Gem Care

Your jewelry can get smudged, soiled and dusty over a short period of time. Lotions, powders, soaps - even the natural oils from your skin - can create a film on gemstones, reducing their brilliance. In addition, chemicals in the air can oxidize or discolor the mountings. Keeping your jewelry clean will maximize its beauty. Here are four ways we suggest you clean your jewelry:

Detergent Bath :
Prepare a small bowl of warm suds using any mild household liquid detergent. Brush the jewelry with a soft brush until you have created a lather around it. With the jewelry on a plastic or metal strainer, rinse off with warm water (be sure not to clean your jewelry over the drain!) Pat your jewelry dry with a soft, lint free cloth.

Cold Water Soak:
Make a solution of 4 parts cold-water and 1 part very mild dishwashing detergent. Soak the pieces for several minutes. Lift out and tap gently around all sides of the mounting with a soft brush. Rinse the pieces in the solution once more and drain on tissue paper.

Quick-Dip Method:
Buy one of the brand name liquid jewelry cleaners, choosing the one that is best for the kind of stones and metals in your jewelry. Read the label carefully and follow the instructions. Do not touch your clean gemstones with your fingers, as the oils from your hands will leave a film on the stone.

The Ultrasonic Cleaner:
There are many types of these small machines available to the public today. They will clean any piece of jewelry that can be soaked in a liquid within a matter of minutes. These machines often have a metal cup, which is filled with water and detergent. When the machine is turned on, a high-frequency turbulence is created.

NOTE:
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings before using these machines. The above methods are not appropriate for pearls, opals, lapis, corals and many other gems. A very quick dip in plain lukewarm water is suggested for these fragile pieces.

Stone

Ultrasonic

Steam

Boiling

General Comments

Amethyst

Okay

Gently

No

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Aquamarine

Okay

Gently

No

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Citrine

Okay

Gently

No

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Diamond

Okay

Okay

Okay

 

Emerald

No

No

No

Warm, mild soapy solution and soft brush.

Garnet

Okay

Gently

No

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Jade

Okay

Gently

No

 

Kunzite

No

Best avoided

No

Fragile stone; warm, mild soapy solution and soft brush.

Lapis

Best avoided

Gently

No

Be careful; material varies greatly; warm, mild soapy solution and soft brush.

Opal

No

No

No

Fragile stone; warm, mild soapy solution.

Pearls

No

No

No

Wipe with soft cloth. If very stained: warm, mild soapy solution on rag; don't dip in liquid. Be careful to dry thoroughly. Moisture remaining in drill hole can eventually cause discoloration.

Peridot

Okay, if cool

No

No

Fragile stone; warm, mild soapy solution and soft brush.

Ruby

Okay

Okay

Best avoided

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Sapphire

Okay

Okay

Best avoided

Generally poses no problem if material is clean.

Tanzanite

No

No

No

Fragile stone; warm, mild soapy solution and soft brush.

Topaz

Best avoided

Gently

No

Material has easy cleavage; if visible keep out of ultrasonic. otherwise few problems with clean material.

Tourmaline

Okay

Gently

No

Generally poses no problem if material is clean