Caring For Gemstone Jewelry

Hello, fellow gemstone enthusiasts! If you’re reading this, you’re either a proud owner of a dazzling gemstone collection, or you’re about to embark on the exciting journey of gemstone ownership. Either way, you’re in for a treat! This article is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about gemstone care.

The Joy of Gemstone Care

Caring for your gemstones is not just about preserving their beauty—it’s also about deepening your connection with these magnificent pieces of Mother Nature. Every time you clean or store your gemstones, you’re not just performing a maintenance task, you’re participating in a ritual that brings you closer to the natural world and its timeless wisdom.

AmberUse a moist cloth and dry immediately. Mild detergent with warm water is also effective.Amber is a natural gem, essentially a fossilized and hardened resin from ancient pine trees.
AmethystUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushMost amethyst undergoes heat treatment to enhance its color, but exposure to high temperatures can cause it to crack or fade.
AquamarineUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushThis blue beryl gemstone often undergoes heat treatments to enhance its blue color. However, exposure to heat can still cause color fading.
CarnelianUse a damp cloth. Rub vigorously with a dry cloth.Wax doesn’t stick to this hard variety of quartz, which is why it was historically used to make seals.
CitrineUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushThis quartz variety is heat-treated and will fade when exposed to heat.
CoralUse a damp cloth and dry immediately.Another organic gem, made from the secretions of tiny marine animals. Extremely sensitive to heat and flame.
DiamondUse an ammonia-based cleaner. Warm water, grease-cutting detergent, and a soft brush. Mechanical cleaning systems can also be used.Diamonds are the hardest natural material, meaning they resist scratches better than any other gem. These stones are also heat-resistant. However, mechanical systems could pose a risk if a stone isn’t properly examined beforehand. Despite their resistance to scratches, diamonds can be damaged by physical impacts. To maintain their brilliance, remove any grease.
EmeraldUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushMost emeralds are routinely soaked in warm oil after being cut to enhance their color. Sometimes, dyes are added. Mechanical systems could remove the oil. Inclusions in emerald often weaken the stone, making it susceptible to breakage from mechanical systems.
GarnetUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushAlthough garnets are relatively hard and tough, they do have some sensitivity to heat.
HeliodorUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushThese yellow beryl gems are generally hardy and tough. However, they should be kept away from extreme temperatures.
IvoryClean with a damp cloth and dry. Warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush also work well.This organic gem material, made of calcium phosphate, is sometimes dyed harshly. As a result, chemical cleaning could affect its appearance.
JadeUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush. Mechanical cleaning systems can also be used.Both jadeite and nephrite are tough and have little to worry about. They may withstand mechanical cleaning. However, acid treatments to enhance color may weaken some specimens. A professional gemologist should examine any pieces to identify treatments. Both jade varieties can take a high lustrous polish. Professional equipment is required for re-polishing.
KunziteUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushThis variety of spodumene has a distinct cleavage plane, which can open with little impact. Its lavender color fades in sunlight. This is definitely a “night stone.”
Lapis lazuliUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushThis porous material can vary greatly in appearance. It often receives dyes to enhance its color.
MalachiteUse cool water, mild detergent, and a soft brush.It polishes brightly but wear can cause the finish to dull. Rub vigorously with wood to help restore the finish.
OpalUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushExtremely sensitive to pressure and sudden temperature changes (hot or cold), which can cause crazing (surface cracking). This soft and delicate gem requires special care.
PearlClean with a damp, soft cloth. Remove stains with a mild soapy solution on a cloth. Don’t immerse pearls in liquid. Dry thoroughly. Carefully blow out drill holes. Moisture trapped there often leads to discoloration.These organic gems need special care to maintain their best appearance.
PeridotUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushAcids (even from sweat) and heat can damage peridot stones. Wear with caution and protective settings, as surface scratches will diminish this gem’s finish.
RubyUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush. Mechanical cleaning can also be used.Increasingly, rubies receive oil treatments. Be aware that mechanical cleaning could remove this oil. In addition, high heat could damage gems with many crystal inclusions.
SapphireUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush. Mechanical cleaning can also be used.Sapphire, like ruby, is gem-quality corundum. Thus, it generally receives the same treatments as ruby, so the same care advice applies. This gem may receive oil treatments, and inclusions may weaken its normally tough structure.
SpinelUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush. Mechanical cleaning can also be used.Hard and durable, spinels should give you little trouble. They maintain their beauty over time.
TanzaniteUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushHeat treatments create this gem’s stunning blue color. Tanzanite is fragile, relatively soft, and sensitive to heat and vibrations.
TurquoiseWipe with a damp cloth, then immediately dry.Avoid cleaning this porous gem material with soap, detergents, or cleaning solutions. They tend to penetrate the material, thus turning it green and/or an unattractive off-color blue.
TopazUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushEasy cleavage makes mechanical cleaning relatively dangerous for topaz. Both vibrations and heating may damage these gems. Jewelry stones may also have stress points from prongs due to improper settings.
TourmalineUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushAlthough reasonably hard gems, tourmalines tend to be brittle. The pink variety is often flawed and could be structurally weak, thus vulnerable to vibration damage. These gems are moderately sensitive to heat. Bi-colored crystals sometimes split at color junctures.
ZirconUse warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brushProne to impurities, zircon can be affected by heat extremes. Nevertheless, fine blue and white zircon is heat treated.

