Tips For Gemstone Jewelry

The worst thing you can do for your colored gemstones is assume they are as sturdy as diamonds. Gemstones are far more fragile. As a rule, they should not be exposed to chlorine, extreme temperature changes, solvents, or harsh physical contact. Some gemstones are more susceptible to damage than others. Emerald, opal, peridot, and garnet do not handle sudden thermal changes well. Certain solvents, including alcohol and acetone, nail polish remover will fade dyed gemstones such as jade and lapis lazuli. Sharp knocks can cleave tanzanite, topaz, iolite and moonstone. The best way to protect your gems is to treat them very delicately. They should not be worn to the pool, or while doing household chores. Jewelry should be stored in individual pouches or wrapped in soft material when not in use.

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. For diamond, ruby or sapphire, a touch of ammonia in the rinse water won’t hurt a bit and can add extra sparkle. 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 out.

It is best to clean daily-wear jewelry with tepid water and a mild soap that does not contain ammonia or harsh abrasives. Regular care eliminates the necessity for professional cleaning. Most jewelers use ultrasound to quickly remove dirt build-up. Although very affective, this treatment can fracture already weakened stones or loosen poorly set stones. Some gems, such as emeralds, which normally have flaws, should avoid ultrasonic cleaning altogether.


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