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.
are some tips for keeping your gems and jewelry
looking fabulous for years to come.
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 guidelines.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 e liminate 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 out.
- 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.
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.