If you adore diamond jewelry (and who doesn't?), you know how vital it is to maintain and generally take care of it throughout the year. This is especially true of diamond rings that you wear on a regular basis, like that diamond engagement that is just too beautiful and meaningful to take off too often.
While keeping diamond rings of any kind looking their best is a year-round task, there are certain additional considerations you'll need to keep in mind in the winter.
With this in mind, here are some of our best recommendations for protecting your diamond rings - whether they are cocktail rings, diamond anniversary bands or your emerald cut diamond engagement ring - and keeping them safe and dazzling during the winter months.
'Winter Fingers' and Diamond Ring Size
Ring sizing is important, and no doubt you have done your best to ensure yours fits well. A diamond engagement ring that is uncomfortably tight is not the pleasure to wear that it should be, and obviously one that is too loose is always in danger of falling off and getting lost.
In the winter, even a ring that fits well can be at risk for the latter, because your fingers are prone to shrinkage in the winter (and unusual expansion in the summer.)
Your body reacts to temperature fluctuations in your surroundings, which causes your fingers to expand and contract. When you're in a cold environment, your body constricts your blood vessels and reduces blood flow to your skin to keep your core warm.
Vasoconstriction is the medical term for this phenomenon. Because heat is lost to the environment through your skin, your body tries to limit blood flow to your extremities, particularly your fingers and toes. Because your fingers and toes shrink as a result of this, any rings you wear on your finger will become loose.
What can you do? Altering your diamond ring permanently is not a good option if it fits well when your hands are not cold. A temporary ring guard is a better, and far more convenient, solution.
These small items, usually made from a clear plastic, are designed to fit snugly over the back of your ring and prevent it from slipping off when and if those 'winter fingers' become a problem. They are small and inexpensive enough that you can keep one in your bag, or even your pocket, to slip on whenever it is needed, and they won't damage your precious diamond ring in any way.
Leave Your Diamond Ring at Home When You Head Off on Winter Adventures
Yes, it's cold in winter, but that cold does open the door to all kinds of winter adventures, many of which can be had outdoors. But while skiing, ice skating - and even snowball fights - are a lot of fun, if you are headed off on one of those fun winter outings your diamond ring should be left at home.
In addition to the more obvious risk that you will lose the ring, if you fall - which is hardly unusual if you are skiing or skating - as tough as diamonds are they will still chip or crack if bashed on the ice or snow too hard.
Beware of Those Woolens
Winter is the time when you break out those warm woolen sweaters, cozy wool clothes and those big, chunky scarves and hats. From a practical, and even a fashion point of view, doing so only makes sense. However, it is all too easy to snag your diamond ring on these garments as you take them on and off.
Again, this presents the possibility that you will lose your diamond ring but also that, once snagged, prongs on your ring holding stones in place may loosen, which will put the precious stones at a longer term risk of loss you might not be aware of (until it's too late.)
To prevent this, try to get into the habit of putting on your diamond engagement ring - or other diamond or gemstone jewelry after you get dressed. And if you wear mittens or gloves over your rings, put them on - and take them off - very carefully, always checking that your ring is still in place afterwards.
Winter Cleaning Woes
Winter is messy. People tend to tramp snow and mud into your home (even if you try to prevent that) and even wet clothes can make a mess. Combine that with the fact that the winter holidays usually mean you entertain more, and the chances are that you clean your home a little more during the winter months, and you probably make use of more cleaning products.
Cleaning products and diamonds, or other precious gemstones, don't mix well. Strong chemicals, like those used in cleaning products, can damage the diamonds in your ring, so either remove them before you clean or wear tight-fitting rubber gloves to protect them from those chemicals, as well as from accidental knocks or snags.
One good idea is to place ring dishes in the places where you clean most often so that you'll have a secure place to store your diamond engagement ring while you clean. Just make sure to keep those dishes away from sinks and drains!
Check Your Insurance
It's always a smart idea to have your diamond engagement ring - and other items of valuable jewelry - insured, and the extra hazards they face in winter are yet another reason why that is the case. Once you have insured your diamond ring, make sure that the policy stays up to date and in effect, as losing or damaging your jewelry is bad enough, but then discovering you no longer have jewelry insurance in place to help remedy the situation is even worse!