Caring for your gemstones
In order to keep gems looking as vibrant and valuable as on the first day of purchase, it is important to keep in mind a few basic rules and follow some specific cleaning techniques:
Make sure that gemstone jewelry is stored away from direct sunlight because a lot of gemstones, like amethyst, citrine and smoky quartz, can fade in sunlight. Opals also require extra special care. It is not advisable to put an opal ring on the window sill when washing your hands or the dishes, since strong sunlight can dry out the water in opal, which can cause hazing or color change. Heat should also always be avoided with regard to opal. Pearls should also be treated with particular care, since scratches, perfumes and household chemicals can wear away the nacre or cause color change quite easily. Emerald gemstones should also never be stored near heat.
Check for loose gemstones before wearing your jewelry and always remove it when engaging in strenuous activities. Restring pearl or bead necklaces if you wear them frequently. This will prevent lost gemstones.
Do not wear your jewelry if there is a risk of exposure to chemicals. Chlorine can damage gemstones and soap residue leaves jewellery looking dull. In addition, the chemicals in cosmetics, hairspray and perfume can damage some gems, so necklaces or pendants should be put on last when dressing and taken off first when undressing, as a precaution.
Take care when cleaning your jewellery or have a trusted jeweller do it for you. A bowl of water with a few drops of dish detergent will do the trick. To clean behind the stone you can use a soft toothbrush but don’t scrub too hard as this could scratch the stone. Scrub gently and then rinse. Dry gently using a soft cloth.
Always gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after wearing your jewelry. Use a nub free, 100% cotton cloth and gently wipe the piece clean.
All organic gems should only be wiped clean with a soft cloth; pearl, coral, and amber are examples of organic gems.
A home ultrasonic cleaner should be used with extreme caution and only by those who know how and which gems it can be used on. For example it can be used with ruby, sapphire and amethyst, however, it could damage gems such as emerald, turquoise, and pearl.
Be very careful when using any soaking method to clean jewelry that has soft stones such as amber, lapis lazuli, or turquoise. Extended soaking in any solution may harm the polish of the stone.