So, you’ve taken the dive and said yes to that gorgeous one-of-a-kind ring that speaks to your soul. Now, how do you keep it looking as gloriously gleaming as the day you slipped it on your bejewelled finger?
Today, we’re chatting jewelry care - dispelling some popular myths, and sharing our top tips forhow to take care of your engagement ring, and keeping all your rings looking as drop dead gorgeous as the day you bought them.
The Myths Of Engagement Ring Care
We’ve sorted through your DM’s, IG comments, story replies, and our email inbox to find your most common questions and ring care myths! Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Myth #1: I need to wear my engagement wear everywhere I go, 24 hours a day
The truth:for a ring to last a lifetime, it needs to be protected from activities that could damage it. Diamonds, gold, and other gemstones are very resilient but they’re not indestructible.
When to take your Engagement ring off
Though your ring is a symbol of your everlasting love, show it love by taking it off during activities like:
- Heavy workouts like weight lifting. You could scratch your ring on those hard, abrasive surfaces and you also run the risk of bending or misshaping the shank of the ring.
- Swimming/bathing in pools, hot tubs, or lake and oceans. Chlorine is very corrosive to jewelry, so avoid exposing your ring to it if possible! Also, your fingers can contract in cold water, causing your rings to loosen. Nothing worse than a ring falling to the bottom of the ocean! #bringoutthescubagear.
- In the shower.We get asked all the time: "Do you shower with your engagement ring on?". The answer is preferably not. While water itself is totally safe for fine jewelry, the shower gels, shampoos, and cleansers can cause a buildup on your jewels and temporarily dull their shine.
- While Sleeping. Another top Q from all of you: "Is it OK to sleep with my engagement ring on?" We say, try not to! Surprising, right? I mean, you’re just lying there. But the truth is – most of us move around in our sleep, and while you’re not fully conscious, the prongs could get caught in your hair, on your clothes, or around loose pillowcase threads. Your best bet: find a cute ring dish for your ring to rest in while you sleep.
- In the sand or dirt. Tiny sand or dirt particles can get lodged in the setting and under the diamond, and while you can of course clean it later, it’s better to just avoid the grime altogether.
From Catherine: “The reason we still have vintage jewelry from the 1920s is that it wasn't commonplace to wear your jewels 24/7 back then.”
What to wear instead of your engagement ring
We recommend adding a smooth gold band to your stack. This can be the ring you never take off! That way your engagement ring can have a break every now and then. Gold bands are much more resilient than your intricately set diamond/gemstone engagement ring. Scratches on the band can be polished out, unlike diamonds which can’t be easily fixed.
MYTH #2: No damage is fixable OR all damage is fixable
The truth:it all depends on where/what the damage is.
- If a stone fall outs: it can be replaced as long as the prongs aren’t too damaged
- If the shank is bent: it can usually be fixed by a jeweler
- If a stone is chipped: it must be replaced with a new stone or recut if the stone is large enough
Our warranty on damages:we replace lost stones up to 3mm for free within the first year. Unless the ring shows undue signs of damage. To cover damages beyond this, we recommend jewelry insurance to safeguard your precious new purchase. Make sure your insurance covers stone chips in addition to stone loss. Visit our blog on jewelry appraisals for more on this topic!
MYTH #3 I don’t need to see my jeweler after I buy my ring
The truth:we recommend visiting your jeweler once a year to have your rings checked for loose prongs, worn settings, and overall wear and tear - call it engagement ring maintenance! If a prong is getting loose, your jeweler will notice, and they’ll tighten it back up before you have any major mishaps like a lost stone. Usually your jeweler can do this inspection during your professional cleaning.
Pro-tip:hold your ring up to your ear and gently shake it, if you hear something that sounds like a baby rattle, you might have a loose stone and it's time to visit your jeweler.
MYTH #4: sweat will ruin my jewelry
The truth:sweat is totally fine – not damaging to your jewelry at all. While it may cause a buildup on your jewelry, it doesn’t damage the gold or the stone.
MYTH #5: My ring size always stays the same
The truth:your fingers expand and contract all throughout the day, and definitely throughout your lifetime. When you sleep for example, your fingers swell up. The same goes for heat – your fingers will expand during workouts, in the hot sun, and in a sauna. When you’re in the cold, on the other hand, your fingers can contract. And of course, gaining or losing weight, and the constant fluctuations of pregnancy can cause significant changes in your ring size.
Choosing the right ring size:you want to ensure your ring doesn’t become uncomfortable when you’re fingers swell, and that it doesn’t fall off when your fingers contract. Your best bet: chat with your jeweler to find the perfect happy-medium size that will account for most of these fluctuations! And if your ring size changes permanently, any ring can be resized up or down.
