This post is coming as a somewhat follow-up to last weeks article. This is partly due to the fact that everyone should have a general idea on how to care for their engagement ring and partly due to the fact that I am extremely accident prone. Read on...
In honor of St. Patrick's Day yesterday (happy belated ya'll), I decided I wanted to change my nail polish color to something super festive. I.E. not just plain green, think green on steroids. I saw this funky, awesome green polish on sale (should have been my first clue) and I thought, "Hey, why not! Let's get festive!"
So, basically what happened was, about an hour after painting my nails, I left to the house to run errands, putting my engagement ring on before I left. (Note: engagement ring was NOT on my finger or near the nail polish at any time during the painting! It was safely in its box, as it usually is when I'm at home.) While running errands, I noticed that, somehow, I had gotten nail polish on and in-between a few of my side stones. WHAT! Cue major panic mode. I still have no idea how this happened, as the nail polish had been dry on my nails for quite some time. Thankfully, I was able to take it to the jeweler's and have them clean it professionally. They removed the nail polish in about 5 minutes. Talk about sigh of relief.
Word to the wise, just say NO to discount nail polish, especially in gaudy colors. Lesson learned.
Know Your Jeweler
My first piece of advice to you would be to know your jeweler and their policy pertaining to your ring, it's warranty, and all that fun jazz. My jeweler offers lifetime warranties for their products, as well as complimentary cleaning anytime you're in store. They also do diamond inspections, which they recommend every 6 months. Actually, in order to be eligible for the lifetime care through them, you must have your ring professionally inspected. The directions given to me where to explicitly say "diamond inspection" when you are having it inspected to receive the receipt and to keep at least the previous two inspection reports to verify that you have been maintaining the ring, should you ever need to utilize the warranty (i.e. loose prongs, cracked diamond, etc.) Basically, the diamond inspection differs from just bringing it in and having them look at/clean it. They need a written report of the inspection for proof.
Personally, I would schedule my inspections for every 6 months, regardless of jeweler policy. The more frequently you get your ring looked at, the less likely it is for errors to go unnoticed and stones to go missing. Besides, a lot of jewelers include this in their warranty plan, not to mention many insurance companies require it.
Don't worry, I'm not going to go into another detailed account of why you need engagement ring insurance. But be sure to read my last post here for more details!
First things first, be sure to clean your ring somewhat often because with day-to-day wear, it is subject to accumulating lots of residuals from things like lotion, dirt, and oils from your skin. There are a lot of articles and videos out there about cleaning your engagement ring (like this one here). Personally, I believe it is best to ask your jeweler what they recommend and have them walk you through a typical at-home cleaning. I have heard good things about even just using regular dish soap and warm water, letting the ring soak for 20 minutes or so, and scrubbing gently with an extra soft toothbrush. Remember that at-home cleanings should not replace scheduled cleaning and inspection at the jewelry store!
I was given Connoisseur's jewelry cleaner by my jeweler (however, they also said dish soap would do the trick) and was instructed to do the following when cleaning my ring at home:
- Take one part connoseiur's and one part water. Mix them in a small tupperware bowl.
- Microwave the solution for 20 seconds in the microwave.
- Place the ring and let sit for 20 minutes (more or less depending on how dirty it is).
- Take an old, soft toothbrush and scrub the ring, including all the nooks and crannies, very gently.
- Rinse with water.
- Pat try with a lint-free cloth.
My jeweler also made sure to note that no at-home cleaner will be quite as good as the cleaning supplied by the jeweler themselves. From the research I've done online, such as this article with advice from a GIA professional, most other jewelers would agree. Makes sense!
Keeping Your Ring Safe
As I stated in my insurance post, its really a good idea to put your ring in a fireproof container, if at all possible. Stand alone safes that cannot easily be picked up and carried off are obviously a wiser choice. However, they can be expensive. If you can afford a small, fireproof case that you can hide somewhere inconspicuous, I would do so. That way, you always have a safe place to keep your ring when you are not wearing it. For example, when I go for a jog, I take my engagement ring off and put it in it's jewelery box, which I then place inside my fireproof container. That way, if there is an emergency while I'm out, I know that the ring is, for the most part, safe. Unfortunately, you can never know when terrible things will happen, so it's always important to prepare for the worst. Especially when it comes to something near and dear to your heart, like your engagement ring!
Also, don't forget good, old common sense when concerning your ring. Remember the sitcom episodes where someone would accidentally drop their ring down the drain while washing dishes or cooking? Don't be that statistic. Take off your ring when doing household chores. Put your ring in away when doing garden work (or really, anything intensive with your hands). When traveling, decide whether its appropriate to bring your ring along with you, or if it might be safer left at home (in a fireproof case, of course). Or, when staying at a hotel, ensure that the hotel has a safe inside each room before booking with them. Don't put your ring ANYWHERE near a sink, for any reason! Accidents happen to all of us (refer to the beginning of this post). Do yourself a favor and take prevention in engagement ring mishaps.
What is your 'policy' when taking care of your engagement ring? Do you use solely use your jeweler for cleaning, or do you also care for it at home? Do you have a safe place you put your ring every night?
Share your comments below and let's talk bling care!
Until next time, keep those rings sparkly and safe!
-The Newly NOLA Bride