how to care for an engagement ring*

My guidebook.

*by popular request! (maybe this means one person)

Hello, fellow affianced (and mostly other people). Perhaps you brides-to-be are more cautious and careful than I am, but I wear my ring for nearly all of my waking hours. Exceptions: in the shower because it gets all slippery-slidey and while baking because raw pate-sucree dough is a BITCH to get out of metal prongs.

I even wore it to a painting class last week with a very-newly engaged friend (HI JENNY!) and nearly dipped the whole thing in brown acrylic paint. I don't know if even David Levy could have gotten that off. I should probably be more careful as to where I wear it, but I really enjoy being able to look at it and when it's on my finger, I know it's not in the process of getting lost somewhere in my bedroom.

All this wear obviously results in a bit of tear. Luckily, diamonds are one of the hardest substances on earth, but it doesn't mean they don't get dirty. David Levy likes to joke that all men should probably go down a few grades in ring clarity because by the time their fiancees have been sporting their gems for a few weeks without a wash, you would never be able to tell the difference in quality. Men: you're welcome. Women: sorry.

David also recommends home-cleaning your ring every 1-2 weeks, which I will admit I haven't exactly been, um, diligent about. It's possible the first time I cleaned my ring with something other than my fingers and public-bathroom soap was when we went into his studio to pick out our wedding bands. If you're keeping track, that's about ohhhhh a year and a half after we got engaged. Since I did appreciate how shiny my ring was after its spin in the turbo-cleaner, I resolved to try and keep it cleaner on my own. That was two months ago and so far, still haven't cleaned it.

But! I found the pamphlet on ring-cleaning he gave me (in the bottom of my purse) this week and I thought that maybe sharing his tips on le blog would give me the impetus to polish my gems a little more frequently. Probably not, but at least you as readers can benefit from his wisdom.

David's Tips: 

- Do not wear rings while exercising. (Oops.) The reason for this is when you're lifting weights or cruising along on the elliptical, the squeezing can put undue pressure on your stones' settings. This is more of a problem for ladies with infinity rings a.ka. diamonds all the way around. Oh you fancy.
- Platinum is a durable metal, but it's also soft. It actually will show scratches faster than gold and platinum prongs (those things that hold your diamond from flying away) can move if pressure is applied. Takeaway: don't apply pressure.
- Have your ring professionally inspected at least once a year. Most insurance companies will require an annual inspection of insured jewelry anyway. Good jewelers, like David, won't charge a fee for this and you can also get your ring cleaned while you're there.
- Diamonds will scratch other diamonds. Picture two diamond rings in the same jewelry bag like a fight between the Olsen twins. Neither will emerge victorious. MK might have better fashion sense, but there's just something so beguiling about Ashley. It will be a fight to the death. In gem terms, this means both diamonds will scratch the shit out of each other. Keep them separate when storing.
- Clean your ring with a soft toothbrush and liquid dish soap like Dawn. Fill a bowl with warm, sudsy water and gentle brush your ring with the toothbrush. Rinse with clean water (and good God, make sure your sink is plugged) and dry with a lint-free cloth.
- Do not use an at-home "professional" jewelry cleaner too frequently. The vibrations can loosen your stones to the point where they actually can fall out of their settings. Ask Mike's mom!

Any other tips you've learned? Share them OR ELSE.


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