The Gemstone Spa: Cleaning Your Precious Stones

Just like us, gemstones need a little pampering from time to time. They might not enjoy a good Netflix binge or a tub of ice cream (who can blame them, though?), but they do appreciate a good cleaning session. However, before you grab your scrubbing brush and detergent, it’s important to remember that not all gemstones enjoy the same cleaning methods.

The Mohs Scale: The Gemstone Hardness Chart

The Origin Story: Friedrich Mohs and His Legendary Scale

Our story begins in the early 19th century with a German mineralogist named Friedrich Mohs. Now, Friedrich wasn’t your average mineralogist. He was a man on a mission, determined to bring order to the chaotic world of minerals. And so, he devised a grading system for the relative hardness of minerals, which we now know as the Mohs Scale.


The Mohs Scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest (think talc, which is so soft you can scratch it with your fingernail) and 10 being the hardest (think diamond, which is so hard it can scratch virtually anything else). This scale is crucial when deciding how to clean your gemstones, and here’s why.

The Hidden Danger: Household Dust

You might think that the biggest threats to your gemstones are things like harsh chemicals or accidental drops. But there’s a hidden danger lurking in your home, and it’s something you’d least expect: household dust.

I know what you’re thinking. “Dust? Really? How can something so insignificant pose a threat to my precious gemstones?” Well, it turns out that household dust is not as harmless as it seems. It can reach up to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale because it contains a lot of silica and quartz. That’s harder than most gemstones!

The Mohs Scale in Action: Cleaning Your Gemstones

How does the Mohs Scale come into play when cleaning your gemstones? Well, it’s all about understanding the hardness of your gemstone and the potential abrasives that could scratch it.


For instance, if you have a gemstone that’s around 7 on the Mohs Scale, you need to be extra careful when cleaning it. Even something as seemingly harmless as dusting it off with a dry cloth could potentially scratch it, because the dust on the cloth could contain particles that are harder than the gemstone.

On the other hand, if you have a diamond (a solid 10 on the Mohs Scale), you can be a bit more relaxed when cleaning it. Diamonds are incredibly hard and can withstand a lot more than softer gemstones. However, even diamonds have their Achilles’ heel. They can be cleaved along certain planes if struck with enough force, so they’re not entirely invincible!

The Mohs Scale and Beyond: A Comprehensive Approach to Gemstone Care

While the Mohs Scale is a fantastic tool for understanding the hardness of your gemstones and how to clean them, it’s just one piece of the gemstone care puzzle. There are many other factors to consider, such as the gemstone’s toughness (resistance to chipping or cracking), stability (resistance to temperature changes and light exposure), and reactivity (resistance to chemicals).

But don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging! In the next sections, we’ll delve deeper into these topics and provide you with a comprehensive guide to gemstone care. So stay tuned, and remember: when it comes to gemstone care, knowledge is power!

The Warm Soapy Water Method

The warm soapy water method is a simple, gentle, and effective way to clean your gemstones. It involves mixing a little mild detergent with warm water, letting your jewelry soak for a few minutes, and then gently brushing it clean. Remember to rinse off all the soapy residue and dry it with a soft, lint-free microfibre cloth. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is! But there’s more to this method than meets the eye.

The Science Behind the Suds: Why Does the Warm Soapy Water Method Work?

