Aquamarine – Maintenance
Aquamarine is rather strong in terms of mineral hardness – on the Mohs scale, it ranks between 7.5 and 8, just a bit more durable than an amethyst stone, yet not nearly as durable as a diamond. When protected and cared for properly, this gem can be one that lasts a lifetime.
Exposure and Cleaning
There are a few elements that shouldn’t be exposed to this gem. Liquids include hot water, alcohol, toothpaste, detergent, hairspray, perfume, chlorine, hydrofluoric acid, enzyme cleaner and any type of ultrasonic cleaner, as these can drastically alter the stone by creating irreparable cracks and discoloration. Other forms of exposure to avoid are high heat, direct sunlight, steam, and sudden changes in temperature or temperature extremes.
Aquamarine jewelry may collect a good amount of oil and dirt from everyday use, so the most effective way to keep your stone’s shine, is to handle them as little as possible while completing routine tasks, like applying makeup, spraying hairspray or perfume, washing your face, etc. A good way to remember this is to think: “Last in, first out.”
Aside from a professional deep cleaning each year, you will also want to dedicate time to do routine cleaning at home. Use these seven easy-to-follow steps for regular cleaning every few weeks:
- Buff the ring or stone with a 100% cotton cloth before applying any water to it. Be sure that the cloth is actually full cotton, as synthetic fabrics tend to harm its surface.
- Pour warm water into a bowl or sink – enough to completely submerge the gem. As the water fills the container, mix in a teaspoon of mild liquid soap and add a little to the gem’s surface. If needed, place a towel or other protective material to prevent any scratching to the sink or stone. You may also add a drop of ammonia to the water mixture for added sparkle.
- Allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes to encourage dirt and oils to loosen.
- Using a soft-bristled brush, lightly scrub the surfaces of the stone. If you have multiple stones in one piece of jewelry, be sure to scrub gently in each of the crevices and along the prong areas, so as to not miss any parts of the smaller stones.
- Rinse the freshly scrubbed stone with warm water. Repeat if necessary to ensure all soap and residue is washed off.
- Lightly dab away any remaining water using a 100% cotton towel. Try to avoid using your fingernails to get in each crevice.
- Place the gem in a safe, room-temperature place to fully dry. The stone must be completely dry to wear.
Although it’s safe to say that most gems are at most risk of damage while being worn, they are also at risk when stored improperly. A good rule of thumb for this particular stone is to wrap it with a soft, non-synthetic cloth, place it in a sturdy box or container, and keep it at room temperature. It may also be kept safe in a compartmentalized box of sorts, so as to not scratch or be scratched by other gems.
Should your stone need mending, be sure that a coat of borax or other similar heat-shielding substance is applied to the stone to avoid any damage while fusing or soldering. It is also recommended that highly expensive aquamarine be unset before applying any type of heat to it, but should be done by an experienced professional.