When to Take Off Your Engagement Ring
When Meghan Markle was photographed without her engagement ring recently, rumors swirled that she and Prince Harry were having troubles. Turns out her ring was being repaired, of course, but it got us thinking. Does everyone assume that engagement rings should never again leave your finger after you say yes? We know that once you say “I do,” your rings feel like they are an inextricable part of you. But while diamond engagement rings and lab grown diamond engagement rings are equally durable and long lasting, they aren’t indestructible. And the precious metal that holds then isn’t either. There are plenty of occasions when taking off your diamond rings is a good idea. You want to make sure that you protect them from damage and make sure your diamond stays secure in its setting. Here are the top times and places where you should absolutely remove your engagement ring and wedding bands.
When You're Working Out
When you head to the gym, you should leave your rings at home. When you lift weights, use workout equipment, hold a racquet or dribble a basketball you can bend ring bands which can loosen prongs and lead to stones falling out. This is especially risky for eternity bands where the stones go all the way around your finger. Basically, if what you are doing includes pressure or impact on your hand or a tight grip, it’s better not to wear your rings. Hands on means rings off. If you head to the gym from work or someplace else where you wear your rings, you might not want to leave them in a locker or bag. You can wear them around your neck on a chain or keep them in a zippered pocket. Simone Biles, who spends more time in the gym than most people, wears a silicone band when practicing and performing rather than her engagement ring and wedding band.
When You're Cleaning Up
Cleaning is another hands-on activity that can be risky for your rings. Here the danger isn’t physical but chemical. Some household cleaning products have ingredients that can react with the metals in jewelry. Gold is very resistant to chemicals but the alloys that make it stronger contain other metals that, over time, can react to cleaning chemicals like chlorine and bleach, which can weaken your rings. It’s better to take them off and keep them shining for generations.
When You're Going for a Dip
Swimming pools and hot tubs are another place where your rings can be exposed to chlorine, which can interact with the metals that are mixed with the gold in your ring. That can weaken the setting and loosen prongs, making your diamonds less secure. And swimming has another danger: the cold of the water can make your ring finger a bit smaller so that rings slip off. This is especially dangerous at the beach, where it may be impossible to find a ring that slips off in the surf. And the sand at the beach can wear away the metal of your ring too. Sand mixed with sunscreen makes an abrasive paste that polishes away the metal in your rings.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Winter can be challenging for your rings too. Your engagement ring might catch on your gloves, especially knit gloves. This can pull prongs out of place leaving your diamond loose in its setting and in danger of falling out. Like gym equipment, shovels can band the metal of the band. (Gardening gloves and shovels have the same issues. ) Ice-melting chemicals might interact with the metal in your ring also. During winter sports, the cold can shrink your fingers a bit, leaving rings loose and in danger of slipping off.
When Taking Care of Your Skin
Nothing you put on your skin will harm your diamond rings. But they may dull your jewelry’s sparkle. That’s because diamonds, whether mined or lab-grown, are oleophilic: they attract oils. That means that moisturizer, lotions, foundation, and anything else that contains oil will easily form a film on your gem, making it look cloudy and reducing its sparkle. That’s why experts recommend putting your jewelry on last in the morning and taking it off first at night. Consider buying a ring dish or stand for your bathroom to make sure you have a safe place to put your jewelry when getting ready. If you do get a film of oil on your engagement ring, gently rinsing it in a bowl of warm water with a drop of dishwashing liquid. Let it air dry on a soft lint free cloth.
When You Go to Sleep
Last, but not least, take off your reings when you go to sleep. As you move around during the night, you might not realize that your ring has snagged on something. It’s possible for the prongs to catch on the threads of blankets or throws. Like sweaters, gloves and scarves, a loose thread pulling on a prong loosens it, so it will catch more easily the next time. This can happen again and again over the years until a stone falls out. Check your rings occasionally by tapping on every gem to make sure that they don’t move at all.
With a little bit of care, your gorgeous engagement ring will stay just as beautiful as the day you said "Yes!" All you have to do is take it off when you need to to keep it safe and secure.