To understand why the warm soapy water method works, we need to take a quick detour into the world of chemistry. Don’t worry, I promise it won’t be as scary as your high school chemistry class!


Soap molecules have a unique structure: one end is hydrophilic (water-loving), and the other end is hydrophobic (water-fearing). When you mix soap with water, the hydrophilic ends of the soap molecules are attracted to the water, while the hydrophobic ends are repelled by it. This causes the soap molecules to arrange themselves into tiny spheres called micelles, with the hydrophilic ends pointing outwards and the hydrophobic ends tucked away inside.

When you soak your gemstones in warm soapy water, the micelles surround the dirt and grime on the surface of the gemstones. The hydrophobic ends of the soap molecules latch onto the dirt, while the hydrophilic ends remain in contact with the water. Then, when you rinse your gemstones, the water washes away the micelles, taking the dirt with them. Voila! Your gemstones are clean and sparkling again.

The Art of the Soak: Perfecting the Warm Soapy Water Method

While the warm soapy water method is simple, there are a few tricks to perfecting it. First, it’s important to use the right kind of soap. A mild detergent is best, as harsh soaps can damage certain gemstones. Also, avoid soaps with moisturizers, as they can leave a residue on your gemstones.

Second, the temperature of the water matters. Warm water is ideal because it helps the soap to dissolve and work its magic. However, be careful not to use hot water, as sudden temperature changes can damage certain gemstones.

Third, don’t forget to rinse your gemstones thoroughly after cleaning them. Any soapy residue left on the gemstones can attract more dirt and grime, undoing all your hard work.

Finally, drying your gemstones is just as important as cleaning them. A soft, lint-free microfibre cloth is ideal for this task. Avoid using paper towels or other materials that can scratch your gemstones.


The Warm Soapy Water Method: A Universal Solution?

While the warm soapy water method is safe for most gemstones, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Certain gemstones, such as pearls and opals, require special care and should not be cleaned using this method. Always do your research or consult a professional before cleaning your gemstones.

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Not for Every Gemstone

Ultrasonic cleaning is a method that uses ultrasound (usually from 20–400 kHz) and an appropriate cleaning solvent (sometimes ordinary tap water) to clean items. The ultrasound can be used with just water, but the use of a solvent appropriate for the item to be cleaned enhances the effect.

This method is swift and efficient, reaching into tiny crevices and removing trapped dirt or particles. It’s like giving your gemstones a deep-cleaning treatment that leaves them sparkling and radiant.

The Science Behind Ultrasonic Cleaning

Now, you might be wondering, “How does ultrasonic cleaning work?” Well, it’s all about the power of sound waves. When these high-frequency sound waves travel through the cleaning solution, they create millions of tiny bubbles. This process is called cavitation.

These bubbles might be tiny, but they’re mighty! When they implode, they produce microscopic shock waves that dislodge the dirt and grime from the surface of your gemstones. It’s like each bubble is a tiny dirt-busting superhero, fighting the forces of grime and bringing back the sparkle to your gemstones.

The Dark Side of Ultrasonic Cleaning: Not Suitable for All Gemstones

While ultrasonic cleaning might sound like a dream come true, it’s not suitable for all gemstones. Some gemstones, like Amber, Emerald, Opal, Pearl, Peridot, and Tanzanite, should never be cleaned ultrasonically.


Why, you ask? Well, these gemstones are either too soft, too brittle, or have too many internal fractures to withstand the powerful shock waves produced by the bubbles. Cleaning these gemstones ultrasonically could lead to cracking, chipping, or even complete destruction. And nobody wants that!

Amber: The Fossilized Resin That Fears the Bubbles

Let’s take Amber, for instance. Amber is not technically a gemstone, but a fossilized resin. It’s soft and can be easily scratched or damaged. The intense vibrations from ultrasonic cleaning can cause the Amber to crack or shatter.

Emerald: The Green Gem That Prefers a Gentle Touch

Emeralds, with their rich, green hue, are some of the most coveted gemstones in the world. But they’re also one of the most included, meaning they have internal fractures. These fractures can fill with oil or resin to improve the Emerald’s clarity. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this filling and also cause additional fractures.

Opal, Pearl, Peridot, and Tanzanite: The Delicate Beauties That Need Special Care

Opals, Pearls, Peridots, and Tanzanites are other examples of gemstones that should not be cleaned ultrasonically. Opals contain water and can crack if subjected to intense vibrations. Pearls are soft and porous, and ultrasonic cleaning can damage their nacre (the substance that gives them their luster). Peridots are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, which can occur in an ultrasonic cleaner. Tanzanites are also prone to cracking under the intense vibrations of ultrasonic cleaning.

