Jewelry Care

With proper care all gemstone jewelry should be suitable for passing down through many generations. While a standard jewelry cleaning cloth is ideal for daily cleaning of all gemstones and jewelry, they will periodically require a more thorough clean.

A dirty gem will lose color and brilliance, but most can be easily cleaned with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.

Organic gems like Amber, Ammolite and Pearls should only be wiped clean with a moist cloth and Ethiopian Opal should only be cleaned with a standard jewelry cleaning cloth.

If a jeweler can set a gemstone in jewelry, you can wear it, but below are some handy do’s and don’ts:

  • Do keep your gemstone jewelry in the separate compartments of a jewelry box, individual boxes or in cloth pouches, always storing your gem necklaces flat. When storing chains in pouches, leaving the catch just hanging out will reduce tangles.
  • Do frequently wipe your jewelry with a lint-free cloth.
  • Do periodically clean your jewelry. See above or on the romance card that accompanies each item of jewelry we create for how.
  • Don’t put on your jewelry before using cosmetics, hair spray or perfumes.
  • Don’t remove your jewelry by pulling on the gems.
  • Don’t wear your jewelry when playing sports or anything else with a high risk of hard impact. Simply exercise commonsense.
  • Don’t use a commercial cleaning solution until you have checked it is suitable for your gem and don’t use ultrasonic or steam cleaners for every gem. When in doubt, leave it out – the gentle soap and lukewarm water method is quick, easy, effective, and suitable for almost every gem type.
  • Don’t use silverware polish to clean sterling silver jewelry.

Durability or ‘wear-ability’ in gemstones is a combination of three properties:

  1. Hardness is the ability of a gem to resist surface scratching. Devised in the 18th century by Viennese mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, the Mohs’ Hardness Scale measures this ability. Mohs quantified hardness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest and 1 the softest. As the minerals chosen set the levels of hardness, it is a comparative not a relative scale. This is very important to remember. The true hardness scale is actually a much better indication of the hardness of gemstones. Looking at the table below, you can see that the true hardness of most gemstones are actually pretty close together.
  2. Toughness is the ability of a gem to resist the development of fractures (random non-directional breakage) or cleavage (splitting along well-defined planes). Please note that toughness and hardness in gemstones can be mutually exclusive. Just because a gemstone is hard, it is not necessarily tough and vice versa.
  3. Stability is the ability of a gem to resist physical or chemical damage.