The risks of losing your engagement ring or wedding ring
10 common causes of lost engagement rings and lost wedding rings
Many situations lead to a lost engagement ring or a lost wedding ring. Accidental loss results in upset owing to the sentimental value of the item.
For this reason, we have compiled a small selection of reasons why wedding rings and engagement rings are lost each year.
1. The wedding or engagement ring is just too large
Deciding how tight the wedding ring should be is very difficult. During the initial days, weeks and months of wear, a wedding ring can feel quite alien. If your wedding ring slides onto the finger and has to be worked over the knuckle, there is less risk of the ring coming off. Don’t worry if the ring produces a visible mark on the finger over time. This is normal. Your wedding ring is a hard metal and your finger is not.
Rings are worn constantly, usually result in a smooth impression below the ring. If your finger is obviously swollen and if there is discomfort or pain, then your ring is clearly too tight. For engagement rings, a turning ring may indicate that the ring size needs reducing. A quick temporary measure can be a small insert. Snuggies are available as a temporary measure. We do, recommend a professional re-size as a permanent solution to avoid loss of the ring.
2. Cool wet hands
Many couples travel away straight after their wedding for the long-awaited honeymoon. Cool water (beach or swimming pool) is often responsible for the loss of a wedding ring or even an engagement ring. Whilst warmer temperatures cause many hands to swell, cool water does the opposite. Water provides a great lubricant for rings to literally slide from the finger. To avoid losing the ring, ensure the ring has a snug fit before travelling. Rings have even been lost from home merely from washing hands.
3. Intentionally removed
Removing your wedding or engagement ring can result in loss. There have been so many incidents where a ring, once removed has been misplaced, knocked from a surface, or even left in a hotel bathroom. The best place to keep your wedding ring safe is on the finger. Sometimes it is an occupational necessity to remove rings. Many Health Service workers have to remove some ring styles (e.g. diamond set designs) for hygiene reasons. Electricians and Firefighters are also two occupations where it is necessary to remove wedding rings.
4. Removed with a glove
An engagement ring can be caught within a glove, especially when there is a prominent setting. If the ring is a little loose, there is always a risk of the ring coming off with the glove, only to fall out later.
5. Beach and lotion
Take a bottle of sun lotion, a loose wedding or engagement ring, and a vast stretch of sand. This is a recipe for losing your wedding ring, especially after a few beach cocktails. Next thing you’ll be heading back at sunset with a metal detector. Read the wonderful story that our friend Calla Gold added to her blog, on men vs loose wedding rings. There is some great advice here along with this fascinating true story.
6. Accidental damage
Over the years, we have helped many people replace rings and I’m always horrified when I learn that a ring has been lost because of an accident. Rings are cut from a patient’s finger, sometimes damaging the ring beyond repair. Unfortunately in such circumstances, there is little that can be done to avoid this type of loss. Read on for some additional advice in our summary at the end of this post.
7. Sports and outdoor activities
The most memorable loss of a wedding ring happened to my own father. As a boy, whilst climbing in Snowdonia, we returned from a day of hiking to discover my father’s wedding ring had been lost. I still remember it was a signet styled wedding ring in 18ct yellow gold, with a small illusion set diamond. We searched a hillside for hours without any luck. There have been many instances where wedding rings have been lost whilst gardening. The Daily Mail had a wonderful story about wedding ring re-emerging around a carrot in their garden, years after losing it. Although the couple did consider the next item (below) as the main cause for the ring’s loss.
8. Cooking / indoor activities
Baking is just one of many indoor activities. Failure to remove a loose wedding or engagement ring could potentially result in the ring ending up in a loaf of bread. Nobody kneads this!
Young children are drawn to items that glitter and sparkle. They love to pick items up and deposit them in places you would never think to look. My own children love to hide the remote controls and they are much larger than a wedding ring. Many mothers with young children remove engagement rings to avoid accidentally scratching their son or daughter increasing the risk of leaving an engagement ring lying within easy reach.
I recently heard about a lady who was feeding her horse, only to discover her ring missing afterwards. She eventually recovered her ring after a long wait and some professional cleaning before she could wear it again.
Precautions and Suggestions
There are a few things that will help safeguard against loss. Insurance will at least provide some peace of mind. Even though loss/replacement will never replace the sentimental value. Always ensure that your engagement ring or wedding ring is insured. Speak to a jewellery insurance specialist or talk to your home insurer to ensure your items are currently insured. (We recommend T H March within the UK.) Ensuring your ring is the correct finger size is simple yet sound advice. If a ring is comfortably snug on the finger and difficult to slide over the knuckle, there will be less risk of the ring being lost from the hand.
Let us know your thoughts and ideas or even suggestions for others on how to safeguard their rings.
About Mark Johnson
Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.