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4 Ways You're Ruining Your Engagement Ring This Summer

Two jewelers share their tips for protecting your bridal bling from fading, discoloration, and deterioration.

Contributing Writer
Christine's engagement ring
Photography by: Laura Gordon Photography

Nothing beats relaxing in the sun on a warm summer day. But while you're lounging by the pool or walking in the park, your engagement ring might be getting seriously damaged. Here, two jewelers discuss how summer can ruin your ring, with helpful steps on preventing costly damage. 

 

Related: The Guide to Caring for Your Engagement and Wedding Rings

 

Exposure to Summer Heat

Thanks to their stability, diamonds aren't negatively impacted by the sun. But according to Ariel Alexandrou of Ken & Dana Design, certain types of metals and gemstones may fade or change color after prolonged exposure to sunlight and humidity. These include semi-precious stones like amethyst, citrine, topaz, and aquamarine. "Sometimes, gemstones are fracture-filled, meaning that they are injected with glass, wax, or oils to minimize the appearance of cracks and imperfections. These treatments can make the stone even more vulnerable to heat," says Alexandrou. Try limiting exposure to sunlight if you're ring may be affected by the sun, and ask your jeweler if you're unsure.

 

Applying Sunscreen

Although sunscreen is a summer essential for your skin, it does more harm than good for your ring. According to Kamni Verma of Designs by Kamni, sunscreen is water resistant and made to withstand chlorine, so it's naturally harsh on your bridal bling. "If sunscreen gets on the engagement ring, it basically adds a layer of film over the diamond, preventing it from sparkling and shining as it normally would," she says, "Sunscreen can also get dried up and stuck inside the ring (on the bottom of the diamond and in between the prongs), which doesn't allow the diamonds to sparkle to their maximum capacity." Don't skip sunscreen application, though. Instead, take off your engagement ring before applying lotion. If, however, you accidentally get sunscreen on your ring, try scrubbing it gently with a toothbrush, soap, and water.

 

Going Swimming

According to Alexandrou, chlorine won't damage diamonds, but it has negative effects on some semi-precious gemstones. They may fade or deteriorate from prolonged exposure to the chemical. In addition, chlorine can cause discoloration on the metal band of your ring. "White gold is plated with white rhodium in order to make it completely white," says Alexandrou. "This plating can wear away over time, causing the natural yellow tint of the gold to show through. Chemicals in chlorine can expedite this process."

 

Gardening

You may love growing flowers and veggies all summer long, but gardening can make your ring look worse for wear. According to Alexandrou, "While diamonds are the hardest of all stones, they still aren't indestructible. They can crack and be scratched if hit hard enough." A ring's metal could also be scratched while gardening, and if the gouge is too deep, it may be difficult to polish away. If you must garden while wearing your ring, don protective gloves.