If you own or ever purchased an engagement ring, you might be wondering how you can best take care for your ring.
I’ve put together a list of the 5 “must-do’s” in protecting and caring for your most sentimental piece of jewelry.
Step 1: Get your ring appraised
The first official business after you get your engagement ring should be to get it appraised. Appraisals should be conducted by a certified gemologist, preferably someone trained by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or other international equivalent.
An appraisal is important because it creates an official document that will serve as proof of ownership. The appraisal will also have a dollar amount associated with it’s value, which helps determine the replacement cost of your jewelry in instances of loss or theft.
During an appraisal your ring will also be photographed. Specifics of your ring will be mapped out, including the estimated total carat weight of your stones, with the color, cut, and clarity mapped out as well.
Depending on your location, an appraisal is generally around $100 to have completed.
How a jewelry appraisal helps and protects you:
- Peace of mind
- Protects you in instances of loss or theft
- Creates an official “paper map” of your ring
- Reduces anxiety when dropping your ring off for maintenance
- Will help you sell your ring if you ever (hopefully never) need to.
Step 2: Get your ring insured
Depending on your policy, your ring might be eligible to be covered under your home owners or renters insurance. Give them a call! You will most definitely need an appraisal as proof of ownership.
Another great option would be to go through a private jewelry insurance company like Jewelers Mutual. They have policies to fit most all jewelry needs at relatively low costs.
Step 3: Keep your ring clean
Think back to how your ring looked when you first got it. It was shiny and beautiful. The stones sparkled. Sadly only a few weeks later you start to notice your ring looking dull, foggy, and less than perfect.
Don’t panic! This is normal and can be remedied by following these simple steps.
Cleaning your ring at home
The easiest and most convenient way to keep your ring clean is to it at home. Here is a list of things you can do:
- Wash your ring with mild soap and water (a toothbrush can help get under the stones)
- Use at-home jewelry cleaners
- If you’re really serious about at-home jewelry cleaning, get an ultrasonic cleaner. Check with your goldsmith beforehand. Not all stones are safe for ultrasonic cleaning.
Prevention can go a long way in keeping your ring clean as well. Remove your rings before you do any cooking or if you are applying any lotions. There’s nothing that clouds up a stone quicker than lotion underneath the stones.
Get your ring professionally cleaned
If you notice your ring is dirty and your stones are looking cloudy, most local jewelry stores will do a free cleaning using an ultrasonic and steamer.
While cleaning your jewelry at home can certainly make a big difference, nothing compares to using these professional-grade cleaning equipment.
Step 4: Have your ring inspected periodically
An engagement ring is much like a car. No matter how well-built or nice it is, it will definitely need periodic maintenance and repair. The same goes for rings. Rings take a lot of abuse from every day wear and tear. This is completely normal and you should not be afraid of wearing your ring for most activities. Although it might not feel like you are being hard on your rings, it is still possible for stones to come loose or prongs to wear down.
This is why I recommend rings get inspected at least every 6 months.
When a ring is taken into a goldsmith for inspection, they will look at the ring in it’s entirety. A lot of jewelry repairs have to do with prevention rather than correction. It is much cheaper to tighten up a stone that has become loose in the setting than it is to wait for the stone to fall out. Once a stone falls out not only are you paying for the replacement cost of the stone, but you are also covering the labor to set the stone back into place.
Step 5. Get your ring rhodium plated (white gold rings)
If you own a white gold wedding ring, you might notice that the ring starts to “yellow” a bit after wear. While there are modern white gold alloys that do not yellow, many traditional white gold alloys have a yellow tint to them.
In order to give the ring a bright white appearance, the rings are electroplated in rhodium. This plating can last for months on end and can last even longer if you are not hard on your rings.
If you notice that your ring looks yellowish and has a lot of scratches, a goldsmith will be able to polish your ring up and restore the “brand new” look of your ring!
Hey everyone, this is Jordan from Modern Goldsmith. Thanks for reading!