Whether you've been engaged a few hours or a few days, you're probably still in awe of that dazzling diamond that's taken up residence on your ring finger. Chances are, your engagement ring is the most expensive piece of jewelry you've ever owned (and likely ever will!), so it's no surprise if you're feeling extra nervous flaunting it around town like the soon-to-be married gal that you are. You probably already know it requires more care than your costume jewelry, but how far should you go to ensure it's constantly protected and in tip-top, shiny shape? We asked leading ring specialists to share the five things you should do to that beautiful new ring as soon as possible after the proposal.
Ask your jeweler to provide a third party appraisal.
An appraisal will tell you all about the quality, retail value, and the materials used to make your ring, which will come in handy when you get your ring insured. "Always ensure that the appraisal has the full retail value of the ring listed," says Anubh Shah, CEO of Four Mine, an online jewelry retailer specializing in engagement rings. "This way, in case anything happens to your ring, you'll be able to replace it with a ring of equal value." The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can get the ring insured.
Get your ring insured.
It might seem crazy to dole out even more money after purchasing such an expensive item to insure that nothing happens to it. But, trust us, if anything does happen to your engagement ring, you'll be glad you were insured. "Because the engagement ring is something that you'll want to wear for a lifetime, and something that holds high monetary value, it's an item you should get insured," says Shah. "Insurers will typically cover loss and theft as well as mysterious disappearance." Just be sure to work with a reputable insurance provider that has reliable and transparent policies.
Have it sized to your liking.
When it comes to your engagement ring, size does matter! We're not talking about the carat size, but how the ring actually fits your finger. "When a ring is too large it will spin, which increases the chances of damage, including chipped stones or stone loss, bent prongs and dents and dings to the band," explains Veronica Staudt, personal stylist specializing in jewelry and accessories and owner of Vintage Meet Modern. "A ring that fits properly will slide on easily, but will resist coming off. "Word of advice: If it takes 2-3 seconds to get it back over your knuckle, consider your ring a good fit.
Purchase a ring cleaner for at home.
Unfortunately, washing your hands won't do the trick of getting off all the dirt and grime that builds up on your ring over time. For this, you can buy a ring cleaning device for as little as $15-20. They come in a tiny jar that's made for the type of metal on your ring that you're looking to clean. If you don't have a ring cleaner, you can instead use dish detergent to make soapy water and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to get into all the tiny crevices. "Be careful not to use an abrasive soap, or one that is harsh or overly strong," warns Shah. "Also, ensure that the brush or cleaning cloth you use is not abrasive and won't scratch your metal."
Get a jewelry box or ring dish for storage.
Regardless of what type of box you choose for storing your ring, make sure it's safe and that you use it consistently. There's nothing worse than taking off your ring only to panic later when you forget where you put it. "Traditional crystal and porcelain ring dishes are pretty and practical and can be found at common places where one would register for wedding gifts," says Staudt. "Another popular place to store your ring is a jewelry box or even a box intended for your ring."