Caring for Gemstones

Alluring and exquisite, gemstones have fascinated people since the ancient times. These treasured accessories attract attention due to their varied colours, shape, and brilliance. What makes them so precious is their rarity and natural toughness. But if you think that gemstones do not need any kind of care due to their tough nature, then you are mistaken. These sparkling stones may have high resistance but they are not indestructible. To maintain the beauty and sparkle of your gems and gem-studded jewellery, you have to treat them with care. Here is a quick guide about how to care for your gemstones and maintain their beauty.

How to Clean Your Gemstones?

It goes without saying that all precious and semi-precious stones must be cleaned frequently. You do not need any special appliances to clean them, though. Most stones respond well to mild detergent and warm water. Scrub them using a soft brush, preferably a baby brush with soft bristles. Avoid scrubbing too hard else you may end up scratching the stone. Rinse the stone and dry it gently with the help of a soft, lint-free cloth. Always rinse your gem-studded jewellery in a bowl of water. Sometimes the stones on a piece of jewellery become loose in their settings. Rinsing them in a sink or wash basin poses a risk of losing such gems. 

Things to Remember While Cleaning Your Gemstones

Almost all precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and others can be cleaned with mild detergent and water. But you should understand a little more about different gemstones and their nature before cleaning them. Some stones are of a sensitive nature. Learn how to clean them before attempting to do so at home. If you are applying any soaking method to clean your gem-studded jewellery, do so with care. For instance, you shouldn’t soak soft stones like turquoise and amber for a long time in water; it may damage their polish and shine.

Make sure to wipe off any trace of makeup from your gemstone jewellery when you remove them after use. A soft pure cotton cloth is the best choice for wiping such jewellery. Do you have jewellery with organic gems, such as amber or pearl? Always use a soft cloth to wipe them clean.

Are You Using An Ultrasonic Cleaner?

If yes, you need to keep certain things in mind. Ultrasonic cleaners offer an effective way to clean your stone jewellery. But you should take a note that they are not safe for cleaning all kinds of stones. Some gemstones like moonstone and emerald are prone to damage when you clean them in an ultrasonic cleaner. Use it only when you are sure about how and which gemstones are safe to be cleaned in it. When you are unsure how to clean your precious stone jewellery, take them to a jeweller. 

Store Your Gemstone Ornaments Separately

All precious and semi-precious stones, by their very nature, are hard. However, not all of them have the same degree of hardness. For instance, diamonds are the hardest stones in the world closely followed by rubies and sapphires. Emeralds, topazes, and aquamarines come next in the hardness scale. Pearls and peridots are comparatively softer gems. On the hardness scale, they are only half as hard as a diamond or ruby.

That is why you should store your gems separately. If you store all such ornaments together, your diamond rings may rub against your pearl bracelet, thereby causing damage to the latter. The best way out is to store them in separate compartments of your jewellery box. You can even store them in different pouches. Keep in mind that some gems like opals and pearls draw moisture from the air. So, avoid storing them in safe deposit boxes. It is best to store such jewellery in a jewellery box with fabric lining.

Protect Your Gemstones from Sunlight and Heat

The harsh rays of the sun can be harmful to not just your skin but your stone jewellery as well. Heat and light can impact a precious stone’s colour and durability. Direct sunlight can fade a lot of stones, including amethysts and smoky quartzes. Some gems like pearl and ivory run the risk of getting bleached due to sunlight. Heat can dry up the natural moisture of some gemstones. Sudden temperature changes and extreme heat can also cause a fracture in some gemstones. So, always take care to keep your gemstones away from sunlight and heat.

Keep Your Gemstones Away from Chemicals

Chemicals can be very harmful to your gemstone jewellery no matter whether it is made of gold, while gold, or platinum. And when we say chemicals, we don’t mean a bottle of sulphuric acid or hydrochloric acid. Even things you use every day can damage them. Such things include perfumes, hairsprays, cosmetics, lotions, etc. because they all contain chemicals in different amounts. So, it is important that you protect your gem-studded trinkets from your cosmetics box.

You can follow a few simple steps to keep your sparkling beauties away from chemicals. To begin with, make it a habit to wear your gem-studded earrings, bangles, rings, and necklaces as the last item. It should also be the first item that you remove. This will make sure that your gems do not come in contact with any kind of chemicals.

If you love swimming, make sure that you remove your jewellery before diving into a swimming pool. The chlorinated water can do much damage to these beauties. You should keep your gemstone jewellery away from any household item containing bleach, chlorine, and other strong oxidisers.

Take Special Care of Your Treated Gems

Sometimes coloured gemstones are treated to improve their colour and clarity. For instance, pearls are typically bleached with hydrogen peroxide. Colourless topaz stones are coated with metal oxides. Likewise, substances like glass and resin are often used to conceal numerous fractures on the surface of rubies and emeralds. Solvents, ultrasonic cleaners, heat, and steam can damage the effect of such treatments.

First, find out if your gemstone has undergone any such treatment. Then take care of it accordingly. As a general rule, all bleached and coated gems should be wrapped in a soft packaging and stored in a dry place. Filled gems should be kept away from heat and changes in air pressure.

Check Your Jewellery for Loose Stones

And you should do it periodically. Do you regularly use ornaments studded with gemstones? The chances of these stones becoming loose in their setting are high. Losing one or more stones from your favourite platinum rings or gold necklaces is probably the last thing you want. You need to regularly check your stone trinkets to ensure that the prongs holding the stones are not worn down. Take it to a professional jeweller periodically and get them checked for loose settings and damaged prongs.

The Don’ts of Caring for Gemstones

There are some things that you must avoid doing in order to maintain the beauty of your gemstones. These include the following:

  • When travelling, do not carry your gemstones in a single box or pouch. Always carry them in separate cases. Keep them wrapped in jeweller’s tissue.
  • Do not wear your gemstone jewellery while gardening.
  • Make sure that you don’t toss your gemstone jewellery on top of your dresser or in a drawer. It is possible that these precious stones get scratches when you keep them carelessly in such places.

Gemstones are your precious possessions. They are the best heirlooms you can hand down to your children and grandchildren. Take proper care of them and their lustre will last for generations.