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How to Care for Your Engagement Ring and Wedding Band

Engagement rings and wedding bands are beautiful symbols of love and commitment that hold deep sentimental value and choosing the ideal wedding band and engagement ring is such an exciting and meaningful part of getting married. From the classic elegance of single diamond engagement rings to the unique allure of coloured gemstone rings, there are endless options to choose from.

But its not just about choosing the perfect ring; it’s also about taking care of it to ensure it looks incredible for years to come. In this guide, we’ll explore the differences between engagement and wedding rings, the “correct” way to wear your wedding band and engagement ring and practical tips on how to clean and maintain your rings to keep them looking good as new.

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Bands

An engagement ring is most often given upon the occasion of a proposal or soon after the couple has decided to become engaged. Engagement rings can come in a variety of styles though typically, they will have one dominant stone which either stands alone or is surrounded by smaller stones. They represent the promise of a future marriage and should be worn on your left hand all throughout your engagement until the day of the wedding, where it will be removed for the wedding ceremony and then added back alongside the wedding band.

A wedding ring or wedding band is usually exchanged at the wedding ceremony as the official symbol of the union of marriage. By contrast, a wedding ring is simpler in design than an engagement ring and is usually a plain metal band or a diamond encrusted eternity band. Ancient cultures believed that a circle represented infinity and the feeling of being whole. It was also used to indicate that something was sacred and so they became the ultimate symbol of love.

Do You Need Both an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Band?

Whether you choose to have both an engagement ring and a wedding ring ultimately comes down to personal preference. While tradition says you should have both, there’s no stopping you from only having one or the other if you prefer. Having just one ring also avoids the hassle of having to choose rings that match. Plus, if you’re budgeting for your dream wedding or a luxurious honeymoon, you might decide that one of the two rings is less of a priority to you.

How to Wear Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

In western culture, engagement rings are typically worn on the 4th finger of the left hand. After getting married, the wedding ring should sit on the same finger first, and then the engagement ring second. You can of course turn tradition on its head and play around with various styles to come up with your ideal engagement ring and wedding band order, so it has its own symbolism for you or simply because the shape, size and style of your rings work better worn another way.

While wearing both rings offers a timeless, eye-catching combination that shows off the sparkle of the rings perfectly, many individuals choose to wear either just the engagement ring or just the band. This could be due to many reasons, though often some people may simply feel more comfortable just wearing one ring, especially if they have a physically demanding job that could damage the protruding stone of the engagement ring.

How to Clean Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

Engagement rings and wedding bands are important pieces of jewellery which is why knowing how to clean them is so important. You’ve spent months, or perhaps even years, dreaming about your perfect ring, so cleaning engagement rings and wedding rings should be something you regularly prioritise to ensure it looks incredible for years to come. If you’re unsure on where to start when it comes to how to clean engagement rings and wedding rings, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few tips on how to properly care for your engagement ring and wedding band:

1.       Engagement ring insurance

An engagement ring and wedding ring is an investment for a lifetime, and many couples choose to protect their investment by securing insurance that covers the full value of each ring. Although this would not replace the sentiment of a ring should it be lost, it can at least give some assurance that if either ring becomes damaged, lost or stolen that it can be re-designed to match its original form, at minimal expense to yourself.

2.       Clean regularly – at home and professionally

To lightly clean an engagement ring or wedding ring at home, place the ring in a bowl of warm soapy water and gently scrub it using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Always remember to dry your ring with a lint free cloth to prevent any fibres from causing damage. We would also recommend having the ring professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Some rings that contain metal and stones such as diamond, ruby and sapphire are ok to be cleaned at home, in contrast, rings made of pearl and other lustrous materials should only be cleaned by professionals as even the lightest chemicals can damage the sheen.

3.       Steer clear of harsh chemicals

Avoid using bleach and other abrasive chemicals when cleaning engagement rings as you could damage the metal and your ring’s finish. If you’re not confident in cleaning the ring yourself, take it into a jeweller, it will only take a few minutes for them to clean your rings and you’ll love the results.

4.       Avoid touching the centre stone

When you are removing your ring or placing it back on your finger, try to hold onto the band of the ring itself rather than gripping the stones set into the ring. This is because oils in your skin and pressure from holding the stones can loosen the stones over time by causing the prongs to loosen or bend, resulting in the stones breaking free from the ring.

5.       Know when to remove your ring

Occasionally removing your engagement ring and wedding band is necessary, so it’s good to know exactly when to take them off. You should take your rings off before a shower since they will be exposed to products that can damage them over time, during cardio activities or at the gym as you risk bending the bands, before going in a pool or hot tub and at the beach as you risk losing them.

6.       Routinely check the ring’s prongs and setting

Everyday wear can cause your engagement ring’s prongs to loosen or bend. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have your engagement ring checked every six months for potential damage. You can check if a prong is loose by seeing if the stone moves when you gently push it, alternatively, gaps between the diamond and setting are another warning sign. Thankfully, almost every jeweller will ensure the prongs on your ring are securely holding your diamond for free, even if you didn’t buy your ring from them.

7.       Keep ring dishes around the house

It’s a fantastic idea to place little dishes around the house to store your rings should you need to take them off. For example, placing a ring dish next to your sink in the kitchen or bathroom will come in handy. Once you get in the habit of using these you should have peace of mind that your rings are safe as it removes the problem of misplacing them.

8.       Carry a ring box with you on holidays and trips

If you’re not wearing your wedding band and engagement ring every day, be sure to have a safe spot for them. It’s a good idea to purchase a box to store your rings in when you’re out and about, and choose a fabric-lined jewellery box with dividers, so your rings wont rub against your other jewellery.

The bottom line is that taking proper care of your precious wedding band and engagement ring will increase their lifespan and preserve their beauty. When it comes to caring for your rings, regular cleaning and having the setting checked for stability twice a year is key. Keeping ring dishes around the house and carrying a ring box with you when travelling is also good practice.


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