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Jewllery Care & Cleaning Techniques.


Care And Treatment Of Gems:
Some gems are very durable and hardy; they will take a lot of abuse without much damage. Others are easily chipped, broken, scratched, or otherwise damaged.

To be on the safe side, all gems and jewellery should be treated with care and respect.


To be on the safe side, let's start with some of the delicate stones.
Stones to be careful of are:

Strong cleaning solutions and heat may have a negative effect on some stones or on their enhancements. Emeralds or Rubies that have been oiled may lose their oil. Waxed or dyed Turquoise may lose it's wax or dye and become colourless or chalky. Doublet or triplet Opals may come apart. Pearls may lose their lustre.


If a stones enhancement is wiped out, it can often be put back. Oiled stones can be re-oiled. Dyed stones can be re-dyed. Chipped or cracked stones, however, can only be re-cut, and pearls are gone forever.


Pearls are delicate and should only be put on after all make up, perfume, and hair spray have been applied. Keep them away from any chemicals. If they are worn against the skin, they should be wiped carefully with a soft, damp cloth after each use. If worn more or less frequently, they should be restrung once or twice a year. If you see the string between the pearls becoming dark or stained, get them restrung immediately. That soiling may get into the pearls and become permanent.


Avoid temperature extremes, or rapid temperature changes with most gemstones. Opals, for example, contain as much as 11 percent water, and freezing or boiling may destroy them!


There are many cleaning solutions available commercially, but if you want to use something else, you can use detergent ammonia from under your kitchen sink. Dip a toothbrush in the ammonia and scrub your jewellery with it, then rinse it well. Do NOT soak your jewellery in bleach or ammonia! For your diamond and gold pieces, you can then boil them to get at any dirt that your toothbrush was unable to reach. Diamonds and gold can withstand a lot of heat, and boiling water can only reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so those pieces will be safe. Donít do this with anything but Diamonds and gold! Use a few drops of liquid dish detergent in the water to cut grease and oil. Don't use too much or the pot will boil over and make a mess on your stove, and don't forget and let the pot boil dry, you will ruin your pot and possibly your jewellery too.


NEVER put gems or jewellery in your microwave!



Here is a list of stones and their usual reactions:

Hardness - 'Mohs' scale of hardness.

Toughness - Resistance To Chipping
Boiling - Reaction to Boiling

Ultrasonic - Reaction to Ultrasonic

Steaming - Reaction to Steaming

Acid - Reaction to Acid

Gemstone Hardness Toughness Boiling Steam Ultrasonic Acid
Alexandrite 8.5 Very good Good Good Good Good
Amber 2 Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor
Amethyst 7 Good Fair Fair Good Fair
Andalusite 7.5 Good Fair Fair Good Fair
Aquamarine 8 Fair Fair Fair Fair Good
Citrine 7 Good Fair Fair Good Fair
Coral 3.5 Poor Poor Fair Fair Poor
Cubic Zirconia 8.5 Good Good Good Good Good
Diamond 10 Good Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Emerald 7.5 Poor Poor Poor Fair Poor
Garnet 7 Fair Poor Fair Good Poor
Hematite 6 Fair Good Good Good Poor
Ivory 2.5 Fair Poor Good Fair Fair
Jade 6.5 Excellent Good Good Good Poor
Kunzite 6.5 Very Poor Poor Poor Fair Fair
Lapis Lazuli 5.5 Poor Poor Good Fair Poor
Moonstone 6.5 Poor Poor Fair Fair Poor
Nephrite 6.5 Excellent Good Good Good Poor
Opal 6 Very Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor
Pearl 3 Poor Poor Fair Fair Very Poor
Peridot 6.5 Poor Poor Poor Fair Poor
Ruby 9 Very Good Good Good Good Good
Sapphire 9 Very Good Good Good Good Good
Shell Cameo 3.5 Poor Poor Poor Fair Very Poor
Spinel 8 Fair Fair Good Good Good
Tanzanite 6.5 Poor Poor Poor Poor Fair
Topaz 8 Poor Poor Poor Fair Good
Turquoise 5.5 Poor Poor Fair Poor Very Poor
Tourmaline 7.5 Fair Fair Fair Good Fair
Zircon 6.5 Poor Poor Poor Fair Fair





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