Jewelry and Gemstone Care & Cleaning Tips
by: Sam Serio
Diamond earrings, emerald rings, ruby bracelets, sapphire pendants; no doubt
about it everybody loves beautiful gem stone jewelry. Gemstones are quite
literally hard as rock, buy they can be damaged from careless handling and
negligence. Here are some tips for keeping your gems and jewelry looking
fabulous for years to come.
1. Remember, even the hardest gemstone variety can be vulnerable to breakage if
it has inclusions that weaken the crystal structure. Exercise common sense: if
you have a ring set with a softer gem variety or an included stone, take it off
before strenuous exercise. Even the hardest gem of them all, diamond, can
shatter in two with a single well-placed blow. Never remove rings by pulling on
the stone: that habit may result in a loose, then lost, gem.
2. Most importantly, store each piece of gemstone jewelry separately so that
harder stones don’t scratch softer ones. Almost every gemstone is much harder
than the metal it is set in. Gems can scratch the finish on your gold, silver or
platinum if you throw your jewelry in a heap in a drawer or jewelry box.
3. Rings in particular tend to collect dust and soap behind the gem,
particularly if you wear them all the time. You need to clean them regularly to
let the light in so your gems can shine. To clean transparent crystalline
gemstones, simply soak them in water with a touch of gentle dish soap. Use a
bowl of water rather than the sink to eliminate the risk of anything going down
the drain. If necessary, use a soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone. Rinse
the soap off and pat dry with a lint-free cloth (you want to make sure threads
won’t catch on the prongs) For diamond, ruby or sapphire, a touch of ammonia in
the rinse water won’t hurt a bit and can add extra sparkle (for platinum and
gold only, not silver!). Think twice before putting gems in an ultrasonic
cleaner. Diamonds and rubies and sapphires will be fine but many other gems many
not be, in particular emerald, opal, pearls, peridot: when in doubt, leave it
4. Organic gems like pearls, coral, and amber should only be wiped clean with
moist cloth. Due to their organic nature, these gems are both soft and porous.
Be careful about chemicals in hairspray, cosmetics, or perfume: they can, over
time, damage pearls in particular. Opals also require special care. Never use an
ultrasonic, never use ammonia, and avoid heat and strong light.
5. Opaque gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise, malachite, require special
care because they are rocks, not crystals of a single mineral like transparent
gems. There gem materials should just be wiped clean gently with a moist cloth.
These gemstones can be porous and may absorb chemicals, even soap, and they may
build up inside the stone and discolor it. Never use and ultrasonic cleaner and
never use ammonia or any chemical solution.
A little care and common sense can add life, luster and longevity to your
precious jewelry and gems. Protect your investment by following the above
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Sam Serio is an Internet Marketer, musician and a writer on the subject of
jewelry and gemstones. For more information on jewelry and gemstones, visit
www.morninglightjewelry.com for a copy of “How To Buy Jewelry And Gemstones
Without Being Ripped Off.” This concise, informative special report reveals
almost everything you ever wanted to know about jewelry and gemstones, but were
afraid to ask.