Winter is coming. Snow, sleet, and dropping temperatures. But while you fight the winter chill and navigate those icy roads, the most important ice in your life needs protection.
Your engagement ring, whether you are newly engaged or are a veteran at marriage, requires special protection during this snowy season, and we’re here to help.
Your engagement ring always needs protection and care. But the cold winter months require some extra considerations. You’re wearing gloves or mittens, maybe you go skiing, and your fingers shrink due to the cold. Read on to make sure you keep your ring shining bright through all season long…and beyond.
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Why Does Your Engagement Ring Become Loose During Winter?
As it gets colder, your ring may feel a little looser. And unless your fingers are on a diet, it’s probably due to your body reacting to the dropping temperatures. As it gets cold outside, your body responds with something called vasoconstriction. This is the process of your blood vessels contracting in order to essentially keep your body warm.
This is similar to when your fingers get all pruney and shrink after swimming or soaking in a long (and hopefully relaxing!) bath. It is this contracting of the blood vessels that causes your fingers to shrink.
If your ring was sized during the warmer months of summer or spring, or even during fall, then your ring is likely to loosen during the winter. Just how loose can vary from person to person.
Whether your fingers shrink just a tad or your blood vessels are super contractors, your engagement ring will need protecting.
5 Tips On How To Protect Your Engagement Ring During Winter
So now you know why your finger shrinks, but what can you do? Check out our five top tips below on protecting your engagement ring this winter…and all year round.
Buy A Ring Guard
First of all, what’s a ring guard? Unfortunately, it’s not a security guard for your ring. A ring guard is a piece, usually some kind of bendable plastic, that subtly goes on the band of your ring in order to make it fit more snuggly.
Ring guards, also known as ring adjusters, usually come in clear plastic that is easily hidden and comfortable to wear. Whether your ring is just a bit too big and you prefer not to resize it, or you need to make sure your ring fits well during the cold winter months, a ring guard is a great way to go to ensure your engagement ring, or any ring, stays put on your finger where it’s supposed to be.
Be Mindful Of Your Glove Choice
Baby, it’s cold outside! When outfitting yourself this winter, keep in mind your hand accessories. How you keep your hands warm can affect your ring…yes really! A pair of mittens knitted by hand might be super cozy, but save them for your ring-free days. Rings can easily get caught on knits and similar materials.
The basket and other details of your engagement ring can easily snag the material and ruin your favorite wool gloves or even slip off in the process. This risk is true for all knits, gloves, mittens, and even your favorite holiday sweater.
Does that mean your hands will just be cold? Of course not! But you do want to proceed with caution when wearing such pieces and materials.
Keep Your Diamond Ring Off During Outdoor Activities
Remember when we taught you How To Protect Your Engagement Ring At The Gym: And Other Times To Remove Your Ring? Well, this is one of those other times. Let’s start with winter sports: skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing, all these sports require you to keep warm, which means gloves or mittens. In addition to the risks we discussed above, these sports, let’s face it, no matter how good you are, involve falling down.
Every time you fall, your hands can bang against the ground, your equipment, or someone else, and this can cause damage. Every time you take off your gloves, whether to adjust your equipment, grab a cup of hot chocolate, or scan your ski pass, you risk losing or damaging your ring. It’s simply not worth risking damaging or even losing the ring you love for a sport you love. Leave the bling at home.
Are you escaping the blistering cold for fun in the sun? You’re not off the hook. Just because you are not dealing with shrinking fingers doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. From corrosive saltwater and sand to abrasive pool chemicals and the slipperiness of that suntan lotion, your ring could get damaged or lost.
Hiking, swimming, the beach, and other summer-style escapes all pose risks to your engagement ring, and are all activities where it is best to leave your ring at home where it’s safe.
Avoid Taking Your Ring From One Extreme Temperature To The Next
Do you preheat your car? Do you go straight from a freezing cold ice bath to a hot sauna? Proceed with caution. A little known fact, when a diamond goes from one extreme temperature to another can affect your diamond and not for the better.
While not a common occurrence, it is certainly something to be aware of. Extreme change in temperature can highlight or exacerbate inclusions in your diamond.
Why risk it? Experts recommend keeping your diamond and jewelry covered when braving the cold temps when going between your cozy house and warm car, warm car and heated office, and any situation that would expose your engagement ring to an extreme temperature change.
But don’t forget to be careful with those mittens as we explained above!
Keep It Clean
This one really applies all year but is especially important during the winter. Over time your precious diamond engagement ring can collect dust, dirt, and other gunk (this applies to a gemstone and any other engagement ring, by the way). Keeping your ring clean will ensure it always sparkles bright.
Check out our blog on How To Clean Your Jewelry At Home & Other Useful Tips, which gives you all the tips, including how to clean your ring, how often to clean your ring, what to use to clean your ring, and how you can keep your ring clean.
Does cold weather make your ring loose?
Essentially, yes. Cold weather causes your fingers to shrink, which in turn, makes your ring feel loose.
How do I keep my ring from tarnishing?
Most importantly, keep it clean and dry. Moisture is the culprit that can cause your ring to tarnish. So make sure to remove your ring when showering, swimming, applying lotion, and any other activity that could cause moisture to come in contact with your ring.
Where do you keep the engagement ring when not wearing it?
A safe and secure place! Where that is depends on the situation. Are you on vacation? Utilize the room safe, or better yet, ask the front desk about a hotel safe.
At the gym? Invest in a solid gym lock, or put it in a locked bag and ask that bag to be kept at the front desk. And, of course, your jewelry box at home is always a safe bet.
Don’t Get Those Winter Blues
Winter is a magical time. The falling snow, cozying up by the fireplace, and of course, romance. We want to ensure that your engagement ring, and all your diamond jewelry, shine bright all season long. Watch out for snags, keep it clean, and remove it when necessary. Make sure your engagement ring keeps its shimmer and shine all winter long.
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With over 10 years of experience writing and editing on a wide variety of subjects, Sarah is a veteran of the content world. Since joining James Allen, she has focused on all things diamonds and fine jewelry with the goal of educating and empowering consumers.