Cleaning Gemstones

Let’s face it, in our busy, everyday lives it’s easy to overlook cleaning gemstones. Proper gemstone care is necessary in order to maintain the stones quality and natural luster. Without regular cleaning, gemstones may become scratched, and settings may become worn or loosened, resulting in possible stone loss.  Consider the following gemstone care to keep your precious stones around for years to come: * h2. Gemstone Care Chart*

Gem Properties Gemstone Care

Agate Quartz – Opaque variety found in all colors with a wide array of markings. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
Amethyst Quartz – Shades of purple, lilac or mauve, can be heat treated to produce Citrine. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
Aquamarine Beryl – Modern preference is blue, but also may be a sea green. It is often heat treated to bring out the color but if over-heated will become colorless. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
Citrine Quartz – Natural Citrine is rare, most Citrine on the market is heat-treated Amethyst. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
  Diamond Hardest mineral on earth. Although relatively common gem it is a staple to the average jewelry box. To remove grease and/or oil from the surface use ammonia based cleaners, warm water and soft brush.
Emerald Beryl – Commonly oiled to fill, hide and disguise flaws and enhance color. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry. Caution: Due to inclusions Emeralds should never be cleaned using Ultra Sonic or steam cleaners.
   Fire Opal Gets its name from it rich orange and reddish orange color. Sensitive stone comprised of 5-10% water that may dry out and crack. Should not be exposed to extremes of pressure and temperature.  Warm water, soft brush, air dry. Caution: Opals need special care. The owner should avoid exposure to or contact with anything that would dry or crack the opal. Soaking the opal periodically in water for several hours may help preserve it. Oil should never be used on an opal.
  Jade Comes in 2 forms: Jadeite (Jade) and Nephrite. Both are tough & suitable for carving. Comes in a variety of colors: green, lilac, white, brown, pink, blue, red, black, orange and yellow. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
   Jasper Quartz – Opaque with over 50 types of Jasper of various colors and patterns.  Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
  Garnet Comes in different silicate compositions that result in different colors: red, orange, cinnamon, pink and green and more. May need re-polishing to maintain shine. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
   Lapis Lazuli Opaque blue stone that sometimes has small gold or silver-colored flecks of pyrite. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry immediately. Should not be cleaned in an ultra sonic cleaner or steam cleaned.
  Morganite Beryl – Pink variety.  Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
   Moonstone Feldspar – Transparent gemstone showing an opalescent white or blue light. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
Onyx Semi-translucent to opaque quartz coming in a variety of colors – red, orange, apricot and shades of brown – often alternating with bands of white. Often used for cameo carving.  Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
 Opal Sensitive stone comprised of 5-10% water that may dry out and crack. Should not be exposed to extremes of pressure and temperature. Warm water, soft brush, air dry. Caution: Opals need special care. The wearer should avoid exposure to or contact with anything that would dry or crack the opal. Soaking the opal periodically in water for several hours may help preserve it. Oil should never be used on an opal.
Pearl Organic – Comprised of layers of nacre in shellfish (oysters and mussels). Come in white, white with pink tinge, brown, black and golden. Sensitive to acids, dryness, and humidity.  Due to the sensitivity of pearls they should only be wiped with a soft, damp cloth. Any stains should be removed with a soft cloth dipped in a mild soapy solution (no harsh chemicals). Pearls should be allowed to dry, the drill holes should be blown out to avoid staining, and Pearls should never be dipped in any solution.
Peridot – Due to its soft nature, Peridot may be harmed by acid or harsh chemicals as well as heat. Scratches easily so should not be worn with other jewelry and jewelry should be removed before doing any work. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
Ruby Corundum – Second hardest gem next to diamond. Red color may vary from pinkish to purplish. Commonly heat-treated to enhance color. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
 Sapphire Corundum – Any non-red Corundum (Ruby) is called Sapphire. Comes in a variety of colors. Commonly heat-treated to enhance color. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
  Spinel One of the few gems never treated or enhanced. Comes in red orange, light-dark orange red, light-dark grayish blue, greenish blue, grayish green, dark-light purple to violet, yellow and opaque black.  Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
   Tanzanite Zoisite – Typically heat-treated to bring out the color. It is brittle and may chip. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
  Topaz Comes in a variety of colors, may be heat treated to enhance color. Sensitive to heat and rough-wear. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry. Caution: Should not be cleaned in an ultra-sonic or steam cleaner.
  Tourmaline One of the most versatile of gems it is available in every color, in every tone. Very durable, wearable gemstone. Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.
  Turquoise Porous stone susceptible to discoloration due to age. Light blue to blue-green in color. Scratches easily. Clean in warm water using a soft brush, wipe dry immediately. Should not come in contact with soap, grease, oil or other materials that could cause it to discolor.
   Zircon Transparent gemstone comes in many colors. Moderately hard gemstone that is brittle and may chip easily.  Solution of warm water and mild detergent, soft brush, air dry.