Can I Wear My Engagement And Wedding Ring To The Beach? 7 Dos and Don’ts!

Author Sam Hussey
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Date Aug 21, 2016

Can I Wear My Engagement And Wedding Ring To The Beach? 7 Dos and Don’ts!

Bathing suit? Check. Cooler stocked? Check. Sunscreen packed? Check. You have everything you need for a relaxing day off at your favorite beach. After a quick stop at Dunkins, you're on your way. It's not until you lay down your towel and see that diamond sparkler catch the light that you wonder whether you should have left your engagement ring at home for the day.

If you're not careful, summer can take a serious toll on your fine jewelry. We know that your engagement ring and/or wedding band quickly become an extension of yourself, so much so that (like the majority of women) you probably rarely think to remove them. Whether you're traveling to Good Harbor for the day or spending every weekend down at the Cape, it's important to know the potential dangers lurking on the beach.

Before you hit the coast, here are a few beach bling dos and don'ts to help keep your engagement and wedding rings looking their best:

1) Remove Your Ring When Applying Sunblock/Lotion

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings

Everyone knows the number one rule of going to the beach - don't forget to put on sunscreen. If you're like me, you remember the scathing sunburn you got that one weekend you chose to ignore Mom's advice opting for tanning oil instead. Ever since childhood, the importance of sunblock has been ingrained into our minds making it the one beach essential you will never forget.

Before you lather up, have you ever thought about the effect it may have on your favorite accessories? Sun block (much like your everyday lotion) can cause a film to build up on your diamond rings that dulls their sparkle and shine. So if you wear your rings to the beach, keep them sparkly by removing them before applying that SPF +30!

2) Don't Wear Your Bling In The Cold Atlantic Water

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings A. Jaffe Real Customer Engagement Ring Selfie

Have you noticed your rings may feel a little looser in the winter? That's because when you become cold, your fingers actually shrink. One major thing people forget to consider before cooling off in that refreshing Atlantic water is the dropping temperature. The chilly ocean water will have the same effect as New England's winter air, shrinking your fingers and making it possible for your rings to fall off while you're swimming around. What's worse is you may not even notice they're missing until later on. Have you ever tried finding a diamond ring in the ocean? Let me tell you it's nearly impossible.

3) Stay Away From The Corrosive Salt Water

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings

Another concern you should have when it comes to mixing the ocean with your wedding jewels is the impact sea salt can have. The potential for damage varies, so it might be important to think about this when choosing your wedding ring metal. While stronger metals like platinum hold up better against the salty ocean water, softer metals won't fare so well. This means anyone with a gold engagement ring or wedding band should be extra cautious before wading into the ocean.

Why? The salt in the ocean is extremely corrosive to metals like copper. Due to its high percentage of copper, the ring metal that will be affected more than any other is rose gold. When exposed to salt water, rose gold rings will corrode much faster than traditional yellow gold and white gold. So if you're one of the many who embraced this metal trend, make sure to take off your rings before going anywhere near the salty ocean water. That being said, no matter what metal your ring is, salt water exposure can damage the overall appearance of your diamond and gemstones by dulling the stones in your ring and causing them to shine less.

4) Be Wary Of Sand

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings

Luckily, precious metals (like platinum and gold) as well as diamonds and most gemstones should be fine if they come in contact with beach sand. Although you don't have to be too worried about any irreparable damage to the ring's metal or stones, sand does pose a potential risk to your bling in another way. If you wear your engagement and wedding rings to the beach, there is a very good chance some sand particles will work their way inbetween the diamond and metal setting, potentially loosening the stones in your ring. It's important to be wary of this and make sure the setting never gets loose enough for a stone to fall out. You can perform maintenance checks at home or bring them into your local jeweler for a professional cleaning and check.

5) Store Your Rings Properly

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings
via Anne Marie Swift photography

Storing your jewelry in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated place is key. Although many people think a plastic bag is a fine solution for beach storage (and honestly anything's better than losing your precious rings in the ocean), this is actually not the way to protect your rings. A plastic bag cuts off all the air increasing the temperature and sometimes causing chemical reactions to occur between pieces of jewelry. To avoid any damage, your rings should be stored separately from your other fine jewelry (especially pieces with different metal) in a cool, dark place. After you purchase your engagement and/or wedding rings, invest in a safe way to house your rings on-the-go like a fabric lined jewelry case or box with various compartments.

The increasingly popular, Mrs. Box (featured above) is a great option for storing your engagement and wedding rings. The exquisite velvet boxes are perfect for protecting diamonds and precious metal from damage and come a wide variety of colors.

6) Take Them To Your Jeweler For A Deep Cleaning And Maintenance Check [Post-Beach Day]

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings

With the amount of sand and salt water that gets in your hair and on your towel, you have every reason to be concerned about your precious jewelry after a long day at the beach. Many jewelers, like Long's, allow you to come get your rings cleaned at any point and will automatically perform a maintenance check prior to cleaning. At this time, we also let you know if any repairs are needed.

Although there are steps you can (and should) take to maintain your ring at home, routinely bringing your rings to be professionally cleaned is necessary, and there is no better time to do this than following a day at the beach. The potential risks sand and exposure to salt water pose to fine jewelry creates the need for a deep clean and professional check.

7) LEAVE YOUR RINGS AT HOME!

Best Beach Practices For Your Engagement And Wedding Rings

We can't emphasize this best beach practice enough! The one and only fool proof way to make sure you don't lose or damage your engagement and wedding rings at the beach is to leave them at home. Once serious damage to fine jewelry has occurred, it can be extremely difficult to repair, so why even risk it? Whether an antique family heirloom or a brand new engagement ring, these rings are the most emotionally significant pieces of jewelry you will ever wear. The only thing more devastating than damaging your rings would be losing them altogether. No amount of insurance can protect you from that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're swimming in the ocean and suddenly realize your ring is no longer on your finger.

Did you forget to leave your engagement ring at home on your last beach trip? Visit any of our five New England locations today to get that sparkle and shine back in your diamond!

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