Did you know that your engagement ring, particularly its diamond, collects film from cosmetics, lotion, soap and even skin oil? These harmful emissions will reduce the fire of your diamond.

Have you ever wondered why that ring you wore only once has a scratch? Perhaps it was due to improper storage.

Did you know that the prongs that secure your diamond in your ring will wear and get thin over time? The time it takes for prongs to become dangerously thin depends on how active you are, what kind of job you have, what type of metal the prongs are made from, and how you care for your engagement ring.

Caring for your ring is not a difficult task. Here are a few tips on how to keep your engagement ring looking shiny and new...

Wear

We know that you wear your ring often, perhaps never even taking it off. Unforeseen events may endanger the beauty of your jewelry, but you can take some easy steps to avoid common hazards.

Avoid wearing fine jewelry when you're performing manual labor tasks, such as yard work or labor that would put stress on your jewelry. We recently replaced a beautiful engagement ring that was lost while racking leaves - the ring slipped off at some point during the job and was probably sucked into the city's leaf collector on collection day. We were able to recreate the ring, but there's always a special attachment to the ring that was first put on your finger.

Household chores, like doing the dishes, is potentially harmful to your engagement ring in that film can accumulate and distort the color or reduce the shimmer of your diamond, gold or platinum.

Removing your engagement ring before you participate in sporting activities is always a good idea.

Try not to wear your platinum, gold or diamond ring in swimming pools. Over a period of time, chlorine could damage the ring's makeup.

Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your engagement ring will keep it looking great. There are no exact time frames to follow when defining the term "regularly." Anywhere from 2-4 times a year, depending on wear, should be sufficient. Our customers are welcome to stop in any time for a free cleaning and inspection.

Each type of jewelry has specific guidelines to most effectively clean it:

Diamonds: Either use a commercial jewelry cleaner (and follow their directions) or mix one cup of hot water, one-quarter cup of household ammonia and one tablespoon of dish washing detergent. Don't use anything that is abrasive. Then, soak the diamonds for about twenty minutes. Scrub firmly but slowly with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Rinse the diamonds in hot water and then dip in rubbing alcohol and let air-dry or towel off with a lint-free cloth. Don't rinse off the alcohol. Pick up the ring around its edges and avoid putting your finger tips directly on the diamond. This will ensure the least amount of prints and oily residue.

Gold: There are many good commercial gold jewelry cleaners available. We carry one at the store, but a soft chamois cloth is a great way to keep your gold lustrous and clean. To thoroughly clean your gold jewelry, soak your ring for ten to fifteen minutes in a solution of one cup of warm water mixed with one-quarter cup of ammonia. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to firmly, but slowly wipe away tarnish, dirt or film. Then, rinse with warm water and dry with a lint-free towel or simply air-dry. To remove grease or other superficial infirmities, simply dip the jewelry into rubbing alcohol.

Platinum: Even though platinum is a very durable and mostly a scratch-resistant material, proper cleaning is necessary to ensure its luster and strength. Platinum can be cleaned with the same solution used to clean gold. There are also effective commercial platinum cleaners.

All of your gold, platinum and diamond jewelry will benefit with annual or bi-annual professional cleaning.

Storage

To best protect your jewelry when it is not being worn, separate it from other jewelry. (Use different compartments within your jewelry box.) Ideally, wrap each individual piece in velvet, paper or silk - small plastic bags can also help protect each piece of jewelry. Be aware that jewelry can scratch other jewelry. A diamond can easily scratch a gold ring, platinum ring or almost any kind of gemstone.

For silver jewelry, consider storing in a tarnish resistant plastic bag. This will not only protect the jewelry against scratches, but it will also keep it looking its best.

Annual Inspection

We recommend an annual checkup for your ring. Bring in your wedding, engagement and/or anniversary bands to us and we'll be happy to inspect it and let you know if there are any potential issues that need attention. We'll check the prongs to make sure that your stones are secure, we'll inspect the ring for scratches and we'll recommend solutions to any immediate or potential problems.

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