If you’ve just spent thousands of dollars on an expensive white gold and diamond engagement ring, you’ll want to know whether or not it can get wet.
It depends heavily on the type of metal used, but the general rule is that, yes, an engagement ring can get wet. However, you should avoid subjecting them to chemicals, sustained contact with water, or submerging your engagement ring in salt water, especially if it’s plated as opposed to a solid metal.
Read on to learn more about engagement rings, the best ways to care for them, and what happens when they’re subjected to harsh chemicals.
Yes, I Will Marry You!
And then your partner leaps headlong into a swimming pool, loaded with chlorine and all manner of cleaning chemicals. Is that really going to be a problem for the eight thousand dollar white gold engagement ring you’ve just bought?
Maybe, maybe not.
Generally speaking, solid metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are resistant to water, and even a sustained drowning shouldn’t damage them. This is true regardless of whether or not the ring features diamonds, or some other gemstone – it’s the same rules.
However, while the structural integrity of the ring won’t be compromised, repeatedly subjecting it to the onslaught of water can dull its shine or brilliance. Furthermore, if you’re using cleaning or beauty products while in the shower, the ingredients used in them could degrade the ring.
Although, there is an exception to that aforementioned general rule, as plated jewelry can and will become damaged by water. If you’re wearing a gold-plated ring in the shower every day, the plating can eventually wear off, revealing the non-precious metal beneath.
That exception is true because of the sheer nature of a plated ring – it’s just a thin layer of precious (often soft) metal wrapped around a non-precious, hard inner core. It’s the same principle as the top coat of paint on a car wearing down from years of adverse weather.
We’re not sure why you would, but if you buy a copper, bronze, or brass engagement ring, you should definitely take extra care when around water. These ‘base metals’ can cause a discoloration on the skin when moisture is introduced to the area.
It’s a very unfortunate way to discover that your gold jewelry isn’t actually gold.
The Engagement Theory
The history of the diamond engagement ring stretches back some six hundred years, to 1477. It was in this year that Archduke Maximillian of Austria gifted a diamond engagement ring to his beloved, Mary of Burgundy.
However, it’s believed that the real history of the engagement ring stretches back to the Ancient Roman age. Throughout this era, women were known to wear engagement rings, but it was more of a legal declaration than a romantic one.
It was said that the Ancient Romans believed entirely in the legal sanctity of marriage, and the exchanging of rings was a symbolic guarantee of a relationship. Today, engagement rings are still symbolic, but they’re more a symbol of love than of law.
Furthermore, rings have transitioned from crude gold rings, often hammered and bent roughly into shape, to beautiful and luxurious – and unique – creations. They’re made from the finest metals, the most breathtaking diamonds, and they can cost tens of thousands of dollars with ease.
In fact, that’s a rather conservative estimate, as throughout history, we’ve seen engagement rings that climb into the millions of dollars with ease. For instance, Mariah Carey’s engagement ring, given to her by a billionaire businessman, was worth a reported ten million dollars.
It featured a dramatically captivating 35-carat diamond, perched atop an expertly-crafted platinum band. However, the pair separated some ten months later, with Carey insisting she retained possession of the ring… Ouch.
Donald Trump also splashed the cash when it came to his 2004 proposal to Melania Trump, purchasing her a three million dollar, 25-carat diamond ring. However, while these rings are beautiful, they’re almost always impractical and gargantuan.
There’s almost no way you’re taking a ten million dollar engagement ring into the shower, but if you can afford it in the first place, maybe that isn’t a real concern. Ultimately, these rings are bought because the person buying it wants to really show off.
That being said, many people believe it’s the thought that counts, and any ring is symbolic of your love, not just the multi-million dollar, rare-diamond examples. At the end of the day, it’s a sign of your intention to dedicate yourself to one person for the rest of your lives – just don’t take it into the ocean.