Colored gemstones are much more delicate than diamonds and need special care and careful cleaning. Regular gentle cleaning is recommended instead of the harsh cleaning required to remove a heavy soil build up. Proper storage is also important in caring for your valuables.
Diamonds are used for drilling. They can withstand high temperatures and then a fast cool down in water. Many gemstones would crack or shatter with such extreme temperature changes. Emerald, opal, amethyst and turquoise are some of the gemstones that should be kept away from heat such as a sunny windowsill. When taking a trip to the beach, delicate gemstones should be left at home. Enjoying the sand and then jumping into the surf may be too extreme temperature changes for these gemstones.
Even perfume and lotions may harm turquoise and malachite. Ammonia, caustics and abrasives should never be used on gemstones. Chlorine in swimming pool water may cause pitting in some colored stones. Gemstones may also be damaged by fingernail polish remover.
Ultra sonic cleaners should not be used on a regular basis. Agitation of the machine will remove dirt and also dislodge loose stones from their settings. Some liquid cleaners used may be harmful to the gemstones.
The safest recommended cleaning is to wash in warm water with a mild liquid soap. Then, dry with a soft cloth. The sink drain should always be closed or covered when rinsing any jewelry. With proper care and regular cleaning gemstones should not need any harsh cleaners. Inspection by a jeweler is recommended at least once a year. The jeweler will check for loose stones, worn prongs or any other problems that may arise.
After cleaning, gemstones and all jewelry should be kept in safe place. Protection from damage and theft should be considered when storing jewelry. That jewelry box on the dresser is probably the first place a burglar might look. A safe or hideaway would be better for valuable jewelry and use the fancy jewelry box for costume jewelry. Heirloom pieces seldom worn should be kept in a safe deposit box.
Jewelry boxes with individual compartments or a felt-lined box or tray is recommended for storing precious gems and other jewelry. Rings and other jewelry items with delicate gemstones are safest when stored separately in jewelry bags or pouches. Stones bumping together may get scratched or otherwise damaged. The time you spend caring for your jewels is well worth the time and effort.
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