Jewellery Guides

10 Things Not To Do While Wearing An Engagement Ring

Written by
Laura Suttie (DGA - Design Consultant & Gemmologist)

With two decades in jewellery retail, including a seven-year tenure as a cruise ship onboard jeweller and a DGA qualification, Laura brings a wealth of experience to the craft and excels in creating personal connections with clients.

November 20th, 2023 • 8 min read

Do you wear your engagement ring every day? Wearing it feels like an extension of you, so taking it off may feel like an odd thing to do. Despite your ring being resistant to knocks, bumps and day-to-day activities, it's important to recognise that certain activities can pose risks to both the appearance and safety of your ring.

Even though it might seem unusual to remove a piece of jewellery that's become an integral part of your daily routine, being mindful of the situations where it's prudent to take it off is essential. Remember, a little precaution goes a long way in maintaining the glimmer and charm of your engagement ring.

We’ll explore 10 things you should never do while wearing your engagement ring to ensure it remains exquisite and pristine for years to come.

10 things not to do when wearing an engagement ring

An engagement ring is more than just a beautiful piece of jewellery—it symbolises a commitment and a promise of a lifetime together. It's essential to treat your engagement ring with care to preserve its beauty and sentimental value.

1. Clapping your hands

It may sound unlikely, but one of the most common causes of damage to engagement rings we see at Queensmith is from the wearer clapping their hands.

Hitting the metal, particularly if you have rings on the other hand, can cause it to warp. Warping is when the ring metal becomes bent or is twisted out of its original shape when it's subjected to too much force, like clapping your hands while wearing multiple rings. This can lead to problems like a misshapen ring, loose gemstones, and discomfort when wearing the ring.

2. Washing your hands and moisturising

Should you take rings off when washing hands? It depends.

Most soap will actually cut through the oils on the diamond's surface and help it sparkle more, but it could be a good idea to remove the ring if using anything slightly oily to wash your hands, or using lotion directly after.

We definitely recommend removing your ring if using an exfoliator or exfoliating wash, as rubbing this into the ring could scratch the metal and some 'softer' gemstones, like emeralds.

Also, if you're washing your hands vigorously, there's a chance your ring could slip off—and nobody wants their ring to fall down the sink!

Be mindful of where you're washing your hands and what with, and decide whether it's safer to wear your ring or not.

3. Exercising

When going to the gym or doing any low to high-impact sport of any kind, taking off your ring is recommended to protect it from unexpected damage.

While your diamond can withstand pressure, weight machines, dumbbells, or any kind of pressure can warp the metal. Diamonds are the most durable substance on earth, but the metal that secures them in place is not indestructible. If a ring is warped, the diamond or gemstone can become loose and it could fall out without you noticing.

If your engagement ring is set with a gemstone like a sapphire, emerald or ruby, you’ll need to take extra caution. These gemstones are much less durable, so could crack with impact or pressure.

4. Swimming

Taking a dip in the pool or ocean is a refreshing and enjoyable activity, but if you're wearing your engagement ring, you may want to reconsider.

Swimming, particularly in chlorinated pools or salt water, is not the best choice when it comes to keeping your sparkling engagement ring in its best condition. Chlorine and salt can be harsh on the metals and gemstones in your ring, potentially causing them to corrode or lose their shine over time.

Also, cold water can cause your fingers to shrink, increasing the risk of the ring slipping off and getting lost. It's better to leave your precious ring in a safe place before taking the plunge into the water to ensure its longevity and beauty.

Our fingers usually get smaller in water, so to avoid your ring slipping off, keep it somewhere safe while you swim.

5. Cleaning

Cleaning products are very harsh on the skin and reactive with metals. Try not to clean the dishes or the oven with your engagement ring on, especially when oven cleaning solutions are well-known for their strong and harsh properties.

If cleaning spray comes into contact with your engagement ring, it could cause significant damage. Simply putting on gloves isn't enough to protect it, as some cleaning agents can still harm rings through barriers.

6. Gardening

Wearing your ring whilst gardening might not be advisable if you like to keep your ring sparkling at all times. Beyond the risk of losing the ring in the soil, dirt and debris can get lodged in your ring and settle in it.

Any claw setting, known for its delicacy and elevated display of the diamond, presents a susceptibility to this. Dirt can lodge itself in the crevices of the claws and settle beneath the diamond, ultimately diminishing its brilliance. The presence of dirt not only dulls the appearance of the diamond but can also affect the overall aesthetics of the entire ring.