The Verdict: To Ultrasonic Clean or Not to Ultrasonic Clean?

So, should you use ultrasonic cleaning for your gemstones? The answer is: it depends. If you have gemstones like Diamonds, Rubies, or Sapphires, which are hard and durable, ultrasonic cleaning can be a quick and efficient way to restore their sparkle. But if you have softer or more included gemstones like Amber, Emerald, Opal, Pearl, Peridot, or Tanzanite, it’s best to stick to gentler cleaning methods.

The Precautionary Principle: When in Doubt, Consult a Professional

If you’re not sure whether your gemstones can be cleaned ultrasonically, it’s always best to consult a professional. A professional jeweler or gemologist can advise you on the best cleaning methods for your specific gemstones. Remember, each gemstone is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.

Steam Cleaning: Handle with Care

Steam cleaning is a method that uses high temperature and pressure to clean items. It’s efficient and can reach into tiny crevices and remove trapped dirt or particles. It’s like giving your gemstones a deep-cleaning treatment that leaves them sparkling and radiant.

The Science Behind Steam Cleaning

Now, you might be wondering, “How does steam cleaning work?” Well, it’s all about the power of heat and pressure. When water is heated to its boiling point, it turns into steam. This steam is then pressurized and directed towards the item to be cleaned.


The high temperature of the steam helps to loosen dirt and grime, while the pressure helps to dislodge it. The result? A deep-clean that leaves your gemstones looking their best.

The Dark Side of Steam Cleaning: Handle with Care

While steam cleaning might sound like a dream come true, it’s not without its risks. The high temperature and pressure can be too much for some gemstones to handle, leading to what’s known as thermal shock.

Thermal shock occurs when the temperature of a gemstone changes suddenly, causing it to expand or contract rapidly. This rapid change can cause the gemstone to crack or even split. And nobody wants that!

The Victims of Thermal Shock: Not All Gemstones Can Handle the Heat

Certain gemstones are more prone to thermal shock than others. These include gemstones with high levels of internal stress, such as diamond, or gemstones with a lot of inclusions, such as emerald. Gemstones that are naturally brittle, such as opal, are also at risk.

The Precautionary Principle: When in Doubt, Consult a Professional

If you’re not sure whether your gemstones can withstand steam cleaning, it’s always best to consult a professional. A professional jeweler or gemologist can advise you on the best cleaning methods for your specific gemstones. Remember, each gemstone is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.

The Steam Cleaning Process: A Closer Look

Let’s take a closer look at the steam cleaning process. It begins with the preparation of the steam cleaner. The machine is filled with water, which is then heated until it turns into steam. The steam is pressurized and directed through a nozzle towards the gemstone.

The gemstone is held in place with a pair of tweezers or a similar tool, and the steam is directed at the gemstone from different angles. This ensures that all surfaces of the gemstone are cleaned.

The process is quick, usually taking only a few minutes. However, the results can be dramatic, with the gemstone emerging from the steam cleaner sparkling clean and radiant.

The Risks of Steam Cleaning: A Word of Caution

While steam cleaning can produce excellent results, it’s not without its risks. As we’ve already discussed, the high temperature and pressure can cause thermal shock in certain gemstones. But there are other risks as well.

For instance, steam cleaning can remove oils and other substances that are used to enhance the appearance of certain gemstones. Emeralds, for instance, are often treated with oil to fill inclusions and improve clarity. Steam cleaning can remove this oil, leaving the emerald looking dull and lifeless.

Steam cleaning can also damage porous gemstones like turquoise or pearls. The steam can penetrate the pores of the gemstone, causing it to crack or discolor.

The Steam Cleaning Experience: A Vivid Picture

To give you a more vivid picture of the steam cleaning process, let’s imagine a typical scenario. Picture a beautiful ruby ring that has lost some of its sparkle due to dirt and grime. The ruby is a hard gemstone, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale, and can safely undergo steam cleaning.

The jeweler fills the steam cleaner with water and switches it on. As the water heats up, it turns into steam, which is pressurized within the machine. The jeweler holds the ruby ring with a pair of tweezers and positions it so that the steam will hit all the surfaces of the gemstone.

