Diamonds are the hardest mineral; however, it’s important to remember that they’re not indestructible. Following these tips for the care and protection of your engagement ring will ensure that your diamond lasts a lifetime.
Schedule Regular Cleanings
Leo Hamel’s offers free jewelry cleaning services for rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and watches as well as free ring polishing. Your engagement ring will be put in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to remove dirt or oil. (Rings that include softer gemstones that may be damaged by ultrasonic vibrations and heat are cleaned by hand). After the ultrasonic, the ring will be steam-cleaned and polished by hand by the jeweler.
Prior to all cleaning services, our certified graduate jewelers will inspect your ring under a microscope to inform you of any issues with the prongs as well as any chipped or loose diamonds. You should plan to bring in your engagement ring (and other jewelry you own) twice a year for a professional cleaning and inspection.
Gentle Home Ring Cleaning (only if you must clean at home)
While we always recommend bringing your jewelry into our jewelers for cleanings, we understand that sometimes that doesn’t always work out. If you must clean your engagement ring at home, make sure to use only warm water, dish soap, and a soft bristle brush.
Insure Your Valuables
Most people think of insurance when it comes to their life, car, or health, but what about your engagement ring? It can cost as much as a car and symbolizes one of the most important bonds in your life. There’s always an emotional toll when losing an engagement ring, but when it’s insured, you don’t have to worry about the financial hardship of replacing it. Leo Hamel’s works with the independent gemologist appraiser at San Diego Gemological Laboratory to supply appraisals for insurance purposes.
Consider an Alternate
Having a “backup” ring is an increasingly popular choice for many people. The alternate ring is less expensive and has less emotional ties to it. It’s worn regularly without many worries about it getting lost or damaged since it’s just acting as a placeholder. This alternate ring is worn during activities that may expose the ring to dirt, grease, or damage. Like while out partying at a club, or while traveling to less secure locations, and your main engagement ring is kept locked in a safe at home.
Chemicals in perfumes, lotions, and sunscreens may cause damage and add residue to your jewelry. Remove your engagement ring and other jewelry before using these substances or any other chemical. Chlorine can also damage jewelry so keep that in mind before getting into a treated pool or jacuzzi.
Fingers can swell in the heat and shrink in the cold. It’s important to take note of any extreme weather so that you don’t have to worry about your engagement ring slipping off in the cold or being uncomfortable in the heat. Some gemstones are also affected by extreme weather so keep that in mind when deciding what to wear for the day.
Make sure you have a designated place to keep your engagement ring when you’re not wearing it. By keeping it in one place whenever you’re not wearing it, you lessen the risk of leaving it somewhere that you won’t remember later. You should also keep ring holders around the house in places where you might need to take it off for just a short amount of time.
Places like in the kitchen (away from the sink) for when you do dishes, in the bathroom for when you need to use any cleaning products, at your makeup table for when you are applying lotions and perfumes, etc. For longer term storage, or whenever your ring is at home but you are not, a home security safe is relatively inexpensive to install.
Restore White Gold
Over time, the shine on white gold rings will start to dull and display a yellow hue; this happens over time from normal wear, even with perfect care. Re-plating the white gold with rhodium will bring back the original shine to your engagement ring. Leo Hamel’s jewelry repair department can restore your white gold jewelry with expertly applied rhodium plating. Just stop by our San Diego Avenue showroom today to check your jewelry in!