The love of your life got down on one knee. They pulled a small jewelry box from their pocket. They asked that fateful question: “Will you marry me?” And, of course, you said yes!
Congratulations! You are officially engaged—and that means you have one gorgeous ring on your finger. To you, this is probably the most beautiful piece of jewelry in the entire world. But how can you make sure it’ll keep its sparkle and shine forever? Luckily, it’s not difficult to keep an engagement ring looking its best. All it takes is proper care—and here are a few easy tips to make sure your rock always “shines bright like a diamond” (since, you know, it is).
Hands off the Diamond!
When you first get that engagement ring, it tends to get A LOT of attention. Everyone wants to see it: your friends, family, co-workers, even strangers at the grocery store! On top of that, you may find yourself stealing glances at it throughout the day. Looking is perfectly fine, but if you want that ring to keep sparkling, DO NOT TOUCH IT! See, when you touch your engagement ring, you are introducing all manner of dirt, debris, and body oil onto the stone’s surface. Most stones will cling to that gunk like a magnet—and the result is a lackluster stone that appears cloudy or hazy. No one wants that! Obviously, it’s not the end of the world if your finger brushes your ring occasionally. But do your best to avoid touching your ring (particularly the center stone) as much as possible. This will keep your ring from getting too dirty, and keep that diamond sparkling even longer.
Know When to Wear Your Engagement Ring
One of the biggest mistakes women make with their engagement ring is wearing it all the time. Yes, diamonds are durable (they’re the hardest known mineral on Earth), but that doesn’t mean they need to face unnecessary bumps and scratches all day long! If you want your ring to retain its sparkle, it’s important to know when that ring finger should go bare. Avoid wearing your ring during vigorous exercise, hands-on activities like yard work and sports like tennis or baseball. Avoid using harsh chemicals around your hands (i.e., when you’re cleaning the house or putting on lotion). It’s also wise to remove your ring when swimming, as the cold water temperatures can cause your fingers to shrink and you don’t want that ring to slip off!
Of course, there is one caveat to this advice: you should only take your ring off if you are at home or if you have a place to store it. Too often, women remove their rings in a public place (for example, a restaurant bathroom while they wash their hands) and accidentally leave it behind when they leave! It won’t matter how sparkly your ring is if you lose it, so make sure you always have it on your finger or safely stored when in public.
Clean Your Ring Weekly
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to ensure that your ring will always look perfect. Accidents happen, dirt happens, and over time your ring is bound to look a little grubby. This is why regular cleaning is a good habit to get into. No matter what your ring goes through during the week, you can restore its sparkle in just a few minutes! Your ring doesn’t need much to look beautiful—just some warm water, dish soap (ideally a gentle formula), a toothbrush, and some elbow grease! Soak your ring in a small bowl for five minutes, give it a light scrub, and voila! Instant sparkle in under 10 minutes. Of course, you can also purchase jewelry cleaning solution (they even have those nifty cleaning pens that distribute cleaner and scrub all at once). But the fact remains that cleaning your ring is quick and easy, so there’s no reason not to do it at least once a week.
Splurge for a Professional Cleaning
Sometimes, at-home cleaning options just aren’t enough. Maybe you’re going to a party (or hosting one). Maybe you and your future spouse are having a special night out. Whatever the reason, your ring needs to look its absolute best for this event…and that means it’s time to call in the big guns. Professional ring cleaning will use high-end equipment to make your ring look brand new. Most jewelers provide free cleaning services with purchase, so you can just hop over to the shop where your sweetheart bought your ring and get it polished for free! Even if you’re wearing a vintage ring or family heirloom, cleaning services usually run between $25 and $50—certainly worth it for a special occasion.
If you follow these suggestions and take care of your engagement ring, that beautiful diamond will easily retain its sparkle!