The jeweler then releases a burst of steam towards the ruby. The steam hits the gemstone with a hissing sound, and tiny particles of dirt and grime are blasted away. The jeweler moves the ring around, ensuring that the steam cleans every nook and cranny.

After a few minutes, the jeweler switches off the steam cleaner and inspects the ring. The ruby is now sparkling clean, its rich red color glowing under the light. The jeweler dries off the ring and hands it back, ready to dazzle once again.

Special Cases

Some gemstones require extra special care. Opals, for instance, should be cleaned with warm soapy water but should not be fully submerged. Amber, being millions of years old, should be gently rubbed with a moistened soft cloth. Pearls, being incredibly soft and porous, should be wiped carefully with a moistened very soft cloth and dried immediately.

Opal

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Opal, with its mesmerizing play of colors, is undoubtedly one of nature’s most spectacular treasures. It’s like a rainbow captured in stone, a kaleidoscope of hues that change with every angle. But this dazzling beauty comes with a catch: Opals require special care to keep them looking their best. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of Opal care.

Opal: A Brief Introduction

Before we delve into the specifics of Opal care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Opal is a form of silica, similar to quartz, but it contains water within its mineral structure. This gives Opal its unique play-of-color, a phenomenon where flashes of different colors appear when the gemstone is viewed from different angles.

Opals come in a variety of colors, from the classic white Opal with its rainbow-like play-of-color to the deep black Opal with its intense blue and green hues. Each Opal is unique, a one-of-a-kind piece of nature’s art.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Opal Cleaning

Cleaning Opals requires a gentle touch. Unlike harder gemstones like diamonds or rubies, Opals can’t withstand harsh cleaning methods. Ultrasonic and steam cleaning are a definite no-no. These methods can cause the water inside the Opal to heat up and expand, leading to cracks or even shattering.

Even submerging your Opal in water can be risky. Some Opals are doublets or triplets, where the Opal layer has been combined with another gem or a synthetic material to strengthen it. Soaking these Opals in water can cause the layers to separate.

So, what’s the best way to clean your Opal? The answer is simple: warm soapy water. But instead of submerging the Opal, moisten a soft, lint-free microfibre cloth and gently buff the gemstone. Then, use a dry part of the cloth to remove any remaining moisture. And remember, Opals don’t like sudden temperature changes, so make sure the water is room temperature.

The Heat and Opal: A Dangerous Combination

Opals and heat are not a good mix. Opals contain a small amount of moisture, and if this dries out, you can get surface cracks, a phenomenon known as crazing. So, keep your Opals well away from any extreme heat sources, such as radiators, open fires, or even direct sunlight.

If you fear your Opal is losing moisture, there’s a simple trick you can try. Wrap the Opal in moist (but not soaking) cotton wool and put it in an airtight bag. Check it regularly and re-moisten the cotton wool if it has dried out. This can help to rehydrate your Opal and prevent crazing.

Opals and Chemicals: Keep Them Apart

Opals react badly to acid and alcohol. These chemicals can damage the Opal’s structure and dull its play-of-color. So, be especially careful to keep your Opals away from household cleaning products, aftershaves, perfumes, and other chemical substances.

Even the natural oils and acids on your skin can affect your Opal over time. So, it’s a good idea to clean your Opal after wearing it, especially if it’s a ring or a bracelet that comes into direct contact with your skin.

Opal Storage: Keep It Safe

When you’re not wearing your Opal, store it in a soft pouch or a jewelry box with a padded lining. This will protect the Opal from scratches and knocks. Also, avoid storing your Opal in a dry or hot environment, asthis can cause the Opal to lose moisture and crack.

Opal Care: A Labor of Love

Caring for your Opals is more than just a routine task. It’s a labor of love, a testament to your appreciation for these extraordinary gemstones. Every time you clean your Opals, you’re not just maintaining their beauty, you’re honoring the incredible natural process that created them.

Amber

Amber

Amber, the golden gemstone that carries within it a glimpse of the ancient past, is a marvel to behold. Formed from fossilized tree sap from prehistoric forests, Amber is a testament to the passage of time, encapsulating millions of years within its warm, glowing hues. But this beauty comes with a delicate nature that requires special care and attention.

Amber: A Brief Introduction

Before we delve into the specifics of Amber care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Amber is not a stone in the traditional sense, but rather, it’s an organically formed material, much like pearls. However, while a pearl can develop in just a few years, Amber takes millions of years to form.

