Jewelry is a large purchase in one’s life and should be treated carefully so that it can be cherished for years to come. In general, jewelry should not be worn while cleaning, gardening, or playing sports.
Light and Heating
A gemstones durability and color can be affected by light and heat. If subjected for a substantial amount of time, gemstones such as Amethyst and Topaz can fade and be damaged. Other types of delicate stones or materials, like Pearls, can be bleached when exposed to light. If not careful, Amber can darken if exposed to too much light.
Gems are also susceptible to fracturing when subjected to excessive heat and sudden temperature changes. By adding heat, natural moisture in the gems are removed, leaving the material to dry out, crack, and discolor. Opals, if left in the heat, will lose their play-of-color effect, and possibly turn white or brown.
Give Treated Gemstones Special Care
Each gemstone is unique, and therefore requires special practices. Click on the link for Gemstones, where there is a guide on how to clean many gemstones using our preferred methods.
Caution with Ultrasonic Cleaners
- When purchasing professional ultrasonic cleaners at a discounted price, be aware that not all gems and jewelry can be safely cleaned with it.
- In general, ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided when cleaning:
- Gemstones with cracks or breaks that have been oil or resin filled.
- Do not use on natural materials such as amber, ivory, or pearls.
- Any wax or plastic substance on coated gems.
- Heat-treated gemstones
- Gems or jewelry that is susceptible to heat and temperature changes. This would include Tanzanite, Opal, Topaz, Turquoise, and Zircon for example.
- When using a machine with vibration to clean, gems may be loosened or chipped.
- If you have any hesitation about the best cleaning option, contact jewelry professionals who know and understand gem materials and the safest cleaning practices. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions and remember to clean the jewelry consistently to keep it in pristine condition.
Keep Away From Chemicals
Exposing gems or precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum to chemicals can damage a person’s jewelry. Everyday items, like cosmetics, hairsprays, lotion, and perfumes that contain harmful chemicals can impair a gems surface. Before swimming in chlorinated pools or using household cleaners, fine jewelry should be removed. Many household cleaners contain ammonia, which can be harsh to vintage jewelry or fragile gems. Avoid using bleach when wearing jewelry as it is harmful to gold alloys.
Safest Cleaning Methods are the Best
In general, using warm water and mild dish soap can clean most colored gems if using a soft brush. There are also the options of using pulsed-water dental cleaning appliances and a soft cloth. Always remember to rinse your jewelry in a dish or glass of water to remove any cleaning solutions. Doing so reduces the risk of losing stones or whole pieces of jewelry.
On the other hand, Pearls and other soft gems can be easily scratched if using a harsh brush or cleaning agent. The preferred method is to use a new makeup brush and warm, soapy water.
Store Your Jewelry
One of the most important care advice that is often overlooked, focuses on properly storing jewelry. Never throw or toss jewelry into a drawer as it can lead to scratches or damaged gems. Instead, use the box or pouch that came with the jewelry piece. For instance, use anti-tarnishing bags or clothes for sterling silver or to prevent jewelry from getting tangled. Use jewelry boxes to separate rings and earrings, and hooks for necklaces and bracelets.