An engagement ring is special not because it sparkles (although that is nice!), but because it's a symbol of the love that two soulmates share. So of course I'll want to photograph it at your engagement shoot and on your wedding day along with your wedding bands. And of course you'll want to care for it and keep it shining and looking its best day-in and day-out! The photo above is of my own engagement ring that I took just the other day after nine years married and over ten years of having it on my finger. So keeping the bling in your ring is totally doable! Here are a few tips for everyday wear and for those special times when you'll be wearing it for photos, like the day before your engagement session or your wedding!:
1) Don't be afraid to take it off - First, know that I keep mine in a safe place whenever I'm not wearing it so that I know its protected and won't get lost! I personally don't where it when I shower, when I put on lotion, or when I do my hair. I find this helps keep the setting from getting traces of conditioner, soap, lotion, and hair products stuck in the setting or smudge on the stones. I do the same when I run or work out mainly because my fingers swell, but also because lifting weights or swinging a kettle bell can warp or scratch the band. So instead I just don't wear them, although you may want to get a "ring keeper" necklace, made specifically for wearing your ring close to heart when you don't want it or can't have it on your finger!
2) Wipe it dry or clean with a soft cloth - Instead of using a tissue or paper towel that can leave small particles behind on your ring, use a soft cloth to dry your ring. Make sure the fabric is really soft so it won't scratch the band.
3) Use a ring cleaning solution - The DIY option is to use warm water and a mild soap (like dish soap), along with a soft toothbrush that you already have at home. Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub gently before rinsing clean and patting dry. There are also several products on the market that can be used periodically to restore extra shine to your ring. It is really important to make sure you choose one that is clearly labeled as safe to use on your ring's metal and stone. Different stones and metals need different cleansers and I highly recommend that you purchase one directly from your jeweler or get a recommendation from your jeweler as to which is best and safe to use at home on your ring.
4) Take it to your jeweler for a cleaning - Speaking of your jeweler, most jewelers will clean your ring for free if you purchased it with them or will charge a nominal fee to clean it for you. They are professionals and do this for a living so you know your ring will be in good hands. The other benefit of taking it to your jeweler is that while they are cleaning it they can also check your settings to make sure the stones are secure and none of the prongs have weakened or become loose. The process only takes a few minutes and your ring will come out sparkling like new!