How to protect and care for your wedding and engagement rings

How to protect and care for your wedding and engagement rings
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British couples spend an average of £1,022 on an engagement ring, with 12 per cent splashing out £2,000 or more according to a survey by insurer Protect Your Bubble.
 
If you wear one, chances are it's the most expensive thing on you right now. If you're unlucky enough to lose or damage your rings, nothing can replace the sentimental value. But following the advice below could help safeguard your precious jewellery, and consider what you might do if you did lose it.

Caring for your rings 

  • Have the ring's setting checked by a jeweller every six to 12 months to avoid losing gemstones that have come loose, and get your rings cleaned at the same time. Many jewellers will do both these jobs for you free of charge
  • To clean your rings at home, use a very soft toothbrush and some warm water with a drop of washing up liquid, then pat dry
  • Keep perfume and hairspray, which can discolour metals, away from all your jewellery
  • If you regularly take your rings off for housework or gardening, get into the good habit of stowing them safely away in a jewellery box, and not on a surface where they can fall off, or anywhere near a kitchen or bathroom plughole
  • Avoid pocketing your rings - it's a very easy way to forget about and lose them, or for them to wind up in the wash
  • When washing up, wear gloves to protect your your jewellery. Remove rings with opals or emeralds as these stones are particularly reactive to temperature changes.

Insurance 

Almost half (48 per cent) of us haven’t insured our engagement rings and 53 per cent haven’t insured wedding rings. And yet, 12 per cent of couples report that they have damage their rings, while 11 per cent have lost them and and 8 per cent have had one stolen.
 
Losing a piece of jewellery that you want to pass down to a daughter or granddaughter can be devastating, but being able to choose a replacement will at least soften the blow.

Make sure the insurance you take out covers you worldwide against loss, theft, accidental damage – and check if there's an excess to pay. Some insurers will only cover jewellery fewer than a certain number of years old, so check the T&Cs if you have an antique ring.

You can list valuable jewellery as individual items on your household insurance. However, Stephen Ebbett of jewellery insurer, Protect Your Bubble says it’s best to get specialist cover as there is no excess to pay if you have to make a claim.