You’ve likely started to see the impact of COVID-19, also called Coronavirus, on your life over the past several weeks. The increased use of hand sanitizer is one of the primary ways to stay safe but it may come at some expense to your engagement ring.
The short answer: yes. Repeated use of hand sanitizer can do two harmful things to your engagement ring.
Frequent use of cleaning products such as rubbing alcohol, bleach, or chlorine will slowly wear down the brilliance of your fine jewelry. While these agents can make rhodium-plated white gold wear down faster, at Valerie Madison weuse a type of white gold called “X1” that is formulated to achieve a naturally bright white color by using a higher concentration of nickel in the alloy to eliminate the need for rhodium plating so your white gold jewelry from us should not be impacted by normal sanitizer use. Hand sanitizer can also slowly break down the brilliance of some softer or more sensitive precious gems and metals, decreasing their shine and making them dull.
Hand sanitizer can also react to the copper elements in rose gold, causing the ring to tarnish over time. Yellow gold doesn't react as badly, and platinum doesn't react at all.
At Valerie Madison, we use durable stones such as sapphires and moissanite in our engagement rings so you should follow the same advice for diamond rings. If you own our pieces from our birthstone collection or gemstone collection with more delicate stones such as opals or emeralds, we recommend you take even stricter precautions with hand-sanitizer and abrasive agents which can impact the color and stability of the gem. It is safest to keep any chemicals away from any gemstone.
To minimize harm, apply sanitizer around your ring or better yet, remove your ring entirely, apply sanitizer, and place it back on when finished. Rings can be cleaned by using this guide here. If the situation allows, you can always wear gloves over your ring for certain tasks as well (a good tip in general). As a last resort you can always remove your diamond ring entirely during some activities - just be sure to keep it in a safe, predictable place!
At the end of the day, reducing risk is always the most important thing. We’re all in this together and increasing our hand hygiene is the most proactive thing we can do. With these workarounds you can keep yourselfand your jewelry safe.
If you're looking for ways to deep clean your ring at home, we have a whole entry for you here.
We’re here to help. You can book avirtual appointment with us here if we can help you with any questions.