How to Protect Your Engagement Ring
Protect your diamond engagement ring from damage or loss by making the right buying decision and then keeping it like new for the rest of your life. Here are some tips on how to safeguard your treasured possession.
1. Before you buy, learn about diamond durability!
Diamonds are the hardest gemstones on earth – they rank 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness – but they can still suffer damage. Diamonds have clarity characteristics called blemishes and inclusions. Blemishes are confined to the diamond’s surface. Inclusions are internal characteristics either totally enclosed within a diamond or extending into the diamond from its surface.
2. Protect your diamond by choosing a secure setting.
A diamond in an engagement ring is often held in its mounting by prongs. A prong is a narrow metal support, typically used in groups of four to six. When it comes to protecting your diamond, a six-prong setting can offer more protection than a four-prong setting. In the event a prong breaks, a six-prong setting is more likely to hold the diamond in place. The two additional prongs might also provide a little extra protection for the girdle during daily wear.
Another choice that offers considerable protection is the bezel setting – a style in which a thin metal strip is pushed or hammered around a gem to hold it in place. A bezel setting helps prevent the center stone from falling out, and it protects the girdle against bumps, bangs and other accidents.
3. After you buy, get your diamond appraised and insured!
Many insurance companies will require an appraisal in order to determine your diamond engagement ring’s replacement value. An appraisal is an evaluation of diamonds or other jewelry, usually for insurance or estate purposes. Appraisals normally provide a detailed description of the pieces being appraised, including the exact measurements of the important gemstones, together with (for diamonds) their color and clarity grades, plots showing the location of inclusions or blemishes, and information on the properties and make. They then state an estimated value. Gem Source offers full, professional, appraisals on all pieces!
4. Protect your diamond with regular check-ups!
Gem Source offers free jewelry check up's and cleaning during any of our open store hours!
It’s a good idea to get the prongs in your engagement ring checked every six months for potential damage. If this seems too frequent for you, use your yearly wedding anniversary as a convenient reminder to get the prongs checked. Many insurance companies also require that the ring receive regular check-ups. Contact your carrier to find its requirements.
Tightening prongs is a routine task for a bench jeweler. You can check if a prong is loose by seeing if the stone moves when you gently push it (if it moves, it’s loose). Gaps between the diamond and the setting are another warning sign. Look at the ring with a 10× loupe to help see such gaps and spot damaged prongs.
5. Keep your diamond ring clean!
Dirt won’t break or chip your diamond, but it will dull its appearance. You can clean your diamond by using a lint-free cloth or washing it with warm water, mild soap and a soft toothbrush. Don’t use abrasive household cleaners, or steam cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners are safe for untreated diamonds; however, treated diamonds can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. You can briefly dip your diamond in a commercial jewelry cleaning solution.
It’s also a good idea to have your ring periodically cleaned by a professional jeweler.