Your engagement and wedding rings are a significant financial and emotional investment. Here's how to treat them with the respect they deserve.
You insure your house, your car, and your life. Why wouldn't you also insure the thousands of dollars worth of jewelry that you are now wearing on a regular basis? Jewelry insurance is easy to come by and reasonably priced. If you already have a homeowner's or renter's policy, you can add a jewelry rider to it or obtain a separate personal articles policy.
You'll need an appraisal with a detailed description of the rings and a current value. If you've been walking around for years with uninsured wedding rings, not to worry. Any jeweler can provide an appraisal for a small fee.
Insuring your rings protects you if your rings are lost, stolen, or damaged. You want to be sure to insure them for "replacement value," so that if they are lost or stolen, you can get a replacement ring of the same specifications.
I recommend obtaining insurance as soon as you take delivery of the rings. Don't wait until after the wedding or honeymoon. You never know what could happen!
Exercise & Watersports
Never wear your wedding rings while exercising. It's potentially dangerous for both you and the ring. Your fingers swell during exercise. It's possible for your fingers to swell so much that your ring cuts off circulation to your finger. Gangrene is not a good look on anyone.
Your ring is also much more likely to be lost or damaged if you wear it during exercise. Hitting the weight room? Careful not to bang your hand into anything. Stand-up paddle boarding? Good luck retrieving your ring from the bottom of the lake. Play it safe and remove all jewelry before exercise.
Sleeping & Bathing
Along the same lines, rings should be removed before sleeping or bathing. There's a scene in Apollo 13 where Kathleen Quinlan's character (she plays Tom Hanks's wife) is showering on launch day in a hotel bathroom and the suds cause her wedding ring to slide off her finger and down the drain. A bad omen when your husband is about to ride a rocket to the moon. If that's not enough to make you reconsider showering with your ring, I don't know what is.
And much like exercising, you should be sleeping sans jewelry. As with exercise, your fingers can swell during sleep. Plus, it's good to give your skin a break from being in contact with metal.
Cleaning & Gardening
Have you started to notice a trend here yet? Basically, any time you're doing any activity that could potentially damage your rings, you should remove them. If you wear gardening gloves or rubber gloves while cleaning, then it's okay to wear your rings because they will be protected. But you should remove them before doing anything with your bare hands.
Maintenance & Care
Have your ring professionally cleaned once a year, and while it's "in the shop" have a jeweler inspect it for damage. That could include tiny knicks, loose prongs or settings, or scratches. Clean your ring periodically at home as well, either with a professional jewelry cleaner or with a little dishsoap and warm water. Just remember to plug the sink before cleaning!
With proper care, your rings will last a lifetime.