Gemstone Care

Find here the best advice on how to properly clean, store and wear your gemstone pieces so that they keep their beauty and shine for many years to come.


GEMSTONE CARE

Gemstones used in jewelry are generally very durable but not indestructible. Certain gemstones and metals are more vulnerable to damage than others. By handling your jewelry with care, you can prevent damage and keep your jewelry in beautiful condition for decades to come.

Wearing

To avoid damaging or soiling, gemstone jewelry should be removed for certain day-to-day activities:

  • Physically-involved activities, such as sports and exercise, can cause settings to loosen. Gemstones can be chipped by hard blows or damaged by prolonged exposure to sweat.
  • Showering, cleaning, and swimming can put jewelry into contact with harsh chemicals and/or hot water. It is best to remove jewelry before showering and put it on last when getting dressed. Contact with hairsprays and perfumes should also be avoided.
  • Removing jewelry when gardening, baking, or applying lotion will help to minimize grime build up.

Storing

Gemstone jewelry should be stored in a padded box or soft cloth bag. Pieces should be stored separated to avoid scratching- particularly important when traveling. This also applies to diamonds, which may not be prone to scratching but can be scratched by other diamonds.

Storing

Cleaning

  • For daily cleaning, gently wipe your jewelry with a soft lint-free cloth. A toothpick may be used to gently remove dirt or grime lodged in the setting.
  • For more thorough cleaning, recommended methods depend on the gemstone and metal type. Warm water and a mild detergent is generally the safest option. Avoid using hot water or scrubbing jewelry with any abrasives. After cleaning, rinse in clean water and pat dry.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning machines are convenient but should be used with caution. Porous, brittle, and damaged gemstones can be damaged by the machine’s vibration.
  • It’s a good idea to have jewelry professionally cleaned at least once a year. Aside from a professional clean and polish, your jeweler can check pieces for loose settings and other signs wear and tear.
Diamond

Diamond

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless fractured)

Emerald

Emerald

Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent or emerald-safe jewelry cleaner (always check the bottle). Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. May also be affected by chemicals, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

Ruby

Ruby

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Sapphire

Sapphire

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Peridot

Peridot

Wear and store with care to avoid scratching or chipping. Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent or peridot-safe jewelry cleaner (always check the bottle). Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

Amethyst

Amethyst

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Citrine

Citrine

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless filled or dyed)

Topaz

Topaz

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes.

Ultrasonic cleaning: No

Garnet

Garnet

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes (unless fractured)

Onyx

Onyx

Wear and store with care to avoid scratching or chipping. Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent. Do not soak. Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

Black Diamond

Black Diamond

Clean in warm water using a mild detergent or non-abrasive jewelry cleaner. Rub gently with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Yes

Pearl

Pearl

Clean in lukewarm warm water using a mild detergent. Rub gently with a soft cloth. Avoid exposing to hot water, steam, or sudden temperature changes. May also be affected by chemicals, hairspray, perfume, and cosmetics.

Ultrasonic cleaning: Avoid

FAQs

Precious stones should be left to soak in warm water which includes some mild detergent. After around 20 minutes of soaking, the gems can be brushed with a soft toothbrush to remove oils, makeup and day-to-day dirt that have built up. Ideally, this practice should be done twice a week.
There is a common misconception that sunlight cannot fade gemstones, but this is not true. Some gems such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires can change colour when exposed to the sun. Extended exposure can also make gemstones brittle and more susceptible to damage.
Oil can be applied to gemstones and is a common practice associated with the filling of fractures. Many gemologists are against this and advise that you don’t use oil to stones as it may devalue them as it could change their appearance.
Some gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires are known to fade when exposed to long periods of sunlight. Other precious stones, such as amber may darken in the sun. It is advisable to keep gems out of direct sunlight as it can make them brittle.
Cleaning jewelry with white vinegar is one of the best and most natural ways to clean gold and gemstones. Place your jewelry in a jar of vinegar and leave for 10-15 minutes, gently shaking from time to time. Remove the pieces from the jar and scrub with a soft brush such as a toothbrush. Rinse under cold water.
For most (but not all) gemstones, the best way to clean them is to let them soak in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes. Then gently brush them with a soft toothbrush and rinse under cold water. Dry with a soft cloth or let them air dry out of direct sunlight. You should always use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain bleach.
As a general rule, it is fine to clean gemstones with baking soda. However, as it is mildly abrasive, care should be taken when cleaning gold pieces which may become scratched. Always use a soft brush for cleaning.