We recommend removing your ring before any gardening activity that could expose it to potential damage through force and accumulate any dirt. But remember - a little dirt is easy enough to clean away.

7. Taking it off in public

Washing your hands in a public restroom is a must, but try not to take off your engagement ring while you're scrubbing your hands. The chance of accidentally leaving it on the sink, or it getting stolen or slipping down the drain is just too risky.

When going on holiday you may want to opt for a safety ring, which is worn for safety or practical purposes rather than for aesthetic reasons, which is an easy solution to save you the worry.

8. Cooking and baking

There are numerous reasons why it's a good idea to remove your engagement ring while cooking. Firstly, nobody wants bacteria from fresh meat or fish on their diamond.

In the kitchen, when kneading dough or preparing cake and cookie mixes, residue from making your sweet or savoury treats can get caught under the stone.

It's best to keep your ring safely stored away when you're cooking unless you're simply popping your favourite pizza in the oven or pouring yourself a drink.

If you do get some food or cooking oils on your ring, it is typically easy enough to wash these off with hot water, washing up liquid and a soft-bristled tooth brush.

Cook oils may cause your diamond to look dull, but they are easy to wash off with liquid soap and hot water.

9. Sleeping with your ring on

If you tend to rest on your hands, there's a chance the pressure from your body weight could distort the band, potentially causing stones to come loose. While sleeping with your engagement ring on means you can't misplace it, it may not be worth the risk of damage.

Some people also find their fingers swell during the night due to heat or from the pressure of lying on their hands; which can cause discomfort.

As a general rule, your ring should be the first thing you take off at night and the last thing you put on in the morning, after moisturising or putting on makeup.

10. When doing your beauty regime

While indulging in your beauty routine, using hairspray, hair products, and other grooming essentials, it's advisable to remove your engagement ring. The various products we use for hair styling, such as hairspray and hair gel, can leave residue that sticks to the ring, diminishing its shine and overall look.

Loose powders from foundations, eye shadows, and blushes can build up on the surfaces of the stones in diamond rings, causing them to lose their shine quickly. Liquid foundations and other liquid-based makeup can also get trapped in the settings and intricate details of diamond wedding rings, resulting in unpleasant residue build-up.

This is easy enough to wash off, but do you really want to clean your ring everyday?

What happens if I dirty my ring with make-up or beauty products?

If you get your ring dirty, remember it isn't the end of the world. You can quickly and easily get the shine back with hot water, washing up liquid and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

While skincare and makeup shouldn't cause lasting damage, they can make your diamond look dirty and clog crevices in the metalwork.

Put precautions in place for peace of mind

We’ve walked you through what not to do with your engagement ring from not using it when baking to when you go to bed, but let’s face it, it’s not always easy or even possible to follow this advice.

No one is perfect when it comes to looking after an engagement ring, but there are some precautions you can put in place to help keep it in the best condition.

Make sure your engagement ring is insured

You may already have insurance for your ring, but it's crucial to double-check and ensure that your valuable piece of jewellery is adequately protected. Having insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that you're financially covered in case of loss, damage, or theft.

Get your ring professionally cleaned

It’s recommended to have your ring professionally cleaned twice a year. This not only keeps your ring looking its best but also allows professionals to inspect the settings and prongs for any signs of wear or potential issues. Timely detection of such concerns can prevent future problems and help preserve the structural integrity of your ring.

Find a safe place for your ring at home

Lastly, designating a safe spot for your ring when you need to remove it, like a jewellery box or a safe in your home, is a simple yet effective measure to avoid misplacement or accidental damage. Taking these precautions ensures that your engagement ring is secure and in its best condition at all times.

Complementary jewellery aftercare with Queensmith

At Queensmith, we are dedicated to delivering ethically-made jewellery and diamond sourcing to provide you with your ideal jewellery pieces in mind.

Any piece of jewellery purchased from Queensmith is entitled to a lifetime of free cleaning and polishing services. We recommend cleaning your jewellery at home as often as needed, and booking a professional polish every 3 to 5 years.

Explore our collection of exquisite lab grown engagement rings and diamond jewellery at Queensmith. Or visit our Hatton Garden showroom to speak to our knowledgeable designers and advisors about our bespoke ring-making process.

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