Winter, though not as popular as spring and summer, comes with a great deal of seasonal joy. It's a time when many get to snuggle up with their partners, spend time with family and friends during the holidays, and overall, take a moment to slow down in anticipation of the new year. And while the winter months can be a glorious time filled with magical events (like ice skating under the stars and ski trips to Aspen), for those that are currently engaged or married, you may not realize that your engagement ring is in jeopardy during this chilly season.
Luckily, we consulted with the experts at Ritani, one of the leading jewelry and diamond companies in the United States, to help highlight the top four ways you're putting your engagement ring at risk this winter. Be sure to take notes!
If you live in an area that's prone to heavy snowfall, shoveling snow is likely a part of your winter season routine. And if you're tempted to wear your engagement ring once it's time to clean up your sidewalk, we're here to say don't do it! According to Juliet Gomes, Ritani's customer service manager, ice-melting products, chemicals, snowblowers, and shovels can potentially scratch the metal on your ring. What's more, even though diamonds are the strongest and most durable stones, the Ritani experts note that they are still prone to damage if not properly handled. Another risk? Dropping your ring into a pile of snow and having to spend hours searching for it.
Since gloves are a necessity during the winter, you should be vigilant with how you wear them. Gomes notes that it's incredibly easy for the prongs of a ring to get caught inside of a glove, which can loosen the center stone setting and increase the risk of your diamond falling out. A great solution is to avoid gloves made of knit and materials prone to catching on items.
Going from Extreme Hot to Cold Temperatures
Many brides don't know this, but extreme temperature changes have the ability to affect the internal chemistry of a diamond. While this is a rare occurrence, it can be heightened during the winter months. "Try to keep your jewelry covered when walking from the warmth of your home to immediately cold temperatures," explains Ryan Kelsie, Ritani's gemologist. "Certain inclusions in a diamond can be exacerbated by the cold, especially precious gems which are popular center stone options these days."
Engaging in Outdoor Winter Activities
Outdoor activities should always be avoided when wearing an engagement ring, and that remains the case during the winter season. "Rigorous activity of any kind can be dangerous for your engagement ring!" shares Gomes. "That is why we always recommend that people take off their rings before workouts or house chores, for example," If planning to ski, snowboard, ice skate, or snow tube (to name a few), be sure to remove your jewelry and place it in a secure place for safe keeping.
It's always important to ensure that your ring is the perfect fit for your finger. According to Kelsie, cold weather can constrict fingers, allowing rings to easily fall off if they don't fit properly. She also recommends buying a ring guard, as a temporary fix, to prevent this from happening.