Proper Cleaning & Care Techniques
It is important to clean your gemstones often to keep them looking their best. Before cleaning your jewelry or gemstones make sure to consider whether the method of cleaning is safe for the specific variety of gemstones you are planning to clean. All gemstones are not created equal and cannot endure the same methods of cleaning, what works for one stone might cause irreversible damage to another. When in doubt always consult a professional to learn how to properly care for your gemstones and jewelry. Gemstones took thousands if not millions of years to form and with the proper care their beauty is timeless. Your gemstones are precious and should be treated as such...
To keep your gemstones looking as brilliant as the first day you got it, keep in mind there are right and wrong ways to clean your gemstones. It is important to realize that what works for cleaning one gemstone may not be safe for another. If you are not cautious when choosing how to clean your gemstone you will end up inadvertently damaging your stone using unsafe cleaning practices. The best way to avoid an unwanted cleaning fiasco, if you are unclear or unsure how to properly clean or care for your gemstones or jewelry is to consult a professional.
Preparing for the day can be hazardous to your gemstones unless you take some simple precautions to ensure their safety. Remember to check your jewelry to make sure no stones are loose and always remove all jewelry before engaging in physical or strenuous activities to prevent losing stones. Your gemstone jewelry should be the last thing you put on when you start getting dressed and the first thing you take off at the end of the night. Using a gemstone cleaning cloth or 100% cotton cloth wipe down your gemstones or jewelry after they have been handled or worn, to remove any oils and particular that may have come into contact with the stones throughout the day.
The safest way to clean a gemstone does not require special equipment or expensive chemical cleaners. To safely clean a gemstone, take a bowl of warm water with a drop of mild detergent and a rag to gently scrub the stone occasionally dipping the stone in the warm water. Continue washing the stone with the soapy water until the stone appears clean. Next rinse the stone in a bowl of clean water to remove any soap. After the gemstone has been thoroughly rinsed dry using a soft cloth. To avoid a potentially costly mistake of losing a gemstone down the drain by keeping in mind gemstones can be very slippery when wet which is why it is recommended to use bowls of water oppose to the sink. Gemstone cleaning accessories are available that help prevent losing gemstones while washing. This process should not require much effort and should be done with care to avoid damaging the stone. A soft brush or toothbrush can be used to clean behind gemstones set in jewelry. Be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid scratching the stone or popping it out altogether.
When storing your gemstones or jewelry, no matter if it is long or short term, it is important to keep in mind, some gemstones are harder than others so be careful keeping them next to one another to prevent them from scratching each other reducing the polish. When possible try to store them in their own separate space. Another way to keep the gemstones and jewelry safe is to wrap them is some sort of cloth, individual plastic bags, gem jars, or wrap them in jewelers' tissue. Small efforts go a long way to keeping your stones looking their very best.
The temperature your gemstones are stored in should be constant. Excessive fluctuation in temperature can cause your gemstones to fracture and ultimately result in them breaking. Another potential hazard is prolonged exposure to strong sunlight can cause some colored stones to lose their color or fade. To avoid sun damage, store your gemstones out of direct sunlight. This is especially true with gemstones like amethyst, citrine, and smoky quartz. Heat can also be harmful to some gemstones, this is especially true with opals and emeralds.
An ultrasonic cleaner can be used but should only be used by someone that has experience with what gems it can safely be used on. Examples of gems it can safely be used on included rubies, sapphires, and amethyst; but keep in mind others softer gems like emerald, pearls, and turquoise can be damaged. To avoid damaging your gemstones or jewelry always consult the instruction manual intended for the specific instrument to determine if your gemstone can be safely cleaned.
Organic gemstones like pearls, coral, amber, lapis, lazuli, and turquoise can be damaged if improperly cleaned. It is important that soft porous organic gemstones are never soaked. The prolonged soaking in any solution can damage the polish of these stone. To clean softer stones simply wipe clean with a soft cloth avoiding to scrub too hard which can scratch the surface of the stone. Organic gemstones are softer and more porous putting them at higher risks of damage from chemical contact.
Take care not to expose your gemstones to chemicals when doing everyday actives like washing dishes, showering, swimming in chlorinated pools, spraying hairspray or perfume, applying makeup, or any other activity that puts your stones at risk of exposure. Chemicals can dull or even leave pits in the surface of your gemstones. The organic gemstones which are softer and more porous are at higher risks of damage. Petroleum-based products can cause amber to melt if allowed to remain on the stone for extended periods of time. Some examples of chemicals that can be harmful and should be avoided are chlorine, bleach, denatured alcohol, turpentine, acetone, and ammonia.
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