1. Take time to let everything sink in: "Be happy because it's a wonderful occasion," says Steve Greenberg, owner of IMG Jewelers in Lyndhurst. "Enjoy the moment." Mary Kelly of Marlen Jewelers in Rocky River adds, "The first thing, of course, is to say yes. Then call your mom and call your best friend."
2. Have the ring sized: "Make sure the size of the ring is right," advises Linda Silver, owner of Mann Jewelers in Beachwood Place. "If it's too top heavy, it can damage the stone." The ring should be easy to put on and take off, but not too loose. "After he presents the ring, you should have a jeweler double-check how it sits on your finger," says Kelly.
3. Appraise the ring: Get your new bauble insured through your homeowners' or renters' insurance. "Make sure you have an appraisal that mentions the four Cs for your insurance company," says Kelly. If the insurance is through the groom-to-be, make sure the policy also covers the bride-to-be."
4. Keep it clean: "Come in every few months to clean it," suggests IMG Jewelers' Greenberg. "We have professional equipment that makes it really bright." To clean the ring at home, "use any kind of mild detergent — whatever you're using for your dishes — and a soft brush," says Silver.
5. Be certain the stone stays aboard: "Make sure you have the ring checked periodically to make sure the prongs are tight," says Silver.
6. Think about the wedding band: "After you enjoy the moment, look for wedding bands that match up with the ring," advises Greenberg. Kelly suggests considering the style of band: round or a shadow band that follows the lines of the engagement ring. "Think about if you want to be able to wear the wedding band by itself, without the engagement ring," she says.
7. Safety first: Keep the ring in a safe place. "Don't take it off when you're gardening and leave it outside," warns Silver. "We had a customer who had a bird fly off with her ring when she was gardening, because [birds] like shiny objects."
8. Take the ring off at night: "Don't sleep in the ring," reminds Greenberg. "At night, your hands retain water and puff up. If you have the ring on, your hand puffs up around it and causes an indentation. "We've had people come in after 20 years and we have to cut the ring off because it got too tight and they didn't know it."
9. No hot tubs: "Some resorts use chemicals in hot tubs that can damage the ring," explains Kelly. "So if you go somewhere on your honeymoon that has [one], don't wear it in the hot tub."
10. Have heirloom rings checked out by a jeweler: "If you receive an heirloom or buy an antique piece, you want to have it checked because the prongs can wear away," says Silver. "If they're really scratched, we can polish them."