Your engagement ring is one of the most valuable investments your future groom will make, so it’s extremely important that you care for it properly to ensure that the stone and metal retain their brilliance. Some hazards:
Bending and stretching bands
More and more couples are choosing platinum, gold or white gold settings for engagement rings. Platinum is pretty tough, so you won’t have to worry about the metal bending or stretching. However, gold and silver are much softer and more malleable. This makes these metals susceptible to bending or stretching. The main culprit: catching the ring in a sweater, blanket or carpet. If a prong grabs the fabric and you yank your hand away quickly, it can result in a misshaped band. Avoid this by being careful. If your ring does snag something, don’t pull away quickly.
Platinum rings are less likely to scratch because they’re extremely tough. Small scrapes or nicks can be repaired with polishing (which can be done by most jewelers).
The risk of losing a stone in a pronged setting depends on the way it’s constructed. Most prongs will loosen slightly over time. If you notice that one prong is loose, take it to a jeweler immediately. Once one comes loose, the others are likely to follow.
How to care for it
Harmful chemical substances, like hairspray or cleaning supplies, can damage the metal and decrease the ring’s brilliance. Avoid these at all costs and take off your ring if you’re using them.
To keep your ring shiny, have it professionally cleaned and checked for damage by a jeweler at least once a year. You can also maintain the luster by cleaning it at home with a jewelry cleaner — just make sure you read the directions carefully. Some jewelry cleaners can damage delicate stones like emeralds, opals and amethysts.