So he finally popped the question, and now the engagement ring of your dreams is gleaming back at you wherever you turn. After clinking the champagne glasses to celebrate, there are a few things you can do to ensure the safety—and shininess—of your new sparkler. Ron Cohen of Harris Jewelers, who recently celebrated 100 years in business, shares his expert tips below.
Q: What is the first thing I should do after I get engaged?
A: After celebrating, of course, it is important to get your ring appraised and insured. As a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, I appraise every ring that is purchased here before the groom walks out of the store. So if that has not happened, the couple should come in for an appraisal. Appraisal pricing starts at $35. It is also important to make sure your ring fits. If not, your jeweler can size it.
Q: How often should I clean my ring?
A: The best thing about Harris Jewelers is we don’t charge to clean your jewelry, so you can drop it off to have it cleaned as often as you like. If you prefer to clean it at home, use a store-bought jewelry cleaner. Some cleaners contain ammonia, so make sure you do not leave your jewelry in the solution overnight. Or, you can also use good old-fashioned soap and water with an old toothbrush; just be sure to dry the jewelry with lint-free paper towels.
Q: Are there everyday elements that can damage or dull my ring?
A: Yes. Although diamonds are very hard, women are constantly banging their rings against things, which can chip or scratch them. Store your ring in a safe place if you’re heading to the gym or are going to partake in hard labor. You can get it wet, but use your best judgment—if you are showering with harsh products or exfoliants, you don’t want them to get in your ring. It is best to remove your ring while swimming (you don’t want it to fall off), and to wear gloves when doing dishes or cleaning with products that contain bleach.
Q: Are colored gemstones as indestructible as diamonds?
A: No. Rubies and sapphires—which are both becoming popular engagement ring stones—do not do well in heat. Ultrasonic or steaming methods can cause permanent damage to your ruby or sapphire, so it’s best to leave these items in your jeweler’s hands when they need to be cleaned.
Q: Should I be bringing my ring in for yearly maintenance appointments?
A: Absolutely! It’s best to bring it in at least once a year to get it checked, make sure everything is tight, and polish and clean it up. This is all done at no charge here. We also recommend that you get your ring appraised every three years, because the cost of diamonds and metals does go up. You want to be sure that your ring is insured for its current value.
(Remember: There’s no sales tax in the state of Delaware!)
Harris Jewelers has been a tradition in the community of Wilmington since 1917. As a third-generation, family-owned and -operated jeweler with two retail locations, Harris Jewelers has acquired some of the world’s most exclusive jewelry and gift lines for your shopping pleasure. Ron D. Cohen, president of Harris Jewelers, is a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America with more than 45 years experience in the jewelry business.
309 Branmar Plaza
Wilmington, DE 19810
4377 Kirkwood Plaza
Wilmington, DE 19808