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Jewelry Care and Cleaning
Most gemstones are fairly durable; however, some require special attention. A general rule of thumb: Take off any jewelry when working in the kitchen, garden, or cleaning. Additionally avoid wearing your jewelry when you are washing clothes, swimming, or doing other activities which may bring you into contact with bleach, chlorine or acids.
General Jewelry Care
- Keep your fine jewelry items from contact with one another to avoid abrasion. Your diamond jewelry could scratch your colored gemstones if they are not stored properly. Pearls and other organic gemstones are especially susceptible to damage caused from casual contact with jewelry that might have sharp corners or edges.
- Keep your jewelry looking new by cleaning it regularly. Soap and oils from fingerprints can significantly detract from the beauty of your diamonds and fine jewelry.
- Apply makeup and cosmetics prior to putting on your jewelry. Chemicals in these substances can often harm the look of your gold and damage pearls.
- Avoid wearing jewelry in swimming pools. Chlorine can react with metals causing color and structural damage.
- Fine jewelry items should not be worn while engaged in activities where they would be subject to any form of brushing or hard contact. A strong blow from the side could dislodge a gemstone from its mounting. If you decide to wear your jewelry while gardening, please exercise caution.
- Cultured pearl necklaces should be strung with knots between each bead. Keep all pearls away from hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics.
- It is recommended that all jewelry be inspected semi-annually or after any sharp blow to stones or mounting.
Cleaning your jewelry is the most important step in keeping your fine jewels as bright as the day you received them!
Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Amethyst, Citrine, and Created Gemstones can generally be cleaned using Ultrasonic cleaning machines. Please be sure to keep items from touching one another while cleaning. It is a good idea to check all stones before and after they are cleaned to ensure the gemstones are secure in their mounting. If you do not have a cleaning machine, commercial jewelry cleaner solution or water mixed with a small amount of dish washing soap works fine with a soft cloth or brush to remove any fingerprints. Organic gemstones such as pearls, amber, coral, and ivory should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or cleaned with an abrasive or ammonia based cleaner.
Specific Gemstone Care
- Amethyst, like its cousin, Citrine, is an extremely durable stone that will withstand normal cleaning; avoid exposure to direct heat.
- Do not use an ultra-sonic machine; avoid exposure to heat as it may cause discoloration.
- BLUE TOPAZ
- Care should be taken when cleaning a topaz of any color. Do not use an ultrasonic machine. Avoid prolonged exposure to light and heat, as well as sharp blows or sudden temperature changes.
- As quartz, citrine is able to withstand normal cleaning; avoid exposure to direct heat.
- CREATED GEMSTONES
- Most lab created gemstones are not treated and can be cleaned using steam and ultra sonic cleaners. The exception to this would be created emeralds which should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Diamond jewelry can withstand any cleaning technique which will not damage the mounting. Steaming, Ultrasonic cleaners and commercial jewelry cleaning solutions should all be fine as long as they do not affect the mounting.
- Because emeralds are oiled and usually included to some degree, this stone should not be placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. Emeralds should be cleaned gently with a small brush and lukewarm water. Avoid sudden temperature changes and sharp blows.
- Garnet is an extremely durable stone and therefore will withstand normal cleaning.
- Opal is a soft stone that requires care when cleaning. It should not be placed in the ultrasonic cleaner, nor should you use ammonia based cleaner on the stone. Clean with a soft cloth or occasionally a combination of a mild non-detergent soap and warm water with a soft brush.
- After each wearing, clean with a soft cloth. Periodically clean with very mild non-detergent soap; lay pearls on a clean towel and dry completely before wear. Never use ultrasonic or steam cleaners. Use only commercial pearl cleaners as they are significantly milder than normal commercial jewelry cleaner. Avoid contact with perfumes, cosmetics and household cleaners, and return your strand to your jeweler for periodic professional cleaning and restringing. Never store pearls in an air tight container or in plastic, and do not store them in any area that where they will be exposed on excessive heat or light.
- Do not use an ultra-sonic machine. Avoid sharp blows and sudden temperature changes.
- Rubies are fairly durable stones; however, the filling process often used on rubies requires special care when cleaning the stones. This enhancement technique may wear over time if treated harshly or exposed to strong solvents or abrasives. Avoid exposure to direct heat.
- Because the heat treating process used is permanent, sapphires are an unusually durable stone. Normal care in cleaning is used; avoid exposure to direct heat.
- Clean with mild soap and water; do not use an ultrasonic machine. Avoid sudden temperature changes and sharp blows.