To put that into perspective, if we say that (on average) a pearl takes four years to form, and that a piece of Amber is around 40 million years old, if we reduce the ratio to say that the pearl was formed in one second, then the Amber would still take almost four months to form!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Amber Cleaning

Given its organic nature and its age, Amber is not something you want to spoil by using the wrong cleaning product. It requires a gentle touch and a careful approach.

The warm soapy water method can still be used with Amber, but with a few modifications. First, don’t submerge the Amber in water. Instead, moisten a soft cloth with the soapy water and gently rub the gem. Use only a small amount of mild detergent, as harsh chemicals can damage the Amber.

After cleaning, dry the Amber immediately. Amber doesn’t like prolonged exposure to moisture, which can cause it to lose its polish and become cloudy.

If you encounter more stubborn dirt, you can use a brush, but make sure it’s incredibly soft. Amber is only a 2 to 2.5 on the Mohs scale, which means it’s very soft and can be easily scratched.

Cleaning Amber Jewelry with Multiple Gems

If you have a piece of Amber jewelry with multiple gems, try to clean and dry them one at a time. This will prevent prolonged moisture exposure on the Amber’s surface, which, as we’ve mentioned, can cause it to lose its polish and become cloudy.

Restoring Amber’s Polish

If you feel your Amber piece has lost its polish, there’s a simple trick you can try. Rub in a little olive oil or almond oil with a soft cloth. These oils can help to restore the Amber’s natural shine. After applying the oil, dry the Amber off to prevent any residue from attracting dirt.

Pearl

Pearl

Pearl, the gem of the sea, is a marvel of nature’s artistry. Created organically by molluscs, usually oysters, pearls are the epitome of elegance and glamour. However, their organic nature and softness mean they require special care and attention. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of pearl care.

Pearl: A Brief Introduction

Before we delve into the specifics of pearl care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Pearls are unique in the gem world as they are created by living creatures. When an irritant, such as a grain of sand, gets inside the mollusc’s shell, the mollusc responds by coating the irritant with layers of nacre, a lustrous substance that eventually forms a pearl.

Pearls come in a variety of shapes and colors, from the classic round white pearls to the exotic black Tahitian pearls. Each pearl is unique, a one-of-a-kind piece of nature’s art.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pearl Cleaning

Given their organic nature and softness, pearls require a gentle touch when it comes to cleaning. They rank between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale, which means they are much softer than most gems. Even a fingernail is hard enough to mark the surface of some pearls.

Amazingly, some pearl care advice suggests trying to avoid letting pearls touch the skin, as even perspiration and oils from our skin can cause problems. However, don’t let this stop you from wearing your pearls as you wish. If they do come into contact with your skin, simply wipe them down with a very soft clean cloth when you take them off.

Always put your pearls on last when you’re getting ready, as they are vulnerable to all sorts of cosmetic products. Perfumes, hairsprays, and even makeup can damage the pearl’s lustrous surface.

The Modified Warm Soapy Water Method for Pearls

The warm soapy water method can be slightly modified to work well with pearls. Despite their oceanic origins, pearls are incredibly soft and porous, so it’s recommended that you don’t dip them into any liquid.

When preparing your soapy water, only use a tiny amount of mild detergent. Moisten a very soft and clean lint-free microfibre cloth and gently wipe your pearls. If there’s any remaining dirt, use a very soft brush to dislodge it.

After cleaning, dry your pearls immediately with a dry portion of your cloth. If the pearls are drilled and threaded, on a necklace for example, take care to get as much moisture away from the threading material as you can. Never use heat to dry the piece, but you can blow gently to remove any remaining moisture.

Regular Maintenance of Threaded Pearl Pieces

Threaded pearl pieces, like necklaces and bracelets, require regular maintenance. It’s worth having these pieces restrung every few years to ensure the integrity of the piece. The threading material can weaken over time, and restringing can prevent any potential breakage.

And remember, never take your pearls near a steam or ultrasonic cleaner. These cleaning methods are too harsh for the delicate nature of pearls.

Kunzite

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Kunzite, with its delicate pink to violet hues, is a gemstone that exudes a quiet elegance. Known as the evening gemstone, Kunzite is a sight to behold in subtle lighting. However, this beautiful gemstone requires special care to keep it looking its best. So, let’s delve into the world of Kunzite care.

