We all love a new beautiful piece of jewellery, however to keep the exquisite shine throughout its lifetime regular care is required. Through following the steps outlined below you will prevent potential damage whilst also ensuring your ring is always displayed at its best. In addition to maintaining the sparkle you are also protecting against long-term costs such as stone replacement or metal repair, allowing your ring to be treasured and passed on for generations to come.
1: Ensure you store your rings correctly, this includes keeping each piece secured separately in a safe dry place. By separating jewellery you are preventing tarnishing and scratching from occurring. This is especially important when you have multiple pieces of diamond jewellery, as diamonds are the only thing strong enough to scratch another diamond.
2: When picking up your ring ensure it is by the band and not the stone. This not only helps prevent the setting from becoming loose, but also prevents oils from your skin decreasing the overall visible clarity of the stone.
3: Putting on jewellery should be the last part of your routine when getting ready. This ensures that your perfumes and moisturisers have time to soak into your skin, preventing damage to the surface whilst also avoiding your ring catching on clothing.
4: Wear your ring appropriately, always take it off for activities such as cleaning to avoid contact with chemicals that can potentially be harmful. Outdoor activities such as gardening and sports also put your jewellery at risk of becoming damaged or dirty. Finally, wearing your ring overnight puts it at risk, ensure you follow section 1 before going to bed to best protect your ring for the future.
5: Inspect your rings regularly, checking for any signs of wear. This should include checking the settings & prongs, if they appear loose this could potentially lead to the loss of stones and will need to be rectified by a jeweller.
6: Although many options of ring cleaning are proposed on the internet, the simplest and safest way as recommended by the GIA is to use a few drops of non-phosphate washing up liquid mixed with a small bowl of plain or carbonated water, once or twice a week. Allow your jewellery to soak in the mixture for 5 minutes. This will help loosen any dirt, which you can then gently clean off with a soft clean toothbrush or cloth. Next rinse your ring in a clean small bowl of cold water, preventing the disaster of dropping your ring into the sink and potentially losing it. Finally dry your ring gently with a soft lint-free cloth, following the grain of the jewellery to prevent scratches.
7: Another at home option to help ensure your ring is kept free of dust and maintains its sparkle is an ultrasonic cleaner. The machines are affordable, with professional quality ultrasonic cleaners being available for £150 or less. Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves that travel through water mixed with cleaning solution to help dislodge dirt from hard to reach areas. Although they are an accessible form of cleaning, ultrasonic cleaners need to be used with caution. You need to be sure that the stones in your ring are not porous like pearls and amber, haven’t been repaired previously, coated with materials such a oils or wax seen with emeralds and opals, or heat treated like certain forms of sapphire and rubies. If you are unsure you can refer to the GIA’s guide on ultrasonic cleaners for further information here: http://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/gems-ultrasonic-cleaners/ , or contact your local jeweller for an inspection and further advice.
8: Although you can keep your ring clean yourself, ideally you should get your ring professionally cleaned each year. They will use a combination of professional grade ultrasonic cleaning equipment, steam cleaners and other methods to more effectively buff and polish metals to give them a long-term beautiful shine. If your ring is white gold, it should be plated with rhodium every 18 months to maintain its original glory.
9: Finally, to ensure your ring and its monetary investment are secure you can look at insuring your ring. Like home or car insurance, jewellery insurance covers against theft, damage and loss. Often an appraisal of your ring is required by the insurance companies to determine the appropriate value is placed on each piece. Ensure that you shop around to find the right cover for you and read through the fine print carefully.