It usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half – about as much time as it takes for the confetti to settle – for a gnawing fear that this stunning diamond ring is somehow going to get damaged to take hold.
Whether this translates to you walking around like you’re balancing an egg on the back of your hand, ritualistically placing the ring back in its box every time you turn the water on, or attempting to do everything single-handedly – or all of the above – it’s normal to feel a little overprotective at the beginning of your engagement.
It’s important to remember that diamonds are strong. They’re incomparably strong. What’s more, the precious metals used in fine jewelry are also made incredibly strong, so that they will last decades.
Still, even the strongest materials need looking after. Below, we answer all your burning questions about maintaining and caring for a diamond ring. Once you start to build up some healthy habits, you can learn to relax, and simply enjoy the sight of that diamond on your finger.
Our hands go through a lot each day, which means that there are any number of substances waiting to dull the sparkle of even the brightest diamond.
A simple cleaning routine, using only a mild soap designed to strip away greases, is sufficient to maintain your diamond’s natural sparkle.
Soak your ring in warm water, combined with a mild soap, then gently remove any build up with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
You will also want to avoid bringing your ring into contact with any oily cosmetics. Moisturizers, makeup, tanning oils and sprays, lotions and hair products will all start to accumulate on the surface of your diamond, and around the edges of the setting and band.
Professionals jewelers use an ultrasonic cleaner, which is not something you’ll find in any Target or Walmart.
This cleaner, along with the jeweler’s specialist chemicals, will give your ring a much more thorough clean, and doesn’t need to be done all that often – particularly if you’re cleaning it regularly at home.
Still, a professional clean is always a great way to ensure your diamond ring continues to sparkle, and that it’s getting checked over by expert eyes every once in a while.
You should aim to follow your at-home cleaning routine once a week, but won’t need to take your diamond ring for a professional clean more than once or twice a year.
As with most things, it’s better to avoid getting into the habit of waiting for your ring to show signs of grease and dirt before you clean it. Building up a habit of maintaining it once a week will mean that it never begins to lose its luster, or show those early signs of wear.
Even the hardest substance on earth could do with a little caution. Diamond rings are designed and built to withstand the test of time, but setting yourself just a few ground rules can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining that sheen and sparkle.
We would recommend removing your engagement ring in the shower.
Not only will the steam and soap increase the likelihood of your ring loosening and falling off, but some soaps might be too abrasive – particularly some of the grainier scrubs and exfoliants.
In all likelihood, yes – provided you aren’t doing anything that could cause damage. If you have any doubts, however, the best thing to do is to talk to your jeweler.
But, if you have a hands-on job, spend your days gardening, spend your days looking after children or animals or, let’s say, rock climb on a regular basis, then we’re going to suggest you leave the diamond at home.
Many jewelers agree that, over time and with considerable use, the rubbing alcohol used in hand sanitizers can dull the sheen of precious metals, and build-up around the setting (loosening any prongs gradually).
We’re not suggesting you curb your enthusiasm for hygiene, however. Try to get into the habit of removing your ring during application, and waiting until your hands are dry before you put it back on.
No, in an ideal world you would remove your ring before bed.
For some women, removing their diamond ring at the end of a long day comes as naturally as removing their shoes or makeup. For others, it’s pretty common to get a sort of ‘separation anxiety’, and to want to leave it on as much as possible.
Bear in mind, however, that keeping your ring on through the night is not worth the potential price: waking up to find your ring damaged or bent, or that one of the prongs holding your diamond in place has worked itself loose.
Again, we will generally advise against it – provided you have somewhere secure to store your ring while you exercise.
We will always urge you to avoid exposing your ring to any unnecessary weight – with the most obvious being any weight-training exercises at the gym, or at home. Even an advanced yoga session could put pressure on the band, so err on the side of caution and leave it off.
It’s incredible to think of the extreme conditions required to create a natural diamond. Over billions of years, and under immense pressure, these remarkable gemstones are finally formed and pushed to the earth’s surface.
It can seem a little over-cautious, to some, to practice so much caution when it comes to looking after these strong gemstones but, when you consider the financial and emotional significance at stake, a little care goes a very long way for your peace of mind.