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8 ways you could damage your engagement ring

To help you keep your engagement ring in perfect condition, we’ve revealed eight common ways you could be damaging it - without even realising.

Whilst many couples will be keen to showcase their new bling at every opportunity, an engagement ring can very easily be damaged if you don’t take proper care of it.

Although diamonds and precious stones are tough, they aren’t indestructible, and there are a number of everyday activities that could cause them to become chipped, scratched, or broken. This is not only upsetting, but could also be very expensive, where repair work could cost anywhere between £30 to £350.

To help you keep your engagement ring in perfect condition, we’ve revealed eight common ways you could be damaging it without even realising.

1. You wear it when you apply hand sanitiser

Over the last couple of years, hand sanitiser has become a staple item applied multiple times a day. However, did you know that excessive exposure to hand sanitiser could be making your stones lose their sparkle? Frequent contact with antibacterial ingredients can break down the brilliance of metals and gems over time, whilst making the finish on white gold wear a little faster.

In addition, the frequent application of hand sanitiser can also destroy the setting - loosening the prongs that hold diamonds in place. Although this damage will be gradual, our expert jewellers suggest removing your ring when applying any antibacterial solution and waiting until it’s completely dried on the skin before placing it back on your finger.

2. You wear it when you do the cleaning

If you don’t wear rubber gloves when you do your household cleaning, you might want to take your engagement ring off, as there’s a high chance it will be damaged by harsh cleaning products.

Bleach and common abrasive cleaners can eat away at the metal and also damage weaker stones such as topaz, aquamarine, and amethyst.

Even washing the dishes can cause potential damage to your ring. For instance, when you're scrubbing a pot with a rough sponge or pad, you're risking scratches, and if your ring is a little loose, it could slip off and fall into the sink. We say take it off, just to be safe.

3. You exercise with it on

If you’re planning on hitting the gym, lock your ring in the changing rooms, otherwise it won’t just be the treadmill making you sweat.

Building muscle in the weights room is a popular choice for many, but it’s also a high danger zone for diamonds, so keep them out if you can.

This is because the pressure of the weight's bars could bend the band of your ring whilst in your grip. Weightlifting is especially bad for a pavé band as the smaller stones can fall out of their setting.

If you prefer to skip the gym and head straight to the pool, unfortunately, swimming can also prove to be destructive to your diamonds. Just like hand sanitizer, the chlorine in swimming pools can cause discoloration to your band and stone. Swimming can also greatly affect your body temperature, causing your finger to shrink in size, meaning your ring could easily slip of in the water.

4. You use common hacks to clean it

“How to clean an engagement ring?” is becoming an increasingly popular question posed to Google.

However, when it comes to precious stones, there’s a lot of confusion about how they should be cleaned. Whilst celebrity cleaning star, Mrs Hinch, frequently shares miracle tips for cleaning jewellery using baking soda, white vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda, this method should only be applied to silver jewellery and never on diamonds, precious stones, gold, or platinum.

5. You wear it on the beach

Whilst the beach is a proposal hotspot for many couples, it’s not the safest place to wear your new engagement ring as sand can cause major damage. Often subconsciously, small grains can get wedged in the setting of your ring, which can loosen the prongs and make your rock susceptible to falling out.

Alongside this, if you're using sun lotion, the product can build up on your diamond, making it look grimy and dull.

6. You leave it on when you shower

We know showering will keep our skin clean, but did you know it could actually make your engagement ring look dirty? Scented soaps, shampoos, and conditioners can cause cloudy build-up on your stone, or worse, under your stone, which is much harder to clean. Although showering with your ring once or twice is unlikely to do any harm, long-term exposure to these products could cost you a lot of money in the long-term.

If you are you planning to apply body lotion or moisturiser after your shower, don’t immediately put your ring back on, as these thick lotions can also dull the stones and metal, making them look worn and dirty.

7. You wear it during sleep

Although diamonds score a solid 10 on the Mohs scale, making them the strongest stone overall, it must be remembered that other gemstones can be fragile, so you must take extra caution when you wear them.

Softer stones including opal and pearl aren’t usually recommended for engagement rings, however many people still opt for them due to their beauty and romantic symbolism.

If you do have a fragile stone in your engagement ring, you should probably avoid wearing it when you go to bed.

8. You clap your hands a lot

Believe it or not, clapping your hands too much can destroy your engagement ring. Although you might be clapping in excitement, if you wear rings on each hand, they’ll collide when your hands meet, consequently making the metal brittle, which increases the risk of a stone coming loose or falling out.

In 2017, Nicole Kidman was mocked for ‘seal clapping’ at the Oscars, after being snapped clapping with just her palms and keeping her fingers bent backwards.

When interviewed on her unusual technique, Kidman admitted it was to protect her jewels. In the interview, she said: "It was really difficult because I had a huge ring on that was not my own, but it was absolutely gorgeous and I was terrified of damaging it."


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