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Engagement rings: occasions to remove them and why

February 26, 2015
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Getting engaged is probably one of the most exciting moments in a person's life. From the moment you slip on the ring and feel it secured on your left hand, it's tempting never to take it off again.

And while it depends on what kind of stones and metal make up your new sparkler, there are several occasions when it's best to take it off – no matter how much you want to flaunt it and shout to the world that you're engaged.

Scroll down for advice on when you should remove your engagement ring... 

lady gaga © Photo: Getty Images
Lady Gaga recently flaunted her new heart-shaped engagement ring at the Oscars

Brides-to-be should take off their ring at certain points in their beauty routine. Jewellery designer Alexis Dove tells HELLO! Online that diamonds do make for better engagement ring stones as they are the hardest gemstones, but there are times when they can be a little problematic.

"Diamonds do attract grease from things like moisturisers and conditioners," said Alexis. "But this can be gently removed with a soft tooth brush and some warm water with a little washing up liquid – not gin!"

Certain gemstones are even trickier to deal with – including the softer emeralds, opals and pearls. They need far more delicate attention as emeralds and opals don't like water and dramatic changes in temperature, therefore should be removed for swimming (to avoid contact with chlorine), washing up (to avoid contact with household cleaning products), showering and bathing.

The same goes for "fragile" pearls, which should be taken off at bedtime too, said Alexis, before adding: "We will often suggest alternatives if the stones customers like are too soft so that their ring will last a life time."

olivia wilde © Photo: Getty Images
Emerald rings, such as Olivia Wilde's, require more care and should be removed when in contact with water

There are occasions in the home when brides-to-be should remove their rings. "If you really love your ring and you're a keen gardener or baker of cakes and pastries, take it off and put it somewhere safe," advised Judith Lockwood from diamond house Arctic Circle.

Apart from gardening, doing strenuous physical work with your ring on – such as exercising in the gym or handling tools and heavy machinery – is not wise either. "If you are a goldsmith or jewellery maker you should remove your engagement ring as you could damage the stone and metal on the hard materials you're working with," said Charlotte Evans at Holts London.

Charlotte added that taking off your ring during any childcare is a good idea too, as you could accidentally scratch your baby. "Nurses are not legally allowed to wear an engagement ring," she said.

kate middleton george © Photo: Getty Images
Remove your ring during childcare to avoid scratching your baby

And when it comes to cleaning your engagement ring, Colette Gibbons from Mastercut Diamond recommends using a soft brush, warm water and mild detergent, and to buff stones with a soft cloth. "Clean your jewellery often, as everyday lotions, soaps and skin oil can alter the optical properties of diamonds and gemstones, causing them to look dull," she said.

Colette also recommends having your ring checked by a professional for worn mountings and loose claws every 12 to 24 months, while gold and platinum can be re-plated and re-polished after 24 to 36 months.

"You should treat your gorgeous engagement ring and each piece of jewellery as a family heirloom, for someday it may be," said Colette.

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