We all know winter is harsh on your skin, but did you know it's also harsh on your jewelry? To help you avoid damaging your new bridal bling this season, we asked an industry expert to detail the ways you're doing just that over the winter. Here, Jerry Ehrenwald of the International Gemological Institute explains four unexpected things that can ruin your engagement ring and wedding band, plus simple precautions that will ensure they look flawless for years to come.
Everyone wants their home to look its best when guests come to visit, but that bathroom scrub down and closet reorganization can be doing more harm than good—at least to your ring. According to Ehrenwald, women often damage their rings while doing a deep-clean of their homes in prep for the holiday season. To avoid any unfortunate accidents, he says to always remove your rings before cleaning, but especially when using chemicals and cleansers. "Harmful chemicals can damage a ring's integrity," he explains.
Winter weather brings cooler temperatures, which can cause your fingers to shrink and your rings to fit differently than they typically do in warmer months. Ehrenwald recommends doing a quick shake test to see if your ring feels a bit loose. If so, you'll want to be extra careful when removing gloves. If your ring is really loose, you may want to visit your jeweler to resize the band and prevent loss.
You may not notice a loose prong in your ring until it snags on your winter sweater or scarf, but it's best to avoid this issue altogether. Ehrenwald suggests having your ring checked regularly to keep any stones from knocking loose.
Whether you're skiing the slopes, going for a dip in the hot tub, snowboarding, or sledding, it's smart to remove your rings first. Ehrenwald warns, "An unexpected fall can lead to a chip in the stone and may loosen stones from their prongs."