Gemstones are precious, beautiful, and delicate luxuries that have captivated people over the centuries. These trinkets entice people with their various sparkling colors and rarity.
While most types of gemstones jewelry are more durable than they appear, they still require great care to maintain their quality. Here’s a guide on how to take care of your gemstones so that they retain their beauty for many years to come.
What do I need to clean my gemstone jewelry?
Many people may think that gemstone jewelry requires some kind of special cleaning agent or method when, in fact, cleaning your diamonds or birthstone is as easy as using some detergent and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Simply mix the detergent with the water and, using the toothbrush, gently scrub away at any dirt, soap scum, or hard water deposits that may have lodged themselves on or around the stone. After doing this, rinse your gemstone jewelry thoroughly and dry using a soft cloth.
Gemstone names can be listed with their corresponding sensitivities, but perhaps the most delicate are organic gemstones. These require even more care than your common non-organic gemstones! These are gemstones produced by a living creature, such as oysters and its pearl. Other examples include amber and coral. When handling these, take care to wipe at it only using a clean and soft cloth.
There are also other things to watch out for when cleaning your gemstones. Wiping off excess makeup and oil from your jewelry religiously is crucial while soaking and other cleaning methods should be approached with utmost caution and care.
For instance, using an ultrasonic cleaner for your gemstones should only be done if you know which stones can withstand the cleaning process. Usually, stones like amethyst, ruby, and sapphire are safe to put in an ultrasonic cleaner for a gentle clean. However, pearl and some green gemstones, like emeralds, could be damaged if placed in this machine. While safe for most stones, soaking will certainly affect jewelry with softer constitutions, such as lapis lazuli or amber, possibly ruining the stone’s polish.
Take note, however, that toothpaste should also never be used to clean your gemstones.
What to avoid when storing gemstones
It’s wise to remember that all gemstones should be stored separately. This way, softer stones can avoid getting scratched by the harder gems inside the pile! Protect these gemstones by wrapping them in jeweler's tissue and storing them separately.
Aside from that, there are some other factors to avoid when storing your precious stones, such as:
While it may seem harmless, one should take care not to let their gemstones touch perfumes. Fragrances are often made with strong chemicals that are safe for the skin but not for jewelry.
Sunlight and heat can often cause stones like smoky quartz and citrine to wash out and fade in color. Opals and emerald gemstones also require special care and should never be placed near heat or under direct sunlight.
If you wear jewelry like rings or earrings studded with gemstones, then it might be easy to forget that you’re wearing them once you’ve already taken a dip in the pool. Gold and other metal alloys are prone to bleaching when exposed to chlorine, which is why you should also never use it to soak or clean your jewels.
Other substances to be avoided are ammonia, bleach, and acetone—this last one is commonly found in nail polish remover, so make sure your rings never come into contact with it! These chemicals can pit the surface of softer gemstones. Petroleum is also harmful and can melt soft and porous gemstones like pearl and amber if left on their surfaces for prolonged periods.
The Bottom Line
While these stones set in their gold or silver bands are sturdy jewelry pieces, taking care of them is a must! After all, these are all susceptible to damages caused by everyday chemicals and environmental factors.
Gemstones are precious and should be treated as such. The beauty of maintaining them is not really in their superficial qualities, but the fact that they can be passed on from one generation to another while still maintaining their life and sparkle.
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