Kunzite: A Brief Introduction

Before we explore the specifics of Kunzite care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Kunzite is a variety of the mineral spodumene and is named after the famed gemologist George Frederick Kunz who first catalogued it in the early 20th century.

Kunzite is prized for its lovely pink to violet color, which is due to traces of manganese. The gemstone’s color can range from a subtle pink to a deep violet, and it often displays a beautiful pleochroism, showing different colors when viewed from different angles.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Kunzite Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning Kunzite, the warm soapy water method is your best bet. This method is gentle enough not to damage the gemstone but effective enough to keep it clean and sparkling. Simply moisten a soft cloth with the soapy water and gently wipe the Kunzite. Then, dry it immediately with a dry part of the cloth.

However, there’s more to Kunzite care than just cleaning. Kunzite is a delicate gemstone that can lose its beautiful color with prolonged exposure to bright sunlight. Therefore, it’s best to keep your Kunzite out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

Kunzite: The Evening Gemstone

Kunzite’s sensitivity to sunlight has earned it the nickname “the evening gemstone.” It’s a gemstone that looks stunning in more subtle lighting, where its delicate hues can truly shine. So, consider wearing your Kunzite jewelry in the evening or in low-light settings to showcase its beauty.

Protecting Your Kunzite from Heat and Temperature Changes

In addition to sunlight, Kunzite also needs to be protected from extreme heat and sudden temperature changes. These can cause the gemstone to crack or lose its color. So, keep your Kunzite away from heat sources, and avoid exposing it to sudden temperature changes.

Storing Your Kunzite

When you’re not wearing your Kunzite, store it in a jewelry box or pouch. This will protect the gemstone from scratches and knocks, as well as from exposure to sunlight and heat. Remember, Kunzite is a delicate gemstone that requires careful handling and storage.

Emerald

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Emerald, the gem of kings, is a gemstone that has captivated humanity for centuries with its deep green hue. However, this stunning gemstone requires special care to keep it looking its best. So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of Emerald care.

Emerald: A Brief Introduction

Before we explore the specifics of Emerald care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl, and it gets its green color from traces of chromium and vanadium. It’s one of the four recognized precious gemstones, along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire.

Emeralds are prized for their rich green color, which can range from a light green to a deep, intense green. The most desirable Emeralds have a deep green hue with a slight bluish tint.

The Art of Oiling Emeralds

One unique aspect of Emerald care is the practice of oiling. It’s not unusual for an Emerald to have been oiled to improve its appearance. This is a common Emerald treatment that has been documented as far back as Ancient Egypt. Some estimates place 90% of the world’s Emeralds in the oiled category.

Oiling is done to fill in the tiny fissures and cracks that are common in Emeralds. This enhances the gemstone’s clarity and overall appearance. The oil used, such as cedar oil, has a similar refractive index to Emerald, which makes the treatment virtually invisible.

Re-Oiling Your Emerald

Over time, an oiled Emerald may lose some of its character and shine as the oil gradually dries up or gets washed out. If you feel your Emerald has lost some of its luster, talk to a professional jeweler about having it re-oiled.

Re-oiling requires specialist equipment and the use of a specific oil. It’s a delicate process that should be left to professionals. While there are some home methods for re-oiling listed online, many of them could damage your gem irreparably.

Cleaning Your Emerald

For general cleaning, the warm soapy water method is fine for Emeralds. Simply moisten a soft cloth with the soapy water and gently wipe the gemstone. Then, dry it immediately with a dry part of the cloth.

However, don’t soak your Emerald for long. Emeralds are porous gemstones, and prolonged soaking can remove the oil treatment and dull the gemstone’s appearance. Also, avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaning, as these methods can damage the Emerald and remove the oil treatment.

Druzy

Caring For Gemstone Jewelry 4

Druzy, often referred to as the fairy dust of the gemstone world, is a sight to behold. With its myriad of tiny crystals, Druzy offers a very different look compared to many other gems. However, this unique beauty requires extra special care to keep it looking its best. So, let’s delve into the fascinating world of Druzy care.

Druzy: A Brief Introduction

Before we explore the specifics of Druzy care, let’s take a moment to appreciate this extraordinary gemstone. Druzy, also spelled ‘drusy’, refers to a coating of fine crystals on a rock fracture surface, vein, or within a geode. It’s like a blanket of glittering, tiny crystals, and it can occur in a wide range of colors.

