Maybe you’re planning your wedding day. Or maybe you’re looking back on it with fondness. Remember the vows, the cake, the funny thing aunt so-and-so said? But whether you were married in a church or a mosque, on the beach or a mountain top, you probably had one thing in common: rings. An engagement ring and a wedding band.

When you think about wedding bands and engagement rings, you don’t really think about safety. However, you’ve probably plunked hundreds, or maybe more likely thousands, on those things. Imagine you invested that much money in anything else. You’d want to make sure it was safe and secure.

Because there are risks. Your rings can get lost. They can get stolen. Anything with a stone can break. And yes, your ring can actually injure you. So you need to take precautions with this symbol of your love and affection.

Get A Silicone Band

If you work with your hands, if you play sports, if you do Crossfit, if you do anything that makes your hands swell, and you’re wearing a ring, you’re at risk for what’s called ring avulsion. Hand swells, ring catches on something, and it basically degloves your finger. There are several degrees of it, according to University of Utah Health, and as they warn: “Note to the squeamish: do NOT google it.” Dr. Douglas Hutchison, a hand and microvascular surgeon at the University of Utah says, “The ring ends up pulling the skin off … Then it pulls the arteries, tendons and bones. It’s not a clean cut at all, which makes it very difficult to fix.” This happened to Jimmy Fallon when he tripped on a rug — and he spent 10 days in the ICU. He was lucky. Most patients lose their fingers.

Take Rings Off Before Swimming

As noted by EnoRings, there’s a phenomenon called vasoconstriction, which happens when your tiny blood vessels constrict in the cold. When this happens, it’s easy for your ring to slip off. And according to jeweler Laura Preshong, 25 percent of women will lose their engagement rings.

Get The Rings Properly Sized

It only takes a week, and it’s easier than replacing a ring when it slips off. If you have a change in body size, you may need your ring size changed, as well — check with your jeweler.

Find A Trusted Jeweler

That jeweler is going to be the person to advise you in all things ring-related. This person will tell you many, many, thing, and you need to develop a relationship with them. Because you need them to tell you, among other things, how to.…

Clean Your Ring

Dirt and debris and skin (ick!) build up. Some chemical cleaners, like ammonia, can actually hurt or discolor your precious metals or even the stone, so make sure you’re using a jeweler-recommended formulation. Then you’ll want to take your ring for regular professional cleanings.

Have A Place For Your Ring

Always put your ring in the same place when you take it off to, say, do the dishes or heavy cleaning — activities for which you should not be wearing your rings. This way you know it won’t be lost, won’t slip down the drain, won’t fall into a crack, etc.

Consider Leaving Your Rings At Home At Times

With all the commotion of traveling, it’s easy to set your ring down and lose it — or set your ring down and have it picked up by someone, like housekeeping, who’s not you. My MIL always recommended I travel with a “fakie,” or an engagement ring that looks like your own but is made of fake stones.

Insure Your Rings

You can afford to replace a lot of things. But I know what my husband spent on my engagement ring, and we can’t afford to replace that. The cost of replacing a ring will far outstrip the small outlay of insurance. Again: talk to your jeweler. They’ll be able to steer you in the right direction when it comes to which company to use and what policy is right for you.

You want these rings to last a lifetime. With care and attention, they will — they’re made to, after all. But human error can mess that up. Don’t be those people. Take care of your rings, use common sense, and remember: if you’re playing a sport or working with your hands, for your own sake, use a silicone band.

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