FOREVER HAS A NICE RING TO IT
Standing as a symbolic representation of the connection with your partner, much like your relationship, your ring is also meant to withstand the tests of time and may, on occasion, require a little bit of maintenance to ensure it continues to shine as brightly as ever. Here, Emma Warner Allen discusses the best ways to maintain and care for your rings with Cameron Beever, owner of Ringwood Jewellers.
While most are equipped with a basic knowledge of jewellery care, for something as significant as your engagement ring or wedding band – which is meant to last the ages – it is important that you receive the best advice to ensure your rings remain in tip-top condition. Whether it’s knowing the warning signs to keep an eye out for, the best non-abrasive cleaning method or even how often you should get your ring serviced, for any betrothed individuals, having a sound understanding of these principles is essential to ensure your rings shine as bright as the day you got them.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Whether it’s washing your car or doing the dishes, the importance of cleanliness cannot be overlooked. Over time, your ring’s brilliant gleam will fade, adopting a somewhat duller appearance. Brightening your ring’s look is simple and will breathe new life into any tired-looking jewellery. But, as the saying goes, some things are best left to the professionals. “The best way to clean your jewellery is to come in store and have a fresh clean while you wait,” Beever notes. For those not afforded the luxury of getting a professional clean, the jewellery professional notes that lukewarm water with a drop of dishwashing liquid and a soft bristled toothbrush should do the trick. Though he cautions couples to “be very careful and not rough as this may dislodge the diamonds or gemstones”, potentially causing you more trouble in the long run.
Certain metals such as silver are notorious for tarnishing over time, morphing from a bright and iridescent metal to one that is dull and darkened. When not in use, “There are anti-tarnish cloths that you can wrap your silver jewellery in, but I find it best to keep them clean with a silver polishing cloth or some silver dip,” the professional advises. Also suffering a similar fate to silver, “White gold has a rhodium plating which makes the white gold look bright white. This does wear off over time depending on wear and will need to be repolished and reapplied every year or two,” Beever warns. Each metal will have a unique ‘best approach’ to cleaning it, which is why it is always best to seek the help of a professional jeweller. Confirming this, Beever notes: “Depending on the item, they can be damaged if not cleaned the right way. For example, if you have an opal doublet or triplet, trying to clean this in water will damage it.”
KEEPING UP WITH THE UPKEEP
While cleaning is an excellent way to restore your jewellery to its former glory, better yet, try to prevent any wear and tear from occurring initially. While cleaning products are excellent for cleaning your home, they can be damaging to your delicate rings, so be sure to remove your rings before using any harsh chemicals. Similarly, be sure to remove them when doing any rigorous activities where they could be knocked about – including gardening. “Don’t wear your rings when gardening. The amount of times we’ve had gems lost in gardens is countless!” Beever affirms.
To make sure that your rings remain in the best condition, be sure to get a jeweller to examine them regularly; if not every six months, then at least annually. Ringwood Jewellers encourages its clients to swing by the shop whenever is convenient. “I advise my clients that if they are in the centre shopping to come past and we will check the settings and give it a complimentary clean and polish,” the jeweller notes, meaning there’s really no reason not to!
While signs of wear and tear through the forms of scrapes and scratches are ones we are all familiar with, most of us may not be aware of the signs for more acute issues, such as what can be a disaster waiting to happen. Ensuring you examine your rings regularly and knowing what signs to look out for can save and prevent any accidents from happening. “If you notice the claws on your ring are sharp or catching, then it’s time to get them checked for a service. If you let it go and don’t get them repaired, you risk further damage and possibly losing your diamonds or gems,” Beever warns.
Thankfully, normal scratches on the metal can often be polished out. “Sometimes if there is a lot of damage or deep gash, or rings wearing thin, we may have to put a half shank in place, where we cut the worn and damaged band halfway and put a new band in place,” the expert explains. Dents on a gemstone, while rarer, can often be more troublesome and it will not be a ‘perfect fix’ to restore your ring to its former glory, as in this case, the gemstone will have to be recut. “You will lose some carat weight by the chip or damage will be no more and you’ll have a fresh gemstone,” Beever advises.
IF YOU GOT IT, PROTECT IT
As any savvy businessman would tell you, it’s important to protect your assets. For such a precious piece of jewellery that not only holds monetary value but also sentimental value, it’s important to ensure that if the worst should happen, you are covered. While most rings will be covered by a 12-month warranty on goods purchased, insurance was still a high recommendation from the jeweller, with jewellery insurance specialist, Q Report Jewellery one he ranks highly. Otherwise, if you opt to add it to your home contents insurance, “You must make sure it is it is covered for lost, damaged or stolen inside and outside of the home, and internationally when we can travel!”
Ultimately, to ensure your ring lasts just as long as your relationship – or perhaps even longer as an heirloom – it is best to befriend your jeweller and take your precious items for regular services, guaranteeing the best results and a brilliant shine.
Photography by Ada + Ivy Photography