Druzy gemstones are prized for their sparkle and their unique texture. They have a sugar-like appearance, and when they catch the light, they sparkle beautifully. Each Druzy gemstone is unique, a one-of-a-kind piece of nature’s art.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Druzy Cleaning

Given its unique structure, Druzy requires a gentle touch when it comes to cleaning. The warm soapy water method is fine for Druzy, but with a few modifications.

First, don’t use a cloth to clean your Druzy. The tiny crystals can easily get caught in the fibers of the cloth, which can damage the gemstone. Instead, choose a very soft brush for cleaning. Use a gentle motion to work away any dirt that may be on your gem.

You can dip the Druzy in the soapy water if necessary, but don’t keep it in the water for long. Druzy is porous, and prolonged soaking can cause the tiny crystals to loosen or even fall off.

Rinsing and Drying Your Druzy

Once you’ve finished cleaning your Druzy, rinse it briefly under running water to remove any soapy residue. Then, shake off any excess moisture. It’s important to get your Druzy as dry as possible as quickly as possible to prevent any water spots or stains from forming.

You can use a hair dryer to ensure the piece is totally dry. This will stop any specks or spots forming where the moisture has evaporated. Use a very low heat setting, or even cool air if your model has this feature. Remember, heat can damage Druzy, so it’s important to dry it gently.

Gold and Silver: The Timeless Metals and Their Care

Gold and Silver, the timeless metals that have been cherished by humanity for centuries, are a staple in any jewelry collection. Their lustrous shine and classic appeal make them a favorite choice for jewelry. However, like all precious materials, they require special care to keep them looking their best. So, let’s delve into the world of Gold and Silver care.

Gold and Silver: A Brief Introduction

Before we explore the specifics of Gold and Silver care, let’s take a moment to appreciate these extraordinary metals. Gold and Silver have been used in jewelry making for thousands of years, prized for their beauty, malleability, and resistance to corrosion.

Gold, with its warm, rich hue, is a symbol of wealth and power. It’s often alloyed with other metals to increase its strength and durability. Silver, on the other hand, is known for its cool, elegant shine. It’s softer than Gold and is often used in its pure form or as an alloy with other metals.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Gold and Silver Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning Gold and Silver, a soft cloth and a little soapy water can work wonders. This method is gentle enough not to damage the metals but effective enough to keep them clean and shiny.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. Some home cleaning methods suggest using products like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda diluted in water. While these may work for purely metal pieces, they can be harmful to most precious stones. So, if your Gold or Silver jewelry features gemstones, it’s best to stick to the soapy water method.

Also, bear in mind that metalwork can be plated, and harsh cleaning can eventually remove that plating. So, always use a gentle touch when cleaning your Gold and Silver jewelry.

Special Cloths for Metalwork Cleaning

There are specific cloths on the market that are designed for metalwork cleaning. These cloths have the cleaning solutions embedded into them, reducing mess and making the cleaning process easier.

These cloths are great for cleaning and buffing your Gold and Silver jewelry. They can remove tarnish and restore the metals’ natural shine. In most cases, buffing the metal at the same time as cleaning your gems will keep your jewelry looking as good as new.

The Gemstone Wardrobe: Storing Your Gemstones

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the beauty of your gemstones. Keep them away from extreme heat sources and bright sunlight. Avoid leaving them in humid areas like the kitchen or bathroom. When not being worn, wrap them individually in soft pouches or keep them in a jewelry box where the pieces can’t touch and scratch each other.

The Gemstone Lifestyle: Extra Care Tips

Prevention is better than cure. Always put your jewelry on last when getting ready to avoid contact with perfume, hairspray, and other cosmetic products. Remove your jewelry whendoing manual work, exercising, or playing sports. Chemicals in swimming pools can also damage your gemstones, so it’s best to leave your jewelry at home when going for a swim.

The Gemstone Hospital: When to Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our gemstones may need professional care. For instance, if your Emerald has lost some of its shine, it might need to be re-oiled by a professional jeweler. Similarly, if your Pearl necklace needs restringing or your precious metalwork needs a touch-up, it’s best to consult a professional.

The Gemstone Whisperer: Listening to Your Gemstones

Just like pets, plants, and people, gemstones communicate with us in their own way. If your gemstone is losing its sparkle, it might be telling you it needs a cleaning. If it’s getting scratched, it might be asking for a softer pouch or a separate compartment in your jewelry box. The key is to listen to these signs and respond accordingly.

Emoche ✦ The Crystal Authority
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