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Environmental Effects on Engagement Rings

February 20th, 2024

Understanding the environmental effects on engagement rings is a crucial aspect of their care. Environmental factors like exposure to harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and daily activities can affect the longevity and appearance of these precious pieces. Chemicals found in cleaning products and cosmetics can dull the sparkle of gemstones and metals. Similarly, extreme temperatures can cause metal to expand or contract, potentially loosening settings. Regular exposure to water and physical activities can also lead to wear and tear for your ring. Our experts at Exclusively Diamonds offer valuable insights and tips to help owners protect their treasured engagement rings from environmental stressors.

Saltwater and Sand 

Particularly for engagement rings, saltwater and sand present a challenging environment for jewelry. Beach environments, while picturesque, can be quite harsh on these precious items. Saltwater is known for its corrosive properties, which can damage and deteriorate the metal of rings over time, leading to weakened settings and a loss of luster. Sand, although seemingly harmless, poses another threat; its abrasive nature can scratch both the metal and gemstones, harming their brilliance and possibly causing permanent damage. These tiny granules can also become lodged in the settings, risking the security of the stones. We recommend removing engagement rings before heading to the beach to preserve their beauty and integrity.

Temperature Extremes

Although it may not be obvious at first, temperature extremes can have a significant impact on engagement rings, affecting both the fit and the condition of the ring. In extreme cold, fingers tend to shrink slightly, which increases the risk of a ring slipping off and getting lost. This is a crucial consideration for those in colder climates or during winter activities. On the flip side, in hot conditions, heat can cause the metal of the ring to expand. This expansion might lead to a tighter fit, causing discomfort or even difficulty in removing the ring. Too much direct heat can also damage the precious metal, especially gold, and cause settings for stones to become loose. These temperature-induced changes emphasize the importance of considering environmental factors in the care and wearing of engagement rings to ensure their safety and longevity.

Humidity and Air Quality

Additional factors to consider also include humidity and air quality, which play significant roles in the preservation of engagement rings. High humidity can accelerate the tarnishing process of metal, especially for silver and lower karat gold, leading to a loss of luster and a change in color. This tarnishing occurs as the metal reacts with moisture and sulfur compounds in the air. Furthermore, poor air quality, marked by pollutants and airborne particles, can leave deposits on jewelry. These deposits can dull the sparkle of gemstones and create a film over metals, reducing their brightness. Regular cleaning and proper storage are essential in humid or polluted environments to maintain the beauty and virtue of engagement rings.

Water Exposure

Frequent exposure to water can pose a significant risk to the integrity of engagement rings. Activities such as swimming or washing dishes expose the ring to water and various chemicals, which can gradually weaken the metal, especially the prongs and settings that hold gemstones in place. Over time, this weakening can lead to loosening of the stones, increasing the risk of them falling out and getting lost. Chlorinated water in pools and harsh detergents used in cleaning can accelerate this process. To preserve the condition of engagement rings, we advise removing them during water-related activities.


Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can have damaging effects on certain gemstones commonly found in engagement rings, such as amethyst, topaz, and colored diamonds. These gemstones, while durable, can be susceptible to fading and discoloration when exposed to the sun's intense rays over time. The ultraviolet light in sunlight can alter the color and clarity of these stones, decreasing their brilliance and value. Colored diamonds, known for their vibrant hues, are particularly vulnerable to such changes. To maintain the loveliness and value of these precious stones, it's important to protect them from excessive sunlight to allow their colors to remain as vivid and sparkling as when they were first worn.

How to Protect Your Engagement Rings

We are dedicated to helping you protect and maintain the beauty of your engagement ring in our Exclusively Diamonds showroom. Our range of jewelry services guarantees that your beloved items remain in great condition. We offer professional jewelry cleaning, which helps  preserve the ring’s sparkle and prevents build-up that can damage the metal and stones. Our expert jewelers can also check and tighten any loose prongs or settings, reducing the risk of losing precious stones. For rings that show their wear and tear, we provide comprehensive repair services, including re-tipping prongs and reshanking bands. We also advise our clients on daily care practices, such as removing rings during rigorous activities and avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals, to prevent damage. Trust us at Exclusively Diamonds to keep your engagement ring as radiant as your love story.

Find Beautiful Engagement Rings at Exclusively Diamonds

We welcome you to discover the epitome of elegance and timeless beauty at Exclusively Diamonds, Mankato's premier jewelry store in Minnesota. Our extraordinary collection of engagement rings is curated to cater to every unique taste and style. From sensational solitaires to contemporary designs, each ring is a mark of our commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Explore our stunning selection of engagement rings to find the ring that speaks for your love story. Visit our Mankato jewelry store to begin your journey, or request an appointment to conveniently set up a time to discuss how our dedicated team of experts can assist you. We also have a comprehensive custom design program that can bring to life the engagement ring you may be visioning. Your dream ring awaits at Exclusively Diamonds.