Your sparkler seems so sturdy. If it’s a diamond ring, the stone is one of the hardest substances on earth. And yet, fine jewellery can be more fragile than it seems.
Fortunately, when you understand the hidden ways your engagement ring could be damaged, you can develop habits that stop the harm before it starts. Keep these ten potential problems in mind so you can avoid them.
1. Chemical Contamination Causing Ring Damage
Think back to chemistry class and the interactions you explored between different elements. Your ring is probably made up of several precious metals, and each of those metals is susceptible to certain chemical compounds.
Harsh cleaning solutions can react negatively with precious metals, leaving them cloudy and dull. To avoid this problem, remove your ring while you scour and scrub, or wear gloves to protect it.
2. Lotions and Creams and Your Engagement Ring
Thick lotions and creams leave a residue on your ring and find their way into every nook and cranny. Not only do these substances make your ring appear dirty, but they can also discolour it permanently. This is especially important for engagement rings that contain coloured gemstones or have white gold or platinum bands.
3. Loose Prongs
Most diamond rings use a prong-based mount, and the number of prongs varies depending on the jeweller’s design aesthetic. Essentially, the diamond is held securely by bent pieces of metal that grip onto the diamond’s girdle.
It’s not always easy to tell if your prongs are wearing out, and this is a significant problem as diamonds can slip out and go missing without warning. You can check for loose prongs by gently tapping on the stone with your fingernail. If you notice any movement or hear any unsettling sounds, take your ring to a trusted jeweller right away.
4. Dirt, Dust and Oils
Engagement rings go everywhere you go, so they pick up plenty of dust, oil and grime. Although you may not notice visible damage, these blights can cause damage over time. To avoid lasting consequences, clean your ring regularly. A gentle brush and clear water go a long way toward keeping your sparkler healthy and shiny.
5. Diminished Plating
White gold has been one of the most popular jewellery metals for the past two decades, but it doesn’t exist in nature. It’s actually yellow gold plated with rhodium. And over time, the rhodium plating can wear away, leaving an uneven surface in need of refreshing. Fortunately, replating an engagement ring is a quick fix that most jewellers can accomplish in very little time.
6. Setting Scrapes
We know a lady whose diamond quietly fell off its band, prongs and all. She searched and searched for the diamond (still in its setting), and she miraculously found it in her car a week later. Why would a setting fall apart like that? Over time, prongs sometimes become loose due to daily wear and tear. To preempt a tragedy, take your ring in for a jeweller’s inspection every year or so.
7. Scratches and Nicks
You see your ring so often that you might not realise how tiny scratches add up over time. A nick here, a scratch here. They don’t seem like much of a problem, but they can add up to a dull surface.
Many clients are gobsmacked when a jeweller polishes up a previously battered engagement ring. With a mirror-shiny surface, you can enjoy your sparkler’s beauty as if you’re seeing it for the first time.
8. Chipped Stones
If your engagement ring has a bezel setting, you probably don’t have to worry about chips. But most other settings leave at least part of the diamond’s edges vulnerable.
When you take your ring in for an inspection, ask the jeweller to look carefully at the stone’s edges. If it has sustained some damage, you might be able to alter the ring’s configuration to avoid further mishaps.
9. Sticky Beauty Products and Engagement Rings
Like harmful cleaning products (See #1), beauty products like hair sprays and perfumes can stick to your ring and reduce its brilliance and shine. Hair spray is another culprit, and, unfortunately, our hands tend to end up right in its line of fire.
You can avoid damaging your ring with beauty products by making a habit of putting your ring on after you get ready for the day.
10. Loose Pavé Stones
Pavé means “pavement” in French, but in jewellery-speak, pavé refers to how the diamonds are set. When you see several tiny diamonds nestled closely together, you’re looking at a pavé setting. It’s gorgeous, providing continuous sparkle. If your ring features these little stones, check them regularly. Sometimes, people lose one of these tiny diamonds without realising it. If this happens to you, return to your jeweller right away for a replacement, so the other stones aren’t affected by the new gap.
Protect Your Engagement Ring with JewelCover Insurance
By establishing good habits, you can avoid many of these hidden dangers for your engagement ring. And for the ultimate peace of mind, protect your treasured ring with JewelCover insurance. No theft, loss or damage can keep you from fully restoring your engagement ring with our specialised jewellery insurance. Get a free online quote today, or give us a call!