2020 has been a crazy time, and we have the hand sanitizer to prove it— but are our new enhanced sanitation habits harming our jewelry?
In a time of COVID and the extra sanitation measures to keep ourselves and those around us healthy, the impact of the current crisis on your engagement ring and other fine jewelry might not be top of mind. But as your jeweler, we are looking out for you and are answering, "Is all this hand sanitizer harming my engagement ring?" as well as sharing some easy jewelry care tips to keep your jewelry in top shape this year and beyond.
Is All This Hand Sanitizer Harming Your Engagement Ring?
While regular hand washing will not cause harm to your diamond engagement ring (and will actually help keep build-up and smudges at bay), hand sanitizer is a different solution altogether.
Hand sanitizer is made up of rubbing alcohol. While it will not hurt diamonds or damage the integrity, value, or brilliance of your stone, excessive use can make the finish on white gold wear a little faster.
Just to be safe, to help extend the shine and luster of white gold, avoid applying hand sanitizer directly onto your ring. When possible, remove your ring, apply hand sanitizer, let it dry and then put your ring back on.
The Basics of Good Ring Care
By adding a few precautions and maintenance habits now, you can make sure your engagement ring and other favorite jewelry shines for years to come. Follow these easy tips to keep your pieces as dazzling as the day you first put them on!
Say no to harsh chemical residue.
The first step to keeping beautiful jewelry is to avoid damaging it. Chemicals from everyday products ( like the ones in perfume, sunscreen, and lotion) can add residue to gold and gemstones, which can cause potential damage. Make it a habit to remove your jewelry before applying products that may be made with harmful chemicals.
Clean your well-loved pieces at home.
Regularly wash your engagement ring and other commonly-worn pieces at home by soaking it in a mixture of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid for roughly 30 minutes before gently scrubbing them with a soft bristle toothbrush.
You can also clean metals and precious stones with baking soda with its mild, non-abrasive consistency that makes it perfect for cleaning . Simply pour a bit of baking soda into a bowl and mix it with a bit of warm water to create a soft paste. Take off your ring and use your fingers to gently rub the paste around the stone, the setting, and the ring. Rinse the ring in warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth.
Create a go-to safe spot.
Whether you put your jewelry off and on throughout the day, or if you only remove it when you really must, it's a good idea to have a designated spot for your engagement ring and other daily pieces. Whether you choose a specific area in your jewelry box, or a special place on your dresser, having a go-to location will cut down on the chances of forgetting where you put it.
Give special care to white gold and platinum.
No matter what care you give your jewelry, every white gold ring will start to dull and a yellow hue will start to shine through. This is natural and unavoidable, but the gold’s original sheen can be easily restored through a process called Rhodium plating.
While platinum rings do not need Rhodium treatments as platinum does not originally start off as yellow, those who want a shinier look to their platinum engagement ring can opt to have their platinum band plated for more shine.
Use an alternative ring.
Some women are choosing to rely on a “backup ring” to supplement their engagement ring. This ring is an alternate to your engagement ring that is often more casual and of lesser value that can be worn without worry of it getting lost or damaged. When you don't want to put your engagement ring at risk (think when working with your hands or heading out for a trip to the beach, for example), leave the real ring in a safe place and opt for one of lesser value.
As with any considerable investment, it's wise to consider getting insurance for your engagement ring. While it might be emotionally difficult to ever have to replace your engagement ring, knowing you wouldn't have the financial upset if you ever did lose it can be more than worth it.
Bring it to a professional.
Our jewelers are happy to give your jewelry a thorough, professional cleaning. We clean your jewelry and examine it under magnification to make sure everything is secure and no maintenance is needed. It is a good idea to have your ring and other commonly-worn jewelry professionally cleaned twice a year to maintain the structural integrity and keep it as dazzling as the first day.
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