finger. If you truly love your ring, create a secure bed for it at night. Something as simple as the box you received it in, on your nightstand, will do.
#2 Do not hesitate to remove your engagement ring during vigorous activities.
Lifting weights or working out with weight machines can cause cracks in your stone or breaks in your band. Gardening can loosen stones or and dull the metal, as there are many hidden rocks, and soil is very abrasive. Sports where you use your hands, such as rock climbing, softball, or volley ball, are also excellent opportunities for you to protect your engagement ring. Similarly, avoid wearing your ring during water activities such as swimming, water skiing, or boating, as it’s far easier for your ring to slip off when your hands are wet.
It’s common sense that increased pressure per square inch can cause a lot of damage. Something as simple as lifting a plastic grocery bag with one hand can cause a large amount of stress and destruction to your ring.
If you insist on having a symbol of your marriage on your finger during all of your rougher activities, a plain band is your safest bet. Any damage it sustains is easier and, therefore, less expensive to repair.
#3 Steer clear of harsh chemicals.
Chlorine and bleach are a big no no! Gold is alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and durable enough to wear. While gold is non-corrosive, these alloys aren’t, and chlorine and similar chemicals can eat away the alloys out of your gold ring, creating brittleness and porosity. Often times, if the damage is bad enough, these problems can’t be repaired, and a replacement is required. Other items, such as harsh cleansers, can discolor the metal, requiring a professional polish from your local jeweler. If your engagement ring has colored stones in it, these harsh chemicals can destroy the polish on those gemstones. Even some off brand jewelry cleaners can have chemicals in them that are harmful to your ring. Make sure to get your local jeweler’s approval before you use any cleaners. An easy solution to prepare that is safe for your engagement ring is one part ammonia, and three parts water, then let your ring soak for 10 minutes and clean with a very soft brush. This will clean off any of your skin’s oils, soap residue, and hand lotion that get on your ring and dulls your diamonds (note: do not use ammonia on pearl jewelry).
#4 Address a problem before it gets worse.
If you notice an issues such as a bent prong or your clothing gets snagged on a prong, a missing stone, or a crack, then your personal jeweler needs to be your next stop.Procrastinating could make a small problem much worse. For example, a ring with a bent prong, will not only be more prone to a snag, but the structural integrity of the shank could be weakened every time it happens. Repeated impacts could crack the shank and increase the chances of a stone falling out. This could increase the repair cost of your ring by quite a bit.
#5 Make sure to bring your engagement ring to a jeweler you trust at least twice a year!
Just like the car you drive everyday gets a checkup, so does your ring. Jewelers are experts with training, which allows them to see the slightest issue or developing problem. This inspection is also a great time to have your ring cleaned. Many retailers offer this service at no charge if you are a customer of theirs. An easy way to remember is to time your visits with special occasions like your birthday or anniversary. Getting your ring inspected by your local jeweler may seem like a hassle, but when you consider the amount of money, and the emotional attachment that is associated with your wedding ring, these precautions are necessary. While you may be able to replace the ring, how will you ever replace the memories or sentiment? ”
Flower is a Gemologist Graduate who attended the GIA campus in Carlsbad CA in 2003. She has had 15 years experience in the jewelry industry and has worked in a variety of wholesale and retail environments. She loves the color purple and all things sparkly. You can work with her team at Fountain City Jewelers of Knoxville, TN.
Join us tomorrow when we dive into our first step of wedding planning and discuss The Guest List.
So were you doing any dangerous things with your engagement ring?