We do stock an at-home ring sizer, which is a great first step! If you’re not sure how to account for size fluctuations, pop by your local jeweler to get their expert recommendation.
MYTH #6: Salt & pepper diamonds are breakable. White diamonds are not.
The truth:though diamonds are one of the hardest materials on earth, none of them are indestructible and it’s still possible to chip, fracture, and bruise them. What determines the durability of a diamond: the cut and placement of the inclusions. Our artisans select and cut their stones to ensure the highest level of strength and integrity.
To protect your stone against any damage: follow our care instructions and show your ring lots of love!
Other gemstones like Sapphire and Emeralds, while gorgeous stones, are softer than diamonds. Diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs’ hardness scale (the highest rating), while sapphires are rated 9, and emeralds are rated 7.5 or 8. While those are still very high ratings, they’re slightly less durable than diamonds so you want to take extra care of these stones!
There is a tiny bit of maintenance required to keep your ring looking gleaming and glorious. And there’s a few different ways to go about it:
- Professional cleaning (done by a jeweller)
- At-home deep-cleaning
- On-the-go cleaning and polishing
Professional ring cleaning – every 6 months to a year
In a professional cleaning, your jeweller will first use a powerful ultrasonic cleaner that vibrates at a high rate to dislodge dirt and small particles. Next, they’ll polish and buff your piece, removing any surface scratches and abrasions. Lastly, they place your jewelry under a powerful jet of steam to blast away any leftover grime from the stone, band, and setting. After this process, your ring will truly shine.
On-the-go cleaning: anytime
We recommend the Baublerella Bling Brush for an on-the-go engagement ring cleaner - when you’re heading out for the door and notice a speck of dirt or an unsightly smudge on your ring. Give it a quick once-over and voila, the gleam returns. It fits in your purse, is safe on all jewelry, and leaves no mess. A great everyday natural option to remove buildup from makeup, hairspray, or hand lotion. To use: simply twist, clean, polish, and sparkle!
At-home deep Ring cleaning: Every two Weeks
1. The dishsoap ring cleaning method
The easiest and most effective way to clean your ring between professional cleanings:
- Fill a large mug with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap
- Let the ring sit in the mixture for a few minutes
- Scrub the stone, setting, and band with a soft toothbrush
- Make sure you clean under the stone! This is where the most dirt collects as it’s closest to your finger. If your ring isn’t shining like it used to, it’s likely because there's dirt under the stone, clouding up the overall appearance.
- Rinse the ring under warm water. Make sure you cover the drain!
- Pat the ring dry or use your blow dryer on a cool setting to remove water spots.
- Place your ring in a small bowl.
- Spray Windex on the ring and allow it to sit for about a minute.
- Scrub your ring thoroughly with a soft toothbrush, getting underneath the setting where your finger touches the ring booty.
- Rinse the ring under warm running water.
- Dry your ring with a soft cloth. Ensure it's completely dry.
3. Baking soda
- Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda into a cup of water to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to your ring and allow it sit for a few minutes.
- Rinse your ring under warm running water.
- Dry your ring thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth.
A more advanced (and powerful) cleaning option - is an at home Ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.
These work great for a very deep clean, however they’re a little harsh for everyday and aren’t suitable for every type of stone. Ask your jeweler if this cleaner is compatible with your ring, and limit this method to once every couple months at the most.
Our Other Top Ring Care Tips
Be careful when you remove your rings to wash your hands
We’ve all heard stories of rings accidentally slipping down the drain or of forgetting a ring in a public washroom. So, we recommend either leaving your rings on for hand-washing or placing them far away from the drain!
Dry your hands fully & rinse well
When you do keep your rings on for hand-washing, be sure to dry your hands fully and rinse well. When moisture or soap buildup accumulate under your ring, you can experience what’s known as ‘ring rash’. This can also be caused by bacteria buildup under the ring – you can avoid this by cleaning your ring regularly!
Our other top tip: choose a gentle, all-natural hand soap. Chemical-laden antibacterial soaps can be very harsh and irritating to the skin and are more likely to cause ring rash.
Store your rings individually
Give them each some space so they’re not rubbing against, and scratching each other. Consider storing/displaying your ultra-precious rings in a ring box when you’re not wearing them.
Keep ring dishes around the house
Leave a ring dish beside the bed, in the bathroom, and in the kitchen so you have a safe place for your ring to rest while you sleep or wash your hands.
Keep your care card
All Gem Breakfast rings come with a care card reminding you of our ring care tips! Keep this in your jewelry box (or take a picture) so you always have the info at your fingertips!