Your wedding ring is undoubtedly going to become one of your most prized possessions, and although it’s never fun to deal with scratches, they do happen from time to time. Is this a problem with gold rings, and if so, can it be helped? Here’s what you need to know!
Like most wedding rings, gold rings will become scratched and dented and collect dust and grime over time. This is most easily fixed by simply cleaning and polishing your ring often and removing it when you’re doing a hands-on activity. For major scratches, you may have to consult a jeweler.
You don’t need to worry if your ring gets a little scratched up; it happens! Keep reading to learn about maintenance tips and how to get rid of the scratches that may show up over the years.
Why is My Gold Ring Scratched?
If you start to notice that your wedding ring is a little scratched and scuffed, that does not mean you are doing anything wrong. It simply means you are loyally wearing your wedding ring. Because you have it on all the time, it is susceptible to hard knocks every once in a while. If you want to minimize scratching and scuffing as much as possible, you should try to remove your ring when you are doing something that involves a lot of hands-on participation.
Scratches and dents are most often caused by everyday things. If you are cooking or doing the dishes and something happens to hit your ring just right, it will likely come away with a new war wound. Likewise, any manual labor or accidental knocks against walls or tables will probably not be terribly kind to your ring. As mentioned above, it is usually wise to take it off if you are planning to use your hands a lot for something. This will keep it safe from damage.
Scratches and scuffs are not the only afflictions that could plague your ring, however. While gold itself does not corrode, the metals that gold rings are most commonly alloyed with do indeed corrode. For example, if you move to a hotter climate, your perspiration levels might fluctuate. Excessive sweating can quickly corrode your ring and start to discolor it.
You should avoid chemicals such as bleach, chlorine, and any acids that could potentially hurt your ring. If you are careful where you put it and diligent in taking it off during a hands-on or physical activity, chances are your ring will not get beat up or suffer wear and tear nearly as often.
Caring For Gold Rings
Now that you understand the “dangers” you will be better prepared to protect your ring. All you need to know now is how to take care of your ring when scuffs and corrosion happen. Here are a few key tips to keeping your ring sparkly and scratch-free!
As mentioned before, gold is a soft metal that cannot be forged into jewelry (not on its own, anyway). Because of this, it is alloyed with other metals to make it strong enough for forging. Gold alloys will pick up dirt and grime over time simply because of exposure to certain elements. Beware of acids since those are particularly harmful and can weaken the integrity of the gold. Regular cleaning will be necessary, but you will find it is worth the effort to keep your ring sparkly clean.
Minor dings and scratches can usually be buffed and polished right off the metal with no problem. If you happen to have a scratch or dent that simply won’t go away, you can always take your ring to a jeweler who, with his or her professional experience and tools, will be able to clean and repair the ring for you.
To avoid having to take your ring in for a full-on repair too often, you should maintain and keep your ring clean. You can start by taking the ring off and putting it in a bowl with lukewarm water and a few drops of mild detergent. After letting it soak a while, remove the ring from the water, and using your fingers or a soft, clean cloth, wipe away any dirt residue. Rubbing alcohol is also a good option if you want to get rid of all the grime.
When cleaning, however, you should avoid any abrasive cleaning materials. These could include paper towels, tissue, or hard-bristled brushes. Any of these things could scratch the ring’s metal and lead to you having to take it to a jewelry shop for repair. As said before, you should also avoid any harsh chemicals like bleach or chlorine. Salt and baking soda should also be avoided since they could do damage to or weaken the metal as well.
Alternatives to Gold Rings
As you can see, regular cleaning is very much a necessity with gold rings. It isn’t usually a big deal, but some people don’t like having to deal with the constant checkups and cleaning that a gold ring might require. That said, here are a couple of scratch-resistant alternatives to gold that might interest you.
Tungsten wins first place as one of the hardest materials next to diamond. It is extremely resistant to scratching which makes it a great option for anybody who works a hands-on job. It is hypoallergenic, making it safe for most skin types. Additionally, it can be bought at a fairly reasonable price, a bargain for a metal that is so durable. The only downside to having a tungsten ring is that it cannot be resized due to its hardness. Most people would rather deal with cleaning than with this.
Titanium is another hard metal, but unlike tungsten, it is not dense and heavy. It is a lightweight, comfortable metal to wear which is surprising given that it’s so hard. Additionally, titanium is much more affordable than either platinum or gold and is also twice as scratch-resistant as either of them. Unfortunately, like tungsten, titanium is so tough that it cannot be resized, which could prove to be annoying later in life when your ring size starts to change.