How to Clean Your Gemstone Jewelry

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If you’re going to make a significant investment in your jewelry and accessories, you want to know how to best maintain them. Learning how to clean your gemstone jewelry is one of the biggest factors in their longevity. If you’re ready for a guide that teaches you everything you need to know about this process, explore what the experts from AZEERA have to say.

Know Your Gemstones

You might assume that the higher on the Mohs scale your jewelry is, the easier it is to clean, but that’s not necessarily the case. Some ultra hard gems, like emerald and diamond, undergo various treatment processes to make them look better. Some merchants fill tiny fractures in a gem with a special oil to ensure clarity. This oil reacts negatively when exposed to certain cleaning methods and you could ruin your piece.

Getting your piece professionally appraised will help you discover any details unique to your jewelry and indicate how to best clean your gemstones.

Cleaning Methods

ultrasonic at-home gemstone cleaner

There are a number of different cleaning methods for your jewelry. Some you can do at home, while others require the help of professionals.

Warm Soap & Water

A simple at-home method, follow these instructions for how to clean your gemstone rings and jewelry.

  • Choose any commercially prepared jewelers cleaner, but avoid those with ammonia if you plan on cleaning pearl or amber.
  • Let your piece soak for a few minutes in a mixture of your mild soap and warm water as indicated on the soap bottle.
  • Use a soft brush to scrub gently and a shaved toothpick to pick out any accumulation of material.
  • Dip your jewelry back into the water and soap mixture and then rinse under warm running water.
  • Blow on your jewelry to remove any leftover water and gently polish it with a chamois cloth.
  • Dip your jewelry back into the water and soap mixture and then rinse under warm running water.
  • Blow on your jewelry to remove any leftover water and gently polish it with a chamois cloth.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners create high-frequency sound waves that move through your cleaning solution. They create pressure and heat to dislodge debris and dirt from gems — even in hard to reach places. When learning how to clean your gemstone jewelry, we recommend avoiding ultrasonic cleaners for any stones that have treated fractures filled with oil. You can buy an ultrasonic cleaner to use at home, but we recommend leaving this to the professionals.

Heat Treatment

Ultrasonic cleaners are available with and without heat. Heated cleaners are most effective for gems that have been exposed to waxy or fatty substances. Many gems are heat treated before setting to bring out brighter colors, so these should never be exposed to additional heat or their colors will fade.

Basic Cleaning Guide

bezel set three-stone citrine ring

The experts at AZEERA have put together a basic chart to indicate how to clean different gemstones most effectively.

Gemstone Cleaning Technique Comments
Amethyst Detergent, soft brush, warm water
Non-heat ultrasonic cleaner
Many amethyst pieces are heat treated to bring out their color, but additional exposure to heat during cleaning can cause cracking and fading.
Aquamarine Detergent, water, soft brush
Non-heat ultrasonic cleaner
Aquamarine also receives heat treatment. Additional heat cleaning could cause its color to fade.
Citrine Detergent, soft brush, water Another heat treated gemstone, heat cleaning will fade the color of citrine too.
Diamond Ammonia cleaner, warm water, detergent (anti-grease), soft brush Diamonds resist scratches and take heat well, but you should avoid any mechanical cleaning systems.
Garnet Warm water, soft brush, detergent Garnets are typically tough, but they do have some heat sensitivity.
Peridot Warm water, detergent, soft brush Any type of acid (even sweat) can damage peridot. Wash and wear these gems carefully.
Ruby Detergent, warm water, soft brush Mechanical cleaning will remove any finishing oil for rubies that receive specialty treatments.
Sapphire Detergent, warm water, soft brush Like rubies, sapphires are sometimes oil treated which comes off during mechanical cleaning.
Topaz Detergent, warm water, soft brush Mechanical cleaning is pretty dangerous for topaz gems, as vibration and heat damage them.
Tourmaline Soft brush, detergent, warm water Pink tourmaline is commonly flawed and vulnerable to vibration from mechanical cleaning.

With this guidance on how to clean gemstone rings, cufflinks, and more, you can take better care of your pieces. Have more questions? Reach out to our founders, Puneet and Rohan, today.

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