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Scratches on Wedding Rings

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Your wedding ring is probably the most important piece of jewellery you will ever own. It may also be the only piece of jewellery you will ever own! We understand that wedding rings hold a special place in the heart of the wearer. It is therefore understandable when we hear from customers that they are disappointed by their rings scratching. While the first scratch is always the worst, scratches on wedding rings are inevitable. There are some things that you can do to alleviate this, but no method is fool proof. Of course, we can buff out scuffs and scratches from your ring. However this will not prevent future scratches from occurring. Over time, the marks on your wedding band will fade down to a nice patina that tells the story and longevity of your love.

While it is tempting to assume that scratches on a ring reflect poor workmanship, please be assured that this is not the case.

What Causes Scratches on Wedding Rings?

There are a number of mundane reasons why your ring could have become scratched. The first of these is simple physics. While we do offer a large range of metals to choose from, and many of these are very hard wearing, none of them are harder than certain every day objects. Things like door handles, stair rails, and cutlery are all made from stainless steel which is an extremely hard substance. When your ring comes into contact with a harder substance, it is at risk of scuffing or scratching. You could avoid these items altogether, but that would be very impractical!

Another common cause of scratches on wedding rings is other jewellery. If you take your ring off and put it in your pocket along with diamond jewellery, the diamonds can scratch your ring. For this reason, we advise keeping your ring in a soft dedicated pouch when you are not wearing it.

Scratches on Platinum

Platinum is the strongest precious metal used in jewellery. However, you can still get scratches on wedding rings made from platinum! When scratched, the metal is displaced rather than lost. This means that the volume of metal remains the same. The patina (a satin sheen that develops on the surface of a ring produced by daily wear and tiny scratches) is considered by many to be a unique and desirable attribute. However, if you prefer the polished look of new platinum, the shine and reflective lustre can easily be restored by any jeweller at any time.

Take great care with your platinum wedding band. Consider removing it when doing chores or when there's risk of it coming into contact with hard substances or harsh chemicals.

Platinum can be cleaned using shop-bought jewellery cleaner or by soaking it in a warm and mild solution of soap and water. Gently rub the ring with a soft cloth to dry.

Scratches on Palladium

Palladium is from the same group of metals as platinum, and thus has very similar properties. Palladium will show some scratches over time but the metal is displaced - not lost - so the metal will not wear down. A palladium ring will also form a patina like a platinum ring. If you want to restore your ring to its original high polish or matt finish, this can be done by a jeweller.

Caring for palladium is just like caring for platinum. Store jewellery pieces separately in a box or chamois bag so they don't get scratched by other items of jewellery. Remove your palladium ring when doing chores or when there's risk of it coming into contact with hard substances or harsh chemicals. (Although they won't hurt the palladium, chemicals may discolour gemstones.) Palladium rings can be cleaned using a shop-bought jewellery cleaner or a mild solution of soap and water. Gently dry your jewellery with a soft cloth. As with all jewellery we do recommend you have your palladium ring cleaned and checked by a jeweller at least once a year.

Scratches on Gold

Pure gold is too soft to make jewellery with, which is why gold for jewellery is sold in alloyed forms. The higher karat gold alloy you choose, the softer it will be. No matter what karat of gold you choose, gold jewellery will develop small scratches with wear. These will be most noticeable at first, but will fade over time to a more pleasing patina. If the ring picks up any surface dirt, you can rinse this off under cold water and dry the ring carefully with a soft cloth. The shine of the ring may dull from contact with detergents, moisturiser and soaps so even a quick buff with a soft cloth will improve the appearance of the ring.

All of our white gold jewellery is plated with rhodium. This will add an extra layer of protection against scratches on wedding rings, but will not make your ring infallible. The rhodium plating will wear off over time, but this should happen gradually and fairly evenly. If the ring becomes too yellow for your liking, you can send it back to us for re-plating.

Scratches on Silver

Sterling silver is the softest precious metal that we sell. It is fantastic for jewellery due to its beautiful lustre and relatively low price point, which makes it perfect to make creative designs with. However, its softness makes it prone to becoming scratched.

Silver can also tarnish and oxidise fairly easily. For this reason, you must take great care of it. As individuals we all have very different skin types which don't react in the same way to substances that it comes into contact with. The acids will vary in your skin which can affect the speed at which the silver will tarnish when it comes into contact with you. What you eat, drink or smoke, and perfumes, soaps, hairspray, cosmetics you use can affect your skins acidity levels. The way a silver ring ages depends a lot on the wearer. You may find that your silver ring will cause an instant reaction, turning the skin underneath black/purple. The black that can be seen is the sterling silver oxidising.

Cleaning clothes for silver are readily available in larger supermarkets. If you have a silver ring, it's worth buying a 'silver cloth' and rubbing the ring gently every now and then. If your ring becomes more severely tarnished, regular silver cleaning fluid should be able to remove the stains.

Scratches on Titanium

Titanium wedding bands are growing in popularity because they don't tarnish at room temperature and are very strong. However, simply because a material is strong does not mean it is infallible! Titanium wedding rings will pick up some scratches from every day wear and tear. These will be particularly evident at first but then dull to a more pleasing patina. If you get any heavy scratches that you want removed, we can easily refinish the ring for you. Scratches on wedding rings can be an emotional event for the wearer. However, metal is a really forgiving medium. Marks can almost always be buffed out, and your ring returned to its former glory.

Scratches on Zirconium

Zirconium is another modern material which is becoming more and more popular for wedding bands. It is very strong and durable enough to be a key component in nuclear reactors. While it is durable, that does not mean you will not incur scratches on wedding rings made from zirconium. These can happen fairly easily from daily wear. but are easy to buff out.

Black zirconium is zirconium that has been heat treated to form a black layer of oxidisation. It has similar properties to zirconium, but requires slightly more care. The black layer can scratch slightly more easily than plain zirconium. This is particularly true if the ring has a matte finish. Scratches on wedding rings made from black zirconium are a little harder to polish out. To refinish the ring, we need to remove the whole black layer and reapply it. This can only be done so many times, so is worth taking into consideration before purchasing.

Scratches on Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten carbide is the most scratch resistant material that we sell. It is extremely hard, nonreactive, and heavy. It is very unlikely that you will incur scratches on wedding rings made from tungsten. However, with hardness comes brittleness. Tungsten carbide rings can shatter when struck. This can happen quite easily if the ring is struck at the wrong angle. Due to the nature of the material, once a tungsten ring is shattered we cannot repair it. This is important to consider before purchasing.

Scratches on Steel

Stainless steel is a popular metal for use in wedding rings or dress/fashion rings alike because of its budget-friendly price and because it is easy for jewellers to work with. Other types of steel are either not as durable, or too tough for the craftsmanship required. As well as being resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, stainless steel is relatively strong and durable. The metal is antibacterial. This means that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Most grades of steel are not hypoallergenic - only surgical steel can be given this title.

Scratches on wedding rings made from stainless steel can occur with daily wear. Your stainless steel wedding band can be kept at its best by frequent wiping with a soft cloth to ensure dust and dirt is removed regularly. Be gentle and follow the contours/grain to ensure moving the dirt doesn't scratch the ring. You can wash the ring in a mild soapy solution and dry carefully, again with a soft cloth. Toothpaste is good for removing marks that have set in, as long as it doesn't contain silica. Stainless steel polish is readily available and can be used with care on jewellery.