Should you remove your engagement ring?
Your lover liked it and they put a ring on it. Does this mean you should NEVER take it off? The answer is NO. We know that the idea of removing your sacred engagement ring is not on the top of your list, but believe it or not, it should be.
Whether it’s in an attempt to keep your engagement ring in shiny “like new” condition or to avoid the risk of losing it, there are definitely times when wearing your engagement ring is not a good idea. Sure, if you lose it there’s always insurance for your jewelry, but who wants to deal with that if it can be avoided. So here’s our guide to the top 6 times you should remove your wedding ring.
This is the single biggest offense next to cleaning that we see with our brides’ engagement ring repairs – the gym. Before you leave the locker room (or the house for that matter), it’s a really good idea to take your wedding rings off. The materials used in diamond jewelry such as platinum and gold have a softness to them so it’s possible they can loosen during rigorous activity. When you put pressure on these metals, you could very easily change their shape. The claws that hold your gemstone in place could bend and loosen with impact and you may find yourself missing a diamond or gemstone.
Obviously, sports fall into this category too. Holding onto tennis rackets, soccer or basketballs or potentially doing more aggressive sports that have an impact can permanently damage your precious engagement ring. At the very least you’ll lose a stone. At the worst, you’ll completely reshape and the damage the entire piece.
Men often have more damage to the wedding bands in this category than women. The minute you go to hold gripped dumbells or bench bars or hang from something for pull ups, you’ve distorted and reshaped your ring if not scratched and damaged the surface or worse. Remove them when at the gym or when doing anything involving physical activity.
Whether you’re at the local beach, the ocean on your honeymoon or even in your local gym pool, remove your ring before you go swimming. The biggest fear here is a total loss. Water, which is cooler than your body temperature will shrink your fingers and it is very easy to lose your ring, never to be found again. In addition, chlorine is found in most swimming pools. This is pure evil for precious metals and it can corrode some materials and, possibly, turn the ring a whole other color, including black.
Here’s a tip! When removing your rings by yourself or as a couple (on vacation at your favorite Jamaican resort, for example), make sure to place them all in the same spot. If you have one place you’ve designated as the jewelry stronghold, it will be much easier to remember where you’ve placed them to avoid panic or total loss.
Cleaning your home
The activity of cleaning is one of the worst possible scenarios for jewelry to be exposed to, most specifically your engagement ring. Washing the dishes in a soft detergent isn’t horrible but you should just get in the habit of removing your rings of all sorts before cleaning in general. Household chores like cleaning your car or boat, digging in the garden, cleaning floors, or scrubbing in the oven or back corners… these are all examples of time’s your ring should not be on your finger. This becomes especially important if your ring has a colored gemstone rather than a diamond, as the chemicals can erode the finish and polish on gems since they are softer than diamonds. This is aside from the fact that a person will likely whack their ring on a stone counter metal object. Even worse, the ring could get caught or crushed while working in the garage or operating tools. Household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia can cause very serious damage to your ring’s mounting and may even change it’s color or could erode the metal to the point where it breaks or snaps.
Again, a jewelry box or other safe place is the best place to be.
When you’re moisturizing
We all slather on the hand cream – maybe women more than men. This rule of thumb is probably less thought of than any jewelry wearing guideline there is, but it’s for good reason. Moisturizer is fantastic for your skin and your makeup routine may make you feel beautiful, but neither are good for your engagement ring or other fine gems. Moisturizing with your wedding ring on may cause a temporary discoloration of your ring’s metal, especially on rings with a bright or shiny finish. What’s even worse, lotion could cause a cloudy film to form over your stones. The same goes for when you’re applying make-up – and hair spray. Most cosmetics and, certainly, hair spray contain chemicals capable of discoloring your rings and removing its natural sheen.
The same goes for when you’re applying any beauty products. Most cosmetics and certainly, hair spray contain chemicals capable of discoloring your rings and removing their natural brilliance.
Taking a shower
Similar to moisturizers, sunscreens, beauty products, etc – other soaps can cause a cloudy buildup on your stone. The worse possibility is that it causes a buildup UNDER your stone, which is much harder to clean and rectify. Shampoos and body washes are on the naughty list, as well as your post spa scented lotions, hair serums or whatever else may be in your daily routine.
What should you do? You guessed it; the jewelry stronghold.
Believe it or not, this could be actually one of the worst things you can do with your engagement ring. But why would a low-impact activity like sleeping have such an effect on your engagement ring? When you sleep, the prongs of your diamond rub up against your sheets, night after night. After 20+ years of this behavior, it can really can take a toll on the condition of gold or platinum. Also, fibers and other debris can get wedged underneath the diamonds or gemstones, making them much harder to clean and thus taking away their sparkle. Also, from a personal health standpoint, your body swells and shrinks through the night which is part of a normal body cycle. However, when your finger is compressed and expanding through out the night, it is better to leave your ring in its safe location to ensure that it doesn’t slip off at some point, only to be lost forever.
Just to be safe
If your ring has been exposed to grease, beauty products or other substances there is a way to safely clean it. Gently rinse the item with warm water and and use any jeweler-recommended cleaner according to the directions that you have in your home. This may not completely remedy the problem, however. It is always recommended that you bring a piece of fine jewelry to your trusted jeweler who can assess it to determine if any damage needs repair or what steps should be taken.
We are always available in the Minneapolis skyway during business hours to have a member of our staff examine or clean your jewelry. We recommend having this maintenance done at least once a year, regardless of any incidences that may happen along the way. We urge you to bring your item to a trusted and reputable jeweler on a regular basis, regardless of any abuse or accidents that may happen. Avoiding these 6 activities can truly preserve the quality and appearance of an engagement over the wearer’s life.