How to Clean your Vintage Engagement Ring
Housework is something I secretly love. When F goes out for his run on a Sunday morning with Lemon Tree, I love getting my rubber gloves on, cranking up the radio and setting to scrubbing, dusting, hovering and washing.
I have a whole morning with no dog under my feet and even manage to de-hair the couch cushions, even if only for a couple of hours until the little terror gets back.
As I was cleaning last week, I started to wonder about cleaning an engagement ring and how especially hard it must be for those couples who decided on a vintage engagement ring.
A one of a kind vintage engagement ring is something to be treasured and has to be looked after, and particularly if it is an old ring, the metals and stones used may need different care than the more modern ones. It is also likely that a vintage engagement ring will be more delicate than a newer ring because of its age and the wear and tear it may have experienced.
Like any precious piece of jewelry, a vintage engagement ring should always be carefully handled. I looked at my hands and, even though my future engagement ring may not be vintage, I made a note to remember to remove it before doing anything too active like cleaning the house. Apart form the fact that it could slide off when hands are soapy and get lost, it could also be affected by cleaning products used.
If you do choose to clean your ring yourself, make sure to firstly check that the stone in the setting is firmly in place. If the stone is loose at all and there is a risk of it falling out, go to a professional jeweler (like one of our Favourite Designers) to get it fixed, as you don’t want to take any chances.
Once you have made sure the stone is in place, you will need a small bowl, some clean water and a very soft toothbrush. Don’t use any chemicals like Windex or Bleach, as they could harm the stone or metal. Hold the ring in one hand so that you have your other hand to gently clean the stone.
How to Clean your Vintage Ring
Place the ring in a bowl of water to begin with. Then, if you think the ring is really dirty, you can use Ivory dish soap, but be sure to put the ring back in plain water after the cleaning to rinse off any soap residue that puts it at risk of loosing its shine and appearing dull and flat.
Using a very soft toothbrush, gently scrub the stone and the setting.
Be extremely careful with this because the brush could potentially mark the softer metal and setting. Place the ring back into the bowl of water to rinse the remaining dirt and then dry the ring. It is important to thoroughly dry the ring because any moisture left behind promotes pitting of plated metals, rust and verdigris.
Do Not Clean Too Often
I can imagine that I will want to clean my ring often. I couldn’t bear the thought of it harboring dirt and not shining to its full potential. I bet many women get frustrated with dirt still left on their vintage engagement rings, but in the case of the vintage ring, I did read somewhere that a little dirt is actually what is holding the stone firmly in place. In this case, a jeweler is the best bet for cleaning the ring.
Sunday mornings in the future, after my weekly house clean, I vow to sit down with my coffee and clean my engagement ring, whether it is a vintage engagement ring or not.