Can Diamond Rings Get Wet?

Can Diamond Rings Get Wet?

Diamond rings are not only a symbol of love and commitment but also an investment in fine jewelry that many hope to wear daily. With such frequent use, it’s common to wonder about the effects of exposure to water on these precious pieces. Whether you’re washing your hands, caught in the rain, or planning a trip to the beach, understanding how water impacts diamond rings is crucial for their care and longevity. In this blog, we will explore various aspects of water exposure and provide guidance on how to best protect your diamond ring.

Understanding Water's Impact on Diamond Rings

Diamonds and Durability

Diamonds, composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal structure, are renowned for their hardness and durability. They are the hardest natural material on Earth, which means they are highly resistant to scratches and abrasions. This durability extends to their performance in water; diamonds themselves are not harmed by water.

Metal Settings and Water

While diamonds are impervious to water, the metal settings that hold them can be affected. Precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver can react differently when exposed to water and various chemicals found in water sources:

  • Sterling Silver: Prone to tarnishing when exposed to water containing salts and sulfides.
  • Gold: Generally resistant to rust and corrosion, but its purity level (karat) can affect its vulnerability. Lower karat gold, which contains higher amounts of other metals, may tarnish more quickly when exposed to moisture.
  • Platinum: Highly resistant to corrosion and rust, making it one of the best choices for minimal water damage.

Water Exposure Scenarios

  • Routine Hand Washing- Regular exposure to water during daily activities like hand washing is generally safe for diamond rings. However, it’s advisable to use mild soaps as harsh chemicals or abrasive soaps can damage the metal setting over time.
  • Swimming and Bathing- Wearing diamond rings while swimming in pools, hot tubs, or natural bodies of water presents risks. Chlorinated water can damage and discolor metal settings, and salt water can cause corrosion. Additionally, cold water can temporarily shrink your fingers, increasing the risk of the ring slipping off.
  • Showering- While showering with a diamond ring isn’t typically harmful to the diamond, soap and other bath products can build up under the setting, making the diamond appear dull and lifeless. It's best to remove rings during showers to maintain their sparkle.

Practical Tips for Protecting Diamond Rings from Water Exposure

1. Remove Before Swimming

Swimming pools, oceans, and even hot tubs can pose several risks to diamond rings:

  • Chemical Exposure: Chlorinated water in pools and hot tubs can corrode and tarnish precious metals like gold and platinum, potentially weakening the ring's structure over time. Saltwater can be similarly corrosive, as salt can cause pitting and damage to metal surfaces.
  • Physical Loss: Water can cause your fingers to shrink temporarily due to its cool temperature, increasing the risk of your ring slipping off. The risk is higher in fast-moving water, such as rivers or the ocean, where a ring can quickly be lost to the currents.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals are not just found in cleaning products but also in everyday substances like perfumes, lotions, and sanitizers, which can all degrade the polish and shine of your ring.

  • Routine Activities: Be cautious during routine activities such as cleaning, where exposure to harsh chemicals, including bleach and ammonia, can occur. These substances can dull the finish of your ring and even damage certain types of metal and gemstone settings.
  • Preventative Measures: Consider wearing gloves when using cleaning agents or removing your ring during these activities. Ensuring that your hands are free of lotions or perfumes before putting your rings back on can also help.

3. Dry Properly

Proper drying techniques are essential after your ring has come into contact with water. This step is crucial in preventing moisture from lingering, which could lead to oxidation and other forms of degradation.

  • Thorough Drying: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently pat your diamond ring dry. Ensure you remove all moisture, especially from crevices where prongs and gemstones meet the band.
  • Air Drying: After wiping with a cloth, let the ring air dry completely before storing it or wearing it again. This helps ensure that no moisture remains that could potentially cause harm over time.

4. Regular Maintenance and Checks

Consistent care and precautionary measures can significantly extend the life and beauty of your diamond ring.

  • Professional Cleaning: Schedule regular cleanings with your jeweler, who will use safe and effective methods to restore the brilliance of your diamond without risking chemical exposure or structural damage.
  • Inspections: Regular professional inspections can help catch any potential issues early, such as loose settings or signs of wear and tear that could be exacerbated by water exposure.

Waterproof Coatings and Treatments

Advancements in jewelry care include the development of waterproof coatings and treatments that can offer an additional layer of protection for your diamond rings. These innovations can be particularly beneficial for those who frequently expose their rings to water.

Types of Coatings

  • Silicone-Based Coatings: These can be applied to both the metal and the gemstones to create a water-repellent barrier. The coating is clear and thin, preserving the jewelry's appearance while protecting it from moisture.
  • Ceramic Treatments: More robust than silicone, ceramic coatings bond at a molecular level with the metal, providing a durable shield against water, dirt, and scratches.

Application and Maintenance

  • Professional Application: It's recommended to have these coatings applied by professionals to ensure that the coverage is even and complete, without affecting the jewelry's intricate details.
  • Durability and Reapplication: While these coatings are durable, they can wear off over time, especially with frequent exposure to harsh environments. Regular checks will determine if reapplication is necessary to maintain water resistance.


  • Effect on Resale Value: Before deciding to apply a permanent coating, consider its potential impact on the resale value of high-end jewelry. Some buyers may prefer untreated pieces, especially in the case of vintage or antique items.
  • Compatibility: Not all jewelry materials are compatible with every type of coating. Consult with a jewelry care expert to choose the best option for your specific pieces.


While diamonds themselves are resilient enough to handle water exposure, the settings that house these precious stones can be susceptible to damage from prolonged or frequent contact with water. By understanding the risks and taking preventive measures, you can ensure that your diamond ring continues to dazzle and shine for years to come.

For more information on caring for your jewelry, or if you need professional advice or services to maintain the beauty of your diamond ring, visit Martin Busch Jewelers. We’re here to help you keep your cherished pieces in pristine condition. Visit our website or contact us directly for personalized assistance.