Caring for your Wedding & Engagement Rings

Now you have your stunning engagement rings and wedding rings we'd like to offer a few thoughts on how to look after them.

Our advice can't stop your beautiful rings ageing but it will help to keep them looking their best.

Once again may we say "Many congratulations!" to you both. Your beautiful symbols of love will now journey through life with you together. Just like us, your rings will age with use. Contact with everyday objects like keys and door handles will leave marks, scratches and tiny dents. Over time these blend together developing an appealing soft patina. We recommend embracing this inevitable change as part of growing old together. However, to help keep your rings in the best possible condition we recommend the following advice.

Handling your rings
Moving your rings from one safe place to another (e.g. from ring case to your finger) should be done with your full attention and, just in case, over a soft rather than a hard surface. This will minimise any damage from being dropped. Although it's the obvious focal point never pick up your ring by the stone. Diamond set rings should be picked up from the side or from the base. Avoid handling the diamonds themselves as this adds to the wear and tear of the settings. Contact from fingers also leaves oil behind which will reduce the brilliance of your diamonds.

Caring for your rings
Precious metals are soft compared to other metals and ceramics and therefore inevitably scratch and dent with use. Gradually your rings will take on a soft patina that reflects the ageing process. Diamonds are extremely hard but they are brittle and can be chipped or even broken. Again, this is natural wear and tear and a feature of normal use. Our care advice aims to help you keep these signs of use to a minimum.

Your wedding and engagement rings are subject to mechanical forces that push, pull and try to twist them out of shape. Gripping everyday objects like a gear level or a handle exerts considerable pressure on your rings. Gym equipment, rackets and golf clubs, tools, lifting heavy objects, and gardening all have the same effect. Rings can also become snagged and pulled out of shape. Rings can't withstand everything that we can throw at them so reducing exposure to these "dangerous" environments is recommended.

It is important to remove your rings before strenuous activates including DIY, gardening, garage work, other forms of manual work, for rough outdoor sports and when in the gym.

Even contact with ceramics and steel cutlery while doing the washing up will cause marks to you rings. You must decide on the balance to strike between wearing them and protecting them.

It is important to remove your rings before using strong chemicals such as chlorine based bleaches and abrasive materials. For extra caution, particularly if a frequent swimmer, you may want to remove your rings before using a chlorinated pool. It's advisable, following exposure to even mildly chlorinated water, to rinse your rings thoroughly in fresh water.

Household products that will make your rings dirty include soap, shampoo, gel, hairspray, make-up, powder, dyes, sun cream, cleaning and polishing liquids, super-glue, and items involved in food preparation. Before removing your rings it is best to first prepare a soft and secure place to keep them.

When not being worn your rings should be kept on a soft surface and separate form other items. The ring case we provided would be ideal. Never put your rings down onto a tiled or metal surface, and never into a pocket or wallet/purse where they will be scratched by coins and keys.

Before washing your hands make sure the sink plug is firmly in place. Soap will make it much easier for your rings to slip off and an open drain could prove disastrous. Take extra care when using public facilities.

Diamond set rings should be regularly inspected by a jeweller to ensure that wear and tear has not compromised the security of the settings.

For rings with large or exposed diamonds we emphasise the need to keep them away from the "dangerous" activity and environments listed above, and never to put them down onto hard surfaces. On your finger or in a ring case are the two best places to keep your rings.

Cleaning your rings
To keep your rings looking great you should clean them in warm soapy water. Mix a few drops of mild liquid soap with warm water in a plastic bowl. Don't do it directly in a ceramic or steel sink as both are very hard and will scratch your rings and may chip your diamonds. Clean one ring at a time. Soak for about 15 minutes then very gently use a soft toothbrush to remove any build up of dirt.

If your ring is diamond set use the soft brush to gently agitate round the front of the settings and, if accessible, also brush very gently behind. Refill the bowl with clean water and rinse your rings. Always beware of the drain.

Dry with a clean soft lint-free cloth, rubbing the ring gently and briefly. For diamonds it is better to dab as you don't want fibres from the cloth becoming snagged in the settings.

For a final polished finish you may want to buff your rings for a few seconds with a specialist polishing cloth available from companies including Goddards, Hagerty and Town Talk. However, if all or part of your rings have a brushed finish we advise only a light rub on an infrequent basis. Please be aware that a polishing cloth will not remove scratches and dents, it can only bring back some brightness to previously high polished surfaces.

Note - these guidelines are for our plain and diamond set rings. For other gemstones and other precious materials you should seek relevant specialist advice.

Polishing is a form of wear and tear - it rubs away a tiny amount of the surface. Little by little polishing erodes brushed finishes, patterns, engraving, hallmarks, rhodium plating, settings and even the shape. If you do want to polish we suggest a brief light rub on an infrequent basis.

Keeping your rings secure
You should consider insuring your rings against loss, damage and theft. For diamond rings please do ensure that the loss of a valuable diamond is specifically covered. Keeping the replacement value up-to-date is important too. Before departure and when travelling you may wish to consider how best to minimise the risk of theft associated with your rings and other items of value.

Inspecting your rings
For diamond rings it's important to have them regularly checked by a jeweller. This is to ensure the security of the settings. If you think your ring feels different or if you've given it a worrying knock then do have it examined as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to lose a diamond.

Following this advice we're sure you, your partner, and your fabulous rings will enjoy a very happy life together!

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