After you say, “I do”, your wedding rings are a constant reminder of the love and promises you and your spouse made to one another. So, how can you keep those rings looking fabulous for years to come? We’ll break down everything you need to know—from how often to clean and appraise them, to weighing out the pros and cons of soldering your rings.
Cleaning Your Ring
One of the first things you can do with engagement rings is to have them properly cleaned. The good news is that most jewelers will clean and examine your ring for free. The process takes a few minutes and should be done twice a year. During the examination, the jeweler will check for any loose stones, prongs, etc. and determine whether the ring needs to be sent away for repairs.
In between your professional cleanings, clean your jewelry once a week. Soak the jewelry in warm to hot water with liquid soap, baking soda, or even vodka. After a 20-40-minute soak, gently brush the ring with a toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry under warm running water (with the sink plugged of course) and dry it with a cotton or linen cloth. To avoid dust, store the cleaning cloth in a resealable bag.
Get Your Ring Insured
Another way to keep your rings protected is to get them insured. You can typically add it to your existing policies for homeowners and renters’ insurance. Be sure to include the valuation—you can get it from the jeweler where it was purchased.
Storing Your Ring
When you’re not wearing your ring, store it in a nice, safe place. A microfiber or felt bag or box is a great option. If you wear your ring on and off throughout the day, place it in a ring bowl or have multiple ring bowls throughout the house. If you’re out and about, put your ring on a necklace chain if needed.
Things To Avoid
To keep those rings nice and shiny, there are certain activities and liquids to avoid. Take your ring off during these activities:
– Washing dishes
– Cleaning the house (bathroom, toilet, countertops)
– Water-related activities like showering/pool/beach
– Working out
– Moving furniture
– Hands-on sports like tennis, rock climbing, kayaking, etc.
– Applying perfume, lotions, sunscreen, and using cleaning supplies
Another thing to reconsider is getting your ring resized multiple times. You may be tempted to resize your ring during weight gain or loss, changes in medication, travel plans, and pregnancy. But if you constantly get your ring resized up or down, it could lead to permanent damage to your band. You also run the risk of having your stone reset altogether. Before you decide, speak to your jeweler about your options.
To Solder or Not to Solder
Many women wonder if soldering your engagement ring and wedding band together is a good idea. Soldering is the process of fusing two rings together through filler metal to form a single bridal set. There are some pros and cons to each, so let’s consider both options.
– Soldering helps strengthen the bands of both rings
– Keeps the ring from spinning and sliding around your finger
– Reduces wear and tear
– More comfortable, natural fit
– Better alignment
– Must wear both at the same time, meaning you can’t take it off for work or safety reasons
– You risk damaging the rings if you change your mind and reverse it
– You can’t pass down your rings separately as heirlooms
If you do decide to solder, make sure the rings are sized correctly. You can choose to reverse the solder—just have a jeweler cut the rings apart, then file and polish. There’s no right or wrong choice, it’s personal preference!
Getting Your Ring Appraised
It’s super smart to get your ring appraised. In most cases, you can’t get your jewelry insured without an appraisal, so it’s a no-brainer to do both. Plus, it’s great to have a current appraisal in the event of theft, loss, or damage.
The appraisal verifies all the details about your ring, including the value of your ring. It’s best to get your ring appraised the moment you buy it, and it’s not a one-and-done deal. Since the cost of diamonds and precious metals fluctuate, get your ring appraised every 2-3 years. The value is not only determined by the cost of the gemstone, but also by style, design, and wear and tear.
A combination of all these tips will ensure that your rings stay clean and protected for a lifetime.