Each new piece of clothing has a label sewn in with care instructions on how to look after the item. In the same vein, we will try to provide you with something similar in the following article. We will give you some general recommendations and suggestions on how to take care of jewellery with gemstones as well as advise you on what to avoid doing.
How to ensure that your gemstones shine and make you happy every day
Most minerals are best cleaned with lukewarm water with a bit of detergent added to it using a children’s toothbrush. Treat your gemstone jewellery to a cleaning bath once in a while. And how do you do this? Mix lukewarm water with a drop of detergent or liquid soap in a bowl, put the jewellery inside the bowl and let it stand there for a few minutes. Lightly clean the entrenched dirt with a brush which has soft bristles. The next step to home cleaning is rinsing the jewellery under running water which is at the same temperature. This is very important because some gemstones cannot withstand very hot water and should not be exposed to thermal shocks. Finally, place the jewellery on a cloth or a paper towel and let it air dry. If you are in a hurry, you can pat the gemstone jewellery dry and polish it with a soft cloth. A simple, fast and safe process.
We recommend avoiding:
- Washing jewellery in the sink - it could slip out of your fingers and into the drain.
- Using a hair dryer - high temperatures could damage the gemstone.
- Metal objects - do not use objects such as pins or tweezers to remove dirt from hard to reach places, try a toothpick instead.
Due to their delicate or fragile nature, some gemstones require careful handling (such as emeralds in particular). So a lot also depends on your lifestyle and occupation - if you are on the move a lot or the nature of your work is such that the jewellery easily comes into contact with hard objects or there is a danger that it might even get lost, it would be better to take it off. It’s good to think about this consideration at the time you are choosing the jewellery. Some gemstone settings, for example specifically the bezel, where the stone is surrounded by a metal border, provide increased protection for the stone from any damage.
When wearing more pieces of jewellery at the same time, your gemstone could also get damaged. This happens for example with two rings that are next to each other on the same hand. If one ring is set all the way around with gemstones at its rim and it rubs against a ring on the next finger, the edges of the stones may get scratched. If that happens, the only option left is to try to have the gemstones re-polished.
In some situations, it is better to leave the jewellery at home or to store it away in a safe place. And that’s not a coin purse in your wallet, but ideally a cloth pouch or a small plastic bag. Do this before doing any sports, visiting the pool or sauna, before sunbathing or before having fun by the water. Many gemstones are sensitive to the sun's rays and their colour might change or fade.
How we look after jewellery when we are not wearing it also has a significant effect on its beauty and durability. We recommend storing all jewellery with gemstones in a closed box, where the jewellery will be protected from dust. This is because dust contains silica particles which can damage minerals, especially the softer ones. Of course, this is a longer-term process, but it’s still better to prevent it. It is also good to protect some minerals from daylight as they may lose colour over time, especially those that have been treated with radiation. Ideally also try to avoid jewellery coming into contact with each other so that they don’t become scratched or damaged. The best thing for this is small resealable bags where you can store jewellery individually.
Check your jewellery
Once in a while, it pays to check the gemstone settings themselves. If the prong that holds the stone moves or loosens when you’re checking it, it’s better not to wear the jewellery since there is a risk that the stone might fall out. A prong that sticks out could catch on something and break off. So in situations where you have a loose setting, you ought to head to your jewellery store where a gemstone setter will take care of the repair for you.
Gemstones and their particulars
is a translucent to transparent blue gemstone. It is a very delicate stone that rarely contains any inclusions or cracks, but despite this, it is relatively brittle. Therefore handle it with care and try to avoid any bumps and blows that could break it. After wearing it regularly for some time, dirt which has collected may begin to dull the stone's lustre and beauty. In this instance, immerse the piece of jewellery in soapy water, let it soak for a while and then clean it with a soft brush and rinse it. The jewellery will look like new again.
can contain gas or liquid filled inclusions. Fortunately these are not usually visible to the naked eye, so the stone will look intact. Nevertheless due to these, morganites should not be exposed to sudden changes in temperature. Morganites are translucent to transparent so you can see every bit of dirt on the stone which will detract from its beauty and lustre. It is therefore necessary to carefully clean these pink gemstones more often. Proceed in the same way as for cleaning aquamarines. We recommend storing morganites in an enclosed box, as the stones may fade with prolonged exposure to daylight.
Due to their chemical composition, moldavites could be called a type of natural glass. In their raw state, they are characterised by an irregular rough surface which is called sculpting. Some of the stone’s parts may protrude and therefore be prone to breaking. Moldavites can contain inclusions, so don’t put them in hot water since they might crack. Clean raw and cut moldavites in soapy or detergent water with a soft brush.
Labradorites, sun and moonstones
all belong to the same group of minerals, which is why we treat them the same way. They range between 6 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so they are somewhat softer. For this reason, try not to expose them to contact with metal objects or other jewellery. Avoid placing them in hot water, since due to their internal composition, these types of minerals (feldspars) crack when their temperature changes rapidly. Clean them carefully with lukewarm soapy or detergent water using a very soft brush.
Tanzanites are around 6 – 7 on the hardness scale so they should not come into contact with any sharp objects. Clean them in soapy or detergent water using a soft brush. Tanzanites are not suitable for ultrasound cleaning.
(tsavorites, almandines, rhodolites) should be cleaned in soapy or detergent water and a soft brush should be used to remove any deposits of dirt. Some acids or bases can help with any bigger dirt on garnet jewellery (with the exception of Czech garnets which have been set into antique jewellery), but this is best left to the experts. We don’t recommend steam cleaning for garnets.
Amethysts, citrines, quartz, rose quartz and smoky quartz
all belong to the category of, you guessed it, quartz. They are tough minerals that you can clean both in soapy or detergent water, as well as by ultrasound. Amethysts can fade as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. However this is a really long and completely natural process which you can partially slow down by storing the stone in a closed box.
is a type of tourmaline. It can be cleaned in soapy or detergent water but ultrasound cleaning is not recommended for it. If it has a lot of dirt on it, we recommend leaving it to a specialist to clean it for you. Tourmalines have one special quality and that is that they attract dust. For this reason, we recommend storing them in a box.
is a traditional gemstone which has been used in jewellery for millennia. However the quality of emerald deposits is declining, so today it is often improved with the use of oil. It fills out even the smallest of cracks and optically repairs them. This makes the stone look more perfect. For this reason, ideally only clean it with a damp cloth. It’s possible to also clean it in soapy water, but reduce such cleaning to the shortest time possible. And even then, expect that the oil will partly wash out and the stone may be visually less attractive as a result. However this need not be a permanent change. To return it to its original state, apply some oil to the stone’s surface with a cotton swab for example. Once the stone has soaked in the oil, wipe off any excess grease with a dry cloth to prevent dust from sticking to the stone. Ultrasound and steam cleaning are not suitable options for emeralds. We recommend that you leave more complicated types of maintenance to the experts.
(or olivine) is a fragile mineral so handle it with care. To clean it, it is best to do so in soapy or detergent water and to use a soft brush. We do not recommend ultrasound or steam cleaning for it.
Rubies and sapphires
are both types of the mineral corundum, which holds the penultimate 9th place on the Mohs hardness scale. So for this reason, you don't have to worry too much about damaging these stones. They also tolerate ultrasound or steam cleaning very well.
is a fragile mineral that splits easily, so hot water may not suit it. It also does not tolerate ultrasound or steam cleaning. Therefore only wash it in lukewarm water with a little soap or detergent added to it. If the topaz has been heat treated or irradiated, it may lose its colour in the light. It’s therefore certainly a great idea to keep your topaz jewellery in a closed box.
Although the diamond is the hardest natural mineral on earth, it is also brittle however so protect it from shocks and handle it with care. You can use soapy or detergent water to clean it, but diamonds also tolerate ultrasound well.
is a relatively hard mineral and tolerates ultrasound cleaning well. At home, you can wash it in warm water with a drop of detergent or soap and clean it with a brush without any problems.
How to always keep pearls looking beautiful
The most sensitive gems are those which are organic in origin, meaning those that originated from, or were created by, living organisms. Among these we predominantly rank pearls and corals. So some rules that we might safely apply when caring for other stones do not apply here.
Pearls are very soft and fragile. If we accidentally dig into them, we could easily damage them. They must not be exposed to high temperatures as they could crack, blacken, lose their lustre and eventually disintegrate into a powder. They should also not come into contact with chemicals such as perfumes, make-up, creams and other cosmetic products. Therefore follow the practise whereby you put on your pearls last and remove them first.
Clean pearls carefully
You can clean jewellery with pearls (except for necklaces) in soapy or detergent water, but leave it soaking only briefly. After drying it, we recommend coating the pearls with a thin layer of oil to prevent them from drying out. But don’t soak pearl necklaces which have been strung on a string in water – clean them only with a damp cloth. Never use acidic or base solutions such as vinegar or citric acid.
Wear your pearls as often as possible
To keep their beauty, pearls need that personal touch. They love skin contact so the best thing you can do for them is to wear them. Pearls stay shiny and radiant due to the natural fat that human skin adds to them. If on the other hand they remain untouched for a long time, their surface begins to break and flake and this process is visible when the pearls are viewed through a magnifying glass. If pearls are strictly a special occasion item for you, rub them with oil once in a while. As with other gemstones, don’t wear pearls with you to a sauna, steam room, swimming pool or into the sea. Chlorinated or seawater is destructive and could damage the adhesive that binds the pearl to the jewellery, or the string on which the pearls are strung. The string becomes brittle quickly and can break easily when it is repeatedly soaked.
Check your pearls regularly
An adhesive that shouldn’t be visible is usually used to attach pearls to a ring, earrings or a pendant. Take note of this fact when buying pearl jewellery. If there is a gap or a large layer of glue between the pearl and the base holding it, it could fall out. However even with well made jewellery, the pearl might come loose from its setting after some time, so check it regularly to make sure that it is still glued properly. Just hold the pearl between your fingers and try to turn it gently. If it moves, do not wear the jewellery and have the pearl glued back into place at a jewellery store.
With pearl necklaces, make sure that the string isn’t sagging. You will recognise quality workmanship by the style of the stringing, which should always be knotted. This means that the individual pearls are separated by small knots so that they don’t scrape against each other. What’s more, if the necklace were to break, this type of stringing would mean that the pearls would not all spill out.
The knots should be tight and there should be no gaps between the pearls even if you pull on the string from both sides. If gaps do appear, it would be best to have the pearls restrung.
All of the advice for pearls is essentially also true for coral jewellery. That is, do not expose coral to chemical agents, high temperatures or sharp objects. Clean it gently in water with detergent added to it and with a soft brush, then let them air dry.
The KLENOTA service
Precious stones and pearls are not only a beautiful decoration, but also a good investment. With proper handling and care they will last for many years like new. If you have bought a piece of jewellery with a gemstone from us and you would like to treat it to a professional clean, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will also be happy to advise you personally on how you can look after a specific piece of jewellery at home.