Has your wedding ring been scratched or tarnished? Perhaps your favorite vintage ring has a broken prong or worst of all, your engagement ring lost one of its diamonds. Any of these scenarios can happen over the lifetime of a ring so it’s important to act quickly when you notice something amiss with your best, and possibly most valuable, accessory. We’ve listed our best practices for ring storage, maintenance and cleaning to try to help you sidestep jewelry repairs.
Avoid Jewelry Repairs With Proper Ring Maintenance
- APPROPRIATE RING STORAGEHaving your jewels out in open air or scattered throughout places in your home increases the risk of losing rings or having them scratched or broken. Taking the time to carefully, and sometimes separately, store your rings can make quite a difference in the appearance and life of your jewelry. When you buy an expensive dress you don’t just bring it home and throw it in a drawer somewhere, right? You take the time to store it properly and the same goes with ring storage. We suggest finding well made jewelry boxes or jewelry drawers that have a soft interior with specific spaces for rings. Depending on how extensive your collection is, it might be best to designate a separate jewelry box or drawer just for your rings. This will help to avoid tangling with bracelets or necklaces which can lead to scratches on the band or gemstones. Also, make sure the jewelry drawer or box is not near heat (eg. not in direct sunlight or near a heating vent or radiator) as this can cause damage to certain gemstones or cause oxidation to occur more quickly. Some metals, like silver, tarnish easily so store them in the same spot and use anti-tarnish strips or cloth to help preserve the ring setting. One last helpful hint of ring storage, because it is vacation season, if you plan to take some of your rings on a trip be sure to secure them in small plastic bags or soft pouches. Never leave rings or any valuable jewelry in your luggage! If you are staying at a hotel, utilize the room safe or the front desk safe and it’s always a good idea to have photos of all your rings in an insurance folder in case of loss or theft.
- RING MAINTENANCE AT HOMEWhile rings should be properly cleaned by a professional jeweler every so often, there are some ring cleaning methods that are safe to do at home. Using a non-metallic, soft brush and warm, soapy water you can gently scrub away oil and dirt from diamonds and most gemstones with the exception of pearls, emeralds and stones that have undergone diffusion. Pearl rings are too delicate and can be washed with water but should not be brushed at all. Emerald rings can lose their luster if brushed too hard because the natural oil of the emerald is stripped away and some gemstones are treated with a process called diffusion and may appear lighter if cleaned at home. Always take into account the type of metal in your ring setting as you go to clean them. Gold is a very soft metal so use an extremely soft brush or don’t brush the gold at all to avoid scratches. To add a nice shine you can finish by using a soft cloth to buff the ring once it is washed. If you have a micro-pave or channel ring setting then brushing or wiping may not be a good idea at all. Due to the intricacy and design of channel set and micro-pave rings you could risk loosening a tiny stone. Always be careful as you clean your rings and don’t do it around sinks as they could go down the drain! If you are unsure whether to clean a ring or not, error on the side of caution and bring it to a professional jeweler.
- SCHEDULE PROFESSIONAL RING CLEANINGIt is a good preventative measure to have your jewelry cleaned every year or so because a jeweler’s professional eye might catch something you hadn’t noticed. Under magnification there may be signs of wear on the prongs or the ring setting may show signs of breakdown. Catching these issues before a valuable stone is lost can save you heartache and money in the long run. Plus, the actual cleaning helps in more ways than making your jewelry sparkle. Over time, elements like oil from our skin and dust from our Arizona weather can begin to eat away at beloved ring settings and stones so regular deep cleanings keep those erosive materials at bay. Some jewelers even offer specials on ring cleanings so take advantage and have a happy reason to visit your local jeweler instead of a broken ring or lost gemstone that is sure to cost more than a cleaning visit!
Hopefully you can avoid any ring mishaps by following these helpful hints but for those occasions that you do need professional jewelry repairs or cleaning, don’t hesitate to visit our Gilbert showroom.