At Stirling’s Corner Fine Jewelry, we understand that your diamond ring is not just an accessory but a cherished possession that often holds significant emotional value. One common concern among our clients is about the effects of water on their diamond rings. Whether you're worried about everyday activities like washing hands or planning a trip to the beach, it's essential to know how water exposure might impact your diamond ring. This blog aims to address these concerns with detailed insights and practical advice.

The Durability of Diamonds in Water

Diamonds, formed under the immense pressure and heat beneath the earth's surface, are incredibly durable. They rank as the hardest known natural material on the Mohs scale, which means they are highly resistant to scratches and abrasions. Water, in itself, poses no threat to the structural integrity of a diamond.

Understanding the Impact of Water on Diamond Ring Settings and Metals

When it comes to the durability of diamond ring settings in water, the type of metal and its reaction to different water environments can significantly influence the longevity and appearance of your ring. Here’s a close examination of how gold, platinum, and silver respond to water exposure, along with potential risks that can arise over time.

Gold and Platinum

Gold and platinum are popular choices for diamond ring settings due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, their interaction with water varies based on several factors:

  1. Chlorinated Water: Chlorine, commonly found in swimming pools and hot tubs, can chemically react with gold and especially with white gold, which is alloyed with metals like nickel and zinc. Over time, repeated exposure to chlorine can degrade these alloys, leading to structural weaknesses in the ring setting.
  2. Saltwater: Saltwater can also be corrosive to both gold and platinum. Prolonged exposure can dull the polish and finish of these metals, necessitating more frequent professional cleanings to restore their original luster.


Silver is less durable compared to gold and platinum and requires more care to maintain its condition:

  • Tarnishing: Silver's susceptibility to tarnish is well-known, and its exposure to water, particularly saltwater and humid environments, accelerates this process. Tarnish not only affects the visual appeal but can also create surface roughness that makes the ring more prone to gathering dirt and other corrosive substances.
  • Care Tips: To mitigate tarnishing, it’s essential to dry silver rings thoroughly after exposure to water. Additionally, storing silver jewelry in airtight containers with anti-tarnish strips can help maintain its shine.

Loosening of Settings

The integrity of a diamond ring's setting can be compromised over time with repeated exposure to water, particularly hot water.

Metals expand when heated and contract when cooled. Frequent exposure to varying temperatures, as found in showers or during dishwashing, can cause the metal to flex. Over time, this can loosen prongs or other setting mechanisms, potentially leading to the loss of the diamond.

Chemical Reactions

The chemical reactions between ring metals and substances found in water pose additional risks.

  1. Chlorine Reactions: The structural integrity of the metal can be compromised with regular exposure to chlorine. This is particularly concerning for rings with intricate designs or multiple stones, as the weakening of the metal can lead to stones falling out or parts of the ring bending.
  2. Household Cleaners: Many household cleaners contain chemicals that are harsher than chlorine, such as ammonia or bleach, which can have immediate adverse effects on metal settings, degrading them much faster than chlorine alone.

Protective Measures and Maintenance

1. Routine Care

To ensure your diamond ring stays in pristine condition, consider these maintenance tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your diamond ring sparkling by cleaning it regularly with a solution of mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft brush to gently remove any buildup.
  • Professional Inspections: Have your ring checked by a professional jeweler at least once a year. They can check for loose settings and signs of wear, especially if you frequently expose your ring to water.

2. Safe Practices for Water Exposure

  • Remove Before Swimming: It’s wise to remove your diamond ring before swimming in pools, oceans, or hot tubs. Besides the chemical exposure, water can cause your fingers to shrink slightly, increasing the risk of your ring slipping off.
  • Be Cautious with Hot Water: Avoid wearing your diamond ring in hot showers or while doing dishes. The heat can cause temporary expansion and contraction in the metal setting.

3. Long-Term Preservation Strategies

Storing Your Ring When Not in Use

When engaging in activities that might expose your ring to water, safely store it in a dry place. Use a lined jewelry box or a dedicated ring holder to prevent accidental scratches.

Insurance and Protection

For additional peace of mind, consider insuring your diamond ring. Insurance can cover loss or damage, providing you with security for your valuable investment.


While your diamond is safe from water damage, the metals that hold it require careful consideration and regular maintenance to ensure they continue to protect and showcase your precious stone effectively. At Stirling’s Corner Fine Jewelry, we recommend regular professional inspections and maintenance to address any issues caused by water exposure before they lead to serious damage. By understanding the specific care needs of your ring’s metal type and taking proactive steps to protect it, you can enjoy your beautiful jewelry for a lifetime without worry.