Gems are among the most durable of nature’s creations. With a little care, they will be as beautiful for generations to come as they are today.
To keep your gems sparkling, clean them when dust and fingerprints have dimmed their brilliance. The best way to clean your gemstone jewelry is in a bowl of water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Using an old toothbrush or other soft brush, scrub gently behind the stone where dust and soap can collect. Then just rinse and pat try with a soft cloth.
A home ultrasonic cleaner should be used with extreme caution. It can be used to clean ruby, sapphire, diamond, iolite, amethyst, citrine, garnets, iolite, chrysoberyl, and unadorned gold jewelry but it may damage gems like emerald, pink tourmaline, peridot, pearls, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, and any gem that has many inclusions. When in doubt, don’t use it.
Organic gems like pearls, amber, and coral require special care because they are porous. Make sure you don’t expose them to the chemicals in hair products, fragrances and cosmetics. Store them in a cloth-lined box or pouch and keep them away from other jewelry, which might scratch them. To clean them, simply wipe clean with a soft cloth. Strands of pearls should be restrung if the cord frays or stretches so that individual pearls move.
To keep your gemstone rings looking brilliant, remove them before vigorous exercise or working with your hands. Some gem varieties might be damaged with a sharp blow. When removing your rings, don’t pull them off by the gemstone: this won’t damage the gem but it can, over time, stretch the metal that holds it in place, making the setting less secure.
To protect the beauty of your gems and jewelry, make sure you store each piece separately. Gems may scratch each other or the metal in your jewelry. Avoid creating a tangle of jewelry by wrapping each piece individually or keeping it in its own compartment. Especially when you travel, make sure your jewelry pieces don’t jostle each other in one bag.
If you have jewelry, perhaps passed down to you, that has seen better days or doesn’t suit your style, consider resetting the gems into a modern piece. Gems should be worn and enjoyed, not kept locked away in a safety deposit box.
|Colored gemstone information and jewelry fashion from the non-profit American Gem Trade Association|
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