We’re often approached by fraught customers whose wedding or engagement rings have lost their zest. No metal is invincible, and unfortunately, constant exposure to the elements means that scratches are no stranger to the average wedding band. If you’ve commemorated your commitment with a hand-crafted Lebrusan Studio ring, we can assure you that the wear it shows is not a defect nor an issue of quality. All of our gold wedding bands are hallmarked by London’s Assay Office, assuring that their carat weight and alloy metal quantities are absolutely correct. No matter where you buy a piece of jewellery from, the quality and density of all hallmarked 9, 14 and 18ct gold is the same.
The marks on your wedding ring are, in fact, beautiful reminders of its unique journey. Scratches are a natural feature of ‘forever’ jewellery and many people love their wedding rings just the way they are, warts and all, because their imperfections tell a story.
But, if you’re a bit of a perfectionist and the ‘well-loved’ look isn’t for you, there are options. We can’t promise that we can restore your scratched band to its factory settings, but if you’re careful not to batter your wedding ring beyond repair, we can probably show it enough love to regain some of its familiar old shine.
Generally speaking, there are two factors that contribute to the rate at which your wedding ring gets marked; its metal type and what it comes into contact with. Platinum is the toughest metal of all, just before 18ct gold. 14ct gold is ever so slightly more susceptible to scratching than 18ct gold due to its higher silver content, but the difference is minimal. 9ct gold is highly prone to marking, which is why we don’t recommend it for bridal rings.
It's also about what you do with your ring on – day-to-day tasks like washing the dishes, carrying a suitcase, gardening or closing the car door all leave it vulnerable to scratches. In our experience, the main culprit for ring-scratching is other metals; think keys or door handles.
People often think that wedding rings are indestructible but unfortunately, they’re not. No matter how careful you are, yours will inevitably show some wear over time. However, it is possible to avoid serious damage by always taking off your wedding ring in the gym or before doing any manual labour.
To keep your wedding ring looking its healthiest, we recommend giving it a rub with a polishing cloth every once in a while. You can also treat it to the occasional home clean using warm water, washing-up liquid and a children’s toothbrush – because these ones have the softest bristles! Avoid boiling water or being too heavy-handed.
If you’ve noticed some scratches that are bothering you, we might be able to put your mind at rest with our polishing service. We generally wouldn’t recommend having your ring polished too often, especially if delicate engraving is a feature, as a little metal and detail is lifted away every time. However, the occasional polish can buff away shallow scratches and revive some of the ring’s original shine. For this assistance, we charge £40.
Don’t forget, though, that whilst a buff can bring back some of the ring’s old glimmer, fixing damaged engraving or deep scores isn’t as easy. Remember to show your ring some love and take it off before doing anything rough or heavy-handed.
Plain white gold bands can often benefit from re-plating. White gold is an alloy of yellow gold and other metals, the latter present to contribute a white hue. White gold usually has a slightly yellow tinge, which is why a rhodium plating is applied to deliver its perfect silvery finish. Rhodium plating wears away over time to reveal the slightly yellower metal beneath, but you can easily get your white gold wedding ring re-dipped in rhodium every few years. Re-plating doesn’t just restore the gold’s white tint, but can help reduce the appearance of small scratches and revive your ring’s old shine.
Re-plating is a quick and effective fix for plain bands, but again, if your ring flaunts any sort of engraving then we discourage a rhodium re-dip. Rhodium plating in the deep grooves of engraved patterns doesn’t wear away at the same rate as the plating on the raised surfaces, meaning that the ring would be left with differing colours and requiring constant maintenance.
In short, our advice is this: treat your wedding ring like you would a newborn baby or an antique vase. Don’t take it with you on gym equipment, climbing walls or building sites! If you avoid exposing your ring to harsh manual activities like these, you can avoid deep-set damage.
Minor scratches caused by other low-key, day-to-day pursuits are inevitable and can be accepted and loved